What is a Cost Accountant?

Are you interested in becoming a cost accountant? If you would like to work in the discipline of accounting and you are trying to find the perfect specialty area before you begin studying, you should research the roles and responsibilities of various titles. As a cost accountant, you will be working in an area of management accounting where your primary role is to analyze the cost of producing or selling a product with a specific company. The purpose of this type of accounting analysis is to determine whether or not a corporation is a profitable so that the company can set the best possible prices. Read on, and learn more about where a cost accountant typically works and how you can pursue this career.

Where Do Cost Accountants Work?

Cost accountants work in a variety of settings, from corporations to consulting firms. Because there is a need for management accounting professionals in every corporation that is in the retail or manufacturing sector, prospects can choose the sector and industry to that interests them and also offers good pay and job stability. No matter what type of corporation or consulting firm you work in, you will be working within the accounting department in an office setting if you hold the cost accountant title.

What Are the Titles in Cost Accounting and What Will Your Duties Be?

There are several different titles within the specialty area of cost accounting and each of these titles have different roles and responsibilities within the accounting department. A cost accounting team will consists of staff cost accountants, junior accountants, and accounting clerks, who are all entry level professionals who will work under the supervision of a senior accountant and analyze financial information. They also may prepare reports that can be used by mid-level and upper-level cost accounting professionals.

Once you gain experience in an entry-level position, you can then advance into a mid-career level position which includes cost accounting managers or senior cost accountant. As a manager or senior, you will collect and analyze data about operational costs, oversee junior accountants and provide management with advance on adjusting production costs. To become a leader or manager in cost accounting, you will need to possess a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree, but many corporations prefer cost accountant seniors possess an MBA in Accounting or Finance.

Once you gain experience here, you may also have an opportunity to advance into a upper level position where you will hold the title of controller, chief financial officer and vice president of finance. Once you hold this title, you will create high-level reports for the stockholders of the corporation to review. You will also implement improvements and financial strategies that have been recommended or discussed by executives so that you can increase a corporation’s efficiency. Typically, you will need to become a CPA to compete for a corporate finance position.

Related Resource: The Complete Online Guide to Becoming an Accountant

The demand for experienced and educated cost accountants is on the rise. With more and more corporations looking for strategies to reduce operational costs and to choose the right pricing strategies, more money is being spent to employ talented cost accountants at entry, mid and upper-level titles. Consider going to school to study to become a Cost & Management Accountant (CMA), and you can find cost accountant positions in government, education, retail, and manufacturing.