Cost accounting includes the preparation of a wide array of reports that management needs to conduct a business efficiently. Such reports may cover items such as: sales by means of products, orders, and deliveries. Market research reports may also be prepared on a quarterly, half yearly or annual basis. The reports prepared on such a basis are highly specific on their content and format, as dictated by either generally accepted accounting practices or international financial Reporting standards.

Accounting Principles 

Generally accepted accounting principles are followed in cost accounting. For instance, revenue recognition is based on the principle of minimizing the cost of doing business, or COP. Under this principle, an entity recognition is made for the money (or its value) derived from the transaction. This involves first determining what the transaction is and then, while considering all relevant circumstances, computing a monetary value for the transaction. Under this principle, international financial reporting standards for tax purposes generally are ignored, since the transactions are considered to be of local concern only.

Services of Cost Accounting Firms

In order to make best use of the services of cost accounting firms, small businesses should engage the services of professional managers. These professionals are typically involved in the day-to-day management of small businesses, or in operating the accounting system itself. Some professional managers work entirely from home or via a remote Internet connection. They are fully qualified and capable of assisting small businesses in managing their finances effectively. These managers can also help companies reduce their total cost of ownership by streamlining processes and improving productivity through technological improvements, such as electronic or manual filing of accounting transactions.

Variable Costs 

In cost accounting, most transactions are valued at the end of each month. Variable costs are those costs that vary on a month-to-month basis, such as inventory, transportation, and certain supplies. One of the primary ways to classify a specific transaction as a variable cost is to include only those aspects of the transaction that are affected by outside influences, such as price, timing, and location. This definition excludes, however, many aspects of the transaction that are common to all aspects of the business, such as knowledge, property, and assets. A common example of a typical variable cost is the amount paid for professional services.

Help with Financial Management

Cost accounting firms help with financial management by providing an accurate analysis of the cash flow of the company. Specifically, these firms assess and account for the cash contributed to the company each day, as well as the cash that are required for daily operations. Additionally, they also assess the cash spent by the company each day, focusing on whether it is making money or losing money. Finally, they apply a set of principles to determine the level of performance of the company. Typically, these firms will discuss performance based on the return on investment (ROI) rather than the traditional accounting measures.


There are a number of major benefits to using cost accountants for managerial accounting needs. First, the techniques they use are accurate, efficient, and timely. Second, they offer a competitive advantage over other bookkeeping firms because they use specific managerial accounting techniques to provide superior results. Finally, they are capable of providing support for strategic decisions and they help develop long-term company planning. All of these benefits result in significant cost savings for the company overall, allowing managers to run the company more efficiently and effectively.