Taking on a finance career as a Cost Accountant
Do you have an interest in accounting jobs on Job Mail? Why not explore cost accountant jobs a little bit more in detail? If you have outstanding analytical and mathematical capabilities, this may be the career for you.
From reviewing data to compiling reports, there is a wide range of duties associated with this position. The benefits of careers in the field of cost accounting include good financial remuneration as well as pleasant working conditions.
What is a Cost Accountant?
A cost accountant is responsible for calculating the costs of products or services. To achieve this goal they analyse all the expenses that are involved in producing the product or offering the service. Cost accounting plays a vital role in determining whether a business is profitable or not. It is also an integral part of budgeting.
The information provided by these professionals is used to assist managers in making business decisions. The data also provides information on which sectors of the business are most successful.
Cost Accountant Job Description
The main responsibility of a cost accountant is to collect and analyse data. They compile financial data to improve business operations which ultimately translates into increased profits. The information that these professionals collect is used to ensure financial transparency.
Accountants in this field are involved in month-end reporting which is shared with senior level staff members. Professionals in this role are responsible for determining the standard costs of the processes that are involved in manufacturing products. This includes transportation, labour and administration expenses.
Cost accounting professionals work closely with accountants to analyse data taken from ERP and CRM systems. To ensure the precision of data, employees in this role are tasked with comparing cost reports with software systems. Another task associated with this position is assisting with stock inspections. Other duties may extend to include assisting with payables and invoices.
Education and qualifications needed for cost accounting jobs
To become a cost accountant you will need a Bachelor’s degree in subjects related to finance or accounting. One option is to complete a BCom in Accounting. There are Universities of Technology in South Africa which offer a BTech in Cost and Management Accounting.
If you are just starting out, working as a Cost and Accounting Assistant is a great entry-level position. Working as an assistant offers you the opportunity to develop your skills and work your way up to a more senior level position. Choosing accounting jobs in this field, professionals can choose to specialise in one of four areas.
A specialisation in standard cost accounting is well-suited to working with small businesses. Using this method each direct expense is assigned an average cost. Other options include specialising in activity based costing or throughput accounting.
Activity based costing takes into consideration both the fixed and fluctuating expenses while throughput accounting focuses on optimising production efficiency. A forth option is cost volume profit which takes into account the quantity of the products that are being manufactured.
Work Environment and Salary
A cost accountant typically works in a pleasant office environment. Travelling to visit manufacturers is usually required. Professionals in this position also need to visit suppliers. Professionals in this field work with employees from a wide range of departments within their own company. They usually work regular office hours however they may be required to work overtime to meet deadlines during busy periods.
According to Payscale a cost accountant earns an average salary if R321 863 per annum. SAP Financial Accounting capabilities can contribute to an increased salary.
Cost accountant skills
Do you have what it takes to succeed in cost accountant jobs? Now that we know what tasks employees in this role are expected to carry out, it is important to understand what skills you will need to complete these duties.
Once you understand what it takes to succeed, you can assess which capabilities you need to develop further. Take a look at the following list to get an overview of the skills and characteristics that are required for this profession:
- Mathematical capabilities
- Statistic capabilities
- Analytical skills
- Good communication and interpersonal skills
- Being reliable and organised
- Superior problem-solving skills
Whether you want to make a career change or you are a recent graduate, cost accountant jobs provide attractive employment opportunities. Cost accounting plays a vital role in the profitability of businesses in a wide range of industries. As a professional in this position you can have the satisfaction of knowing that you are contributing to the financial success of the company that you are employed by.