Cost accounting managers must have strong communication, interpersonal, analytical and technology skills. Businesses seek individuals with at least five years’ experience and a bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance. An accreditation such as certified public accountant (CPA) or certified management accountant (CMA), as well as a master’s degree in business administration (MBA), are highly valued.
Typical duties of a cost accounting manager
- Developing cost standards for materials and labor
- Designing and implementing cost accounting systems
- Analyzing production costs and recommending changes
- Overseeing annual physical inventory
- Hiring, training and supervising cost and inventory accounting staff
Senior cost accountant
Senior cost accountants should have strong technology skills, including proficiency with Microsoft Office applications and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. Companies seek candidates who have at least three years of experience, as well as a bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance. A master’s degree in business administration (MBA) or an accreditation such as certified public accountant (CPA) or certified management accountant (CMA) is highly valued.
Typical duties of a senior cost accountant
- Analyzing manufacturing operations, equipment availability and utilization
- Performing month-end cost accounting close
- Maintaining cost accounting system and cost ledger
- Performing life cycle cost-benefit analysis
- Analyzing inventory valuations
Cost accountant — staff
Cost accountants at this level need solid organizational, communication, problem-solving and research abilities. Companies also seek strong technology expertise, including proficiency with Microsoft Excel and experience with enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. A bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance is required.
Typical duties of a cost accountant — staff
- Monitoring unit cost variance
- Implementing cost standards for materials and labor
- Preparing cost of goods sold and production reports
- Reconciling beginning raw materials, work-in-progress and finished-goods stock
Cost accountant — entry level
Candidates for entry-level cost accountant positions should be proficient with Microsoft Office applications and have excellent communication, research, problem-solving and organizational skills. A bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance is required.
Typical duties of a cost accountant — entry level
- Preparing all inventory-related journal entries at month end
- Defining various product and operational costs
- Developing depreciation schedules
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