Cost Accountant Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Cost Accountant, or Managerial Accountant, is responsible for reducing a company’s financial waste and increasing their profits. Their primary duties include determining the actual cost and the associated expenses of manufacturing a product, analysing its profitability and compiling the company budget.


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Cost Accountant duties and responsibilities

Cost Accountants assess fixed and variable costs to determine the company’s total cost of manufacturing a product. Other duties and responsibilities of Cost Accountants include:

  • Reviewing and maintaining the balance sheets and general ledger
  • Establishing the standard costs of services or products 
  • Updating the standard costs of products and services based on the associated expenses
  • Analysing organisational data and assessing rates of labour, depreciation and overhead to recommend policy amendments that will improve numbers
  • Recommending changes to policies and procedures to improve the company’s cash flow
  • Preparing monthly or quarterly reports for senior management based on inventory reserve analyses
  • Submitting accounting reports to management every month or quarter
  • Guiding accounting clerical staff by answering questions and coordinating activities 


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Cost Accountant Job Description Examples:


Example 1

*Key responsibilities* · Producing monthly management accounts within target timing · Supporting and assisting in the production of financial forecasts and budgets · Monitoring all aspects of the ‘Factory Master’ operations system from a financial management and accounting information perspective · Reporting & construction of KPIs/dashboard on Access Financials and in Excel · Support for Operations management in analysis of Standard Costing, Actual Costing, Variance Analysis and Stock Control · Analysing Stock for ageing, stock turnover and accuracy of stock counts · Supporting Sales management with analysis of pricing and profitability by customer, product, and other sectors · Producing Capex justifications, ROI analysis and assisting with funding applications · Analysing overhead costs · Working with auditors on annual accounts · Working with and covering for the Financial Accountant · General cost accountant duties *Essential Skills and Qualifications Required: * * Bachelor's degree or advanced degree in accounting, finance, or a related field * Professional in a UK Accounting, Finance recognized body * Proven work experience as a Cost Accountant or similar role * Advanced knowledge of MS Excel and accounting software * In depth understanding of business bookkeeping procedures * Solid knowledge of UK accounting regulations * Excellent math & computational skills * Good English & written report writing skills * Attention to detail * Time management abilities * Exceptional level of confidentiality *Location: * Diss & [Snetterton from 2022] *Salary: * £ 28,000 per annum *Working hours: * 40hrs per week *Company benefits: * Medical insurance Cover [via Aviva] Performance based bonus scheme Death in Service Cover with We Care app support via Canada Life. Contributory Pension Job Types: Full-time, Permanent Salary: £28,000.00 per year Additional pay: * Performance bonus Benefits: * Employee discount * On-site parking * Private medical insurance * Wellness programmes Schedule: * 8 hour shift * Monday to Friday COVID-19 considerations: face coverings, temperature checks, social distancing, screens at desks, testing policy, sanitising stations. Education: * Bachelor's (preferred) Experience: * Cost Accounting: 2 years (preferred) Work remotely: * No

Example 2

At YBS, we’re here to do what’s right. Not just for our members who use our savings and mortgage products. But for our communities, our society, and our world. And it all begins with our people. We’ve created the kind of workplace where you can make a difference. It’s somewhere you can put purpose ahead of profit. Where you can balance commerciality with conscience. Where you can focus on growing, developing, learning, and progressing. Where you can be your best. The purpose of the Finance division is to own the responsibility for driving an increase in value for our members. We do this through our day to day work; providing insight by delivering timely, accurate and relevant MI, helping drive the right outcomes and supporting the Group’s strategic priorities. Key to this is the quality of the relationships we build, having the passion and drive to make a difference, our diverse thought, our management of risk and control and our ability to individually and collectively drive lasting change for our members. As an employer who encourages flexible working please get in touch if you wish to discuss flexible reduced working hours. The cost and investment reporting team are currently working from home so you will start your journey with us being home based with some potential travel to our Leeds site with a view to move forward to office based working. About this role
  • Providing dedicated cost and investment reporting and processing, ensuring information is timely, accurate and accessible.
  • Sourcing, analysing and consolidating financial information and associated explanation on a monthly and quarterly basis.
  • Supporting the production of financial plans and forecasts at both departmental and overall group levels.
  • Reporting, analysis and explanation of performance against Plan and Forecasts – business level and overall Group.
  • Proactively drive improvement, improving forecasting and identifying opportunities to streamline and automate process/reporting through Hyperion/VBA etc.
  • Promoting clear and open communication to cost centre managers, Directors and Business Partners.
  • Supporting cost managers to enable them to own and lead their own cost base by providing training and education alongside management information, where appropriate. Reducing their reliance on finance and encouraging independence. What we’re looking for
  • Accounting qualification (CIMA/ACCA/ACA) or equivalent experience.
  • Highly numerate, intellectually strong and capable of digesting and interpreting technical information.
  • You will be a confident and articulate communicator with a proven ability to manage all internal and external relationships.
  • Rigorous, methodical and well organised with excellent attention to detail and ability to deliver to deadlines.
  • Identifies and delivers process improvement and positive change.
  • Able to identify and address key risks/implications.
  • Able to manage their own workload to ensure that activities are correctly prioritised and that all interested parties are aware of responsibilities, deadlines and progress.
  • Possess knowledge of management and financial accounting principles and be well-versed in approaches and techniques.
  • Previous experience of finance systems such as Oracle or Hyperion is desirable.
  • Strong analytical and reporting skills with good working knowledge of Microsoft Excel.
  • Ability to adapt your communication style to suit your audience, with the ability to explain complex information in a clear and concise manner. What’s in it for you In return, we’ll reward you with a competitive salary and an annual bonus scheme. Not to mention a wide range of flexible benefits that you can take advantage of in and out of work. Then there’s our commitment to you and your career. We’re an exciting business, which means we offer lots of exciting career paths too. And finally, you’ll be able to make the most of an incredibly diverse and inclusive culture. And it’s one we’re really proud of. In fact we’re passionate about making sure everyone is welcome - and we don’t think it will take long for you to feel like you belong here too. Ready to do what’s right? Apply today! Due to the current situation with COVID-19 our recruitment process will be either carried out digitally on a video platform or via telephone. ‘Any Questions – Contact Claire Morley on email at Please note email applications will not be accepted, please follow the link to apply for the position.
  • Example 3

    GCU are a specialised contractor that offers a full suite of services to several key sectors including: Utilities, Telecommunications, Civil Engineering and Traffic Management. With offices in Aberdeen, Inverness and Derry, GCU work collaboratively with clients to deliver projects from inception right through to completion, producing high-end results while maintaining excellent safety standards. GCU require a Cost Accountant to join the Commercial/Finance team. The Cost Accountant will effectively support and advise senior management on information relating to performance (cost, resources and outputs), monitor and report progress against plans, identify trends and advise on change to improve financial performance. Key Responsibilities: * Planning, Studying and collecting data to determine costs of business activity. * Collecting, analyzing and managing quantitative data and creating meaningful reports to drive business improvement and cost reduction * Analysing actual costs and preparing weekly reports recommending cost reductions. * Recording cost information for use in controlling expenditure * Assisting senior management in pricing future jobs, by providing them with reports specifying factors affecting price and profitability. * Analysis of stock controls, materials usage and fuel consumption and methods to improve same. * Weekly variance analysis of actuals costs versus forecasts * Reconciliations and analytical work and other ad hoc accountancy rolls including nominal ledger etc * Providing accurate reports to key management, directors and owners * Provide ad-hoc cost analysis and management presentations as required Skills and experience required: Part qualified or newly qualified accountant. A proven track record of working in a similar role is required, it would be advantageous to have experience working within the utilities or sectors however this is not essential. Must be able to deliver accurate cost information, reporting and guidance to management. Computer literate with proficient knowledge of Excel and Sage 50 Accounts. Ability to accurately prepare daily, weekly and monthly reports. The successful applicant will receive a competitive basic salary, company vehicle, fuel card, holiday allowance and enrolment into the company pension scheme. The role can be based in Aberdeen, Dundee or Inverness and will involve travel between the company’s three offices in these cities. Since 1998 GCU has been providing turnkey civil & solutions to many of the UK and Ireland’s leading infrastructure clients, we have a breadth of work live across Scotland and a strong pipeline of work in place for the foreseeable future. Job Types: Full-time, Permanent Benefits: * Company car * Company pension Schedule: * 8 hour shift Work remotely: * No

    What does a Cost Accountant do?

    Cost Accountants are responsible for cost management, budgeting, asset management and performance evaluation within an organisation. They usually work with the executive team to create a financial plan for the company. They collaborate with heads of companies or corporate executives to strategically plan for the company, or create financial reports for stockholders, creditors, tax authorities and regulatory agencies.

    Most Cost Accountants either work in government agencies or large companies. Some Cost Accountants work for a public accounting firm or establish private consulting ventures. Some Cost Accountants work independently and  hired by smaller companies. 


    Cost Accountant skills and qualifications

    A successful Cost Accountant candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications these typically include:

    • In-depth understanding of various accounting tools, including systems application and products (SAP), enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM)
    • In-depth understanding of the industry and product supply chain 
    • Analytical skills
    • Numeracy skills and computer skills
    • Attention to detail
    • Organisational and communication skills
    • Ability to quickly interpret facts and compare data
    • Ability to work under pressure and deliver on tight deadlines


    Cost Accountant experience requirements

    Cost Accountants must have at least five years of experience to be eligible for open positions. Experience in manipulating large databases is a plus. 


    Cost Accountant education and training requirements

    Cost accountant must have at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting, statistics, finance, business administration or a related field. Some companies prefer a master’s degree in business administration. Some companies might hire candidates who have only an associate degree or have taken accounting coursework at a business school. Other companies require U.K. status with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and Financial Reporting Standard for Smaller Entities (FRSSE). A Chartered Accountant (CA) or Chartered Management Accountant (CMA) may also be required.


    Cost Accountant salary expectations

    According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary of a Cost Accountant in the UK is £37,642 per year. This figure varies depending on factors, including experience, location and company.


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    Cost Accountant job description FAQs


    What are the different types of Cost Accountants?

    There are several types of Cost Accountants. These include Senior Cost Accountant, Plant Cost Accountant and Assistant Controllers. A Senior Cost Accountant focuses on compliance, accounting standards and tax reporting. A Plant Cost Accountant prepares financial statements, oversees cash flow, budget and ad hoc projects. An Assistant Controller provides analyses for upper management.


    Who does a Cost Accountant report to?

    Cost Accountants report directly to the Financial Controller. In some instances, they are required to report to management or stockholders. 


    What is the difference between a Cost Accountant and a Certified Public Accountant (CPA)?

    A Cost Accountant has a degree in accounting or a related field and handles cost analyses for a company. A CPA has 150 additional hours of higher education and passes an exam. They can audit financial statements, prepare tax returns and represent taxpayers at Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs audits. 


    How can you make your Cost Accountant job description stand out?

    To make your Cost Accountant job description stand out incorporate images. Images and graphics adds appeal to your job description and shows off the personality of your company,it establishes a level of understanding and trust between you and your potential recruit. In addition to this, include any company-specific perks such as working from home or office-provided food.

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