A cost accounting manager is usually a supervisor or department manager for a specialized accounting group within a company. This person is primarily concerned with collecting accounting and financial data related to assets and liabilities gained and incurred by the various departments within the company. The cost accounting manager will typically offer frequent reports and accounting analysis to upper management related to opportunities to control costs and wastes and increase profitability.
The cost accounting group that this person manages also examines key operational data such as inventory on hand, purchases, and cost of goods sold. The cost accounting manager reports on any variances between ideal and actual costs, analysis on how those variances occurred, and recommendations to reduce them. Most companies also have regular accounting periods, either blocked off by months, quarters, or fiscal years. The cost accounting manager oversees the “closing” of each accounting period by collecting data related to costs of goods, payroll, and operations. These reports must contain both line by line details, as well as an overall picture of each cost center within the organization. Upper management will use this documentation and reportage to examine areas where opportunity may exist to increase productivity and reduce costs. As a manager of the cost accounting operation, this employee typically will have a staff of junior accountants working under him or her. The cost accounting manager will examine the data they collect and the methods used to gather it to insure accuracy of reports that will be generated with it.
A candidate for this job typically has a college degree in accounting with an emphasis on finance. For larger corporations, persons with post-graduate education in management or finance may be preferred. A cost accounting manager will usually work in an office environment during regular daytime business hours.
Cost Accounting Manager Tasks
Contribute to creating budgets and ensure production costs remain within budget.
Analyze the costs of materials, processes, and labor to determine methods of reducing production costs.
Develop and implement a company’s cost control procedures and policies.
Prepare product cost statements, investigating products to establish manufacturing costs.