Cost accountants evaluate, analyze, and prepare financial records for internal use by a company’s controller. A cost account is responsible for assisting with the minimizing of costs for the production of services or goods. Cost accountants work with controllers, also known as financial managers, in order to evaluate assets, budgets, or the overall financial performance of a company. Cost accountants may work for manufacturers, tax preparation firms, and accounting firms. Finance and insurance firms may also employ cost accountants.
Why Become A Cost Accountant
Cost accountants record costing operations, prepare budgets, evaluate management costing, and assets of a company. Cost accountants typically work with a financial team to plan financial, costing, and budgetary strategies for their client. Preparing financial plans, strategies, and reports are all part of a cost accountant’s job responsibilities, as they typically prepare these reports for regulatory agencies, creditors, stockholders, and tax authorities. The main role of a cost accountant is to understand the tangible or intangible costs that are associated with creating or running a business.
Cost accounting software allows a cost accountant to analyze manufacturing, labor, and material costs of a company. A cost accountant will be able to analyze utility costs, operation costs, property costs, equipment costs, profit margins, and tax issues within the cost accounting software. The profession of a cost accountant can be incredibly intense and gratifying, as you may provide appropriate financial advice, identify costing issues in order to save your client money, and prepare an appropriate budget for a client.
Cost Accountant Work Environment
A cost accountant may work within an office setting alongside a financial planning team, often working long hours. The work of a cost accountant can be stressful and fast-paced, requiring a cost accountant to be mentally and emotionally stable. Many cost accountants may work overtime, especially during the end of a fiscal year, formulating financial strategies, or filing extensive paperwork.
Cost Accountant Salary
The median annual wage for cost accountants is $50,899, or a median wage of $18 an hour. The lowest 10% of cost accountants made no more than $37,516, while the earnings for the top 10% reached over $68,153. The median annual and median hourly wage for a cost accountant is dependent on experience within the industry and education within the field.
Cost Accountant Career Outlook
In 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 1,275,400 accountants employed within the United States. The projected employment for accountants in 2022 is expected to grow to 1,442,200 employees. The United States’ economy will affect the overall future growth or decline of accounting jobs; if the economy prospers, companies that wish to fulfill stricter accounting standards will need more accountants.
Cost Accountant Degree
In order to become a cost accountant, you will need to obtain a Bachelor or Master’s degree in Accounting. Furthermore, you may obtain a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Business Administration or Finance with an Accounting focus. Your academic, accounting coursework may focus on tax preparation, statistics, federal regulations, payroll, cost accounting, financial reporting, strategic planning, professional ethics, auditing standards, and financial risk management. In order to become a certified accountant, you must pass the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam.
Cost accountants may choose an additional certification as a Certified Management Accountant (CMA). As a cost accountant, you may be faced with extensive analysis of a client’s costs and large amounts of paperwork; therefore, it is imperative that can remain calm under pressure. Additionally, the job responsibilities of a cost accountant will require you to be incredibly organized, meticulous, and extremely analytical.