Cost accountants use their expertise to compile and assess a company’s financial data. They advise management about operations and costs for the organization. They review information to evaluate the business’s financial performance as well. While other types of accountants solely look at financial records, cost accountants focus on the business side of a company and the cost of materials compared to profitability.
For the cost accountant job description, it’s important to mention the standard qualifications. Cost accountants have at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or another financial topic. Companies usually want someone with experience working with enterprise resource planning software as well.
Talented cost accountants have a high level of knowledge in mathematics and financial information. They are also highly organized and quite detail oriented. The cost accountant job description template below shows more details about the basic parameters of the job.
Cost Accountant Job Summary
Looking to make an impact with your financial know-how in the private sector? Our manufacturing company, which is a global player in the sports apparel and equipment business, is seeking a cost accountant to help us increase our level of success even more. We are searching for a candidate who is ready to lead our corporate accounting department by coordinating financial information across all the different business divisions within the company. You will work with each department to improve productivity and reduce costs by recording spending and profit data each month. If you are dedicated to producing results and improving our worldwide influence, consider joining our team.
- Review supply chain and materials pricing, labor costs, shipping discounts and quarterly sales records for each department of the corporation
- Evaluate inventory tracking systems through retail outlets and online sales distribution centers and reconcile numbers with manufacturing centers to ensure accurate reporting
- Audit the inventory in each regional warehouse every year by reviewing the contents and recording details about the numbers of each product in stock
- Use computer accounting software and enterprise resource management software to track budgeting, costs and other financial data
- Prepare monthly accounting reports that summarize the status of each department to inform upper management of things that are working and areas needing improvement
- Plan for the next fiscal year by creating a budget proposal and financial goals for the company’s next 12 months
- Meet with production and manufacturing managers throughout the company to discuss new strategies to improve efficiency
- Maintain company bookkeeping ledgers by imputing details about expenses, travel costs and other financials for accounting staff
Job Skills & Qualifications
- Bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, business administration or another related field
- Two or more years of experience in manufacturing
- Proficiency in ERP software
- Positive attitude when working with a team
- Supervisory experience in the accounting field
- Project management background
Cost Accountant Job Responsibilities
Make sure to follow the best practices when drafting the cost accountant job responsibilities section of your job posting. Expect it to be the lengthiest, most informative section. However, avoid making it so dense that it becomes difficult to read. The cost accountant job description provides just a snapshot of the position to attract prospective employees, so limit your list to roughly six or eight items. Draw a picture of the position with these descriptions through starting each one with a strong action verb.
Why does it matter whether your job responsibilities section is well-written? The quality of your candidates directly reflects the quality of your cost accountant job description. The better you represent the position, the more likely you are to receive qualified candidates ready and willing to perform the tasks. This reduces your effort during the hiring process. As an added bonus, it leads to an increase in employee retention, so you do not have to go through the hiring process again in just a few months.
To jump-start writing your job posting, incorporate one or more of the following:
- Determine monthly and annual expenditure estimates for normal business costs, including labor, inventory and material
- Review expense reports to determine actual costs and create a report for the weekly meetings
- Provide ideas on ways in which to cut costs without sacrificing quality
- Analyze any modifications to production, including increases to inventory or changes to the suppliers, for impact on costs
Cost Accountant Job Specifications
Before you start writing the qualifications section of your cost accountant job description, consult with others in the department. Find out what skills, training, education and experience the position requires. The minimum criteria for the position might surprise you.
When you have these discussions, make sure to notate which cost accountant job specifications are absolutely essential for new hires to have. You might have some additional criteria that would be nice but are not required. Take this information and create two lists on your job posting: a required and a preferred. This helps candidates assess their aptitude for the position through comparing their qualifications with the list to determine whether they should apply.
It might not seem as though this small section is worth this effort. However, it is an important section for filtering out unqualified candidates. Many will choose to not apply, reducing your workload. You will also have a quick list of items to look for to help screen candidates for the basic requirements for the position.
If you struggle for ideas on what to include in this section of your cost accountant job description, start with the following:
- Bachelor’s degree in business, finance or accounting
- 3-5 years of direct experience
- Proficient in Microsoft Office and QuickBooks
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills