A cost accounting clerk’s overall function is to determine whether a business is making a profit or losing money. There are many ways in which cost accounting clerks determine this. First and foremost, they track expenses. Expenses include product materials, manufacturing costs, and payroll. They watch every invoice closely to make sure that they are all accurate. They are responsible for tracking labor hours, and they normally work on payroll to make sure that employees' time is spent fruitfully. Verifying purchase orders manually is also done to ensure accuracy.
After determining the accuracy of costs, cost accounting clerks will figure up whether the company is spending more than it should and if there is any way that the company can raise profits. They may determine that some employees need to be let go, that raw materials need to be bought from a different supplier, or that a product needs to be discontinued. Cost accounting clerks may also work on accounts billable and assist in making estimations. They will make financial reports after processing, maintaining, and analyzing all of the data.
A high school diploma is the minimum requirement for a cost accounting clerk, though at least an associate’s degree in accounting is highly preferred. Basic skills and knowledge in computers, mathematics, and bookkeeping are also helpful.
Cost Accounting Clerk Tasks
Compare the actual costs to expected costs and investigate the reason for variation in actual costs.
Calculate a company's costs, taking into consideration factors such as materials, labor, capital, and transportation.
Keep records of company costs and prepare cost reports for management.