Cost Accounting

Chapter 1
Basic Cost Concepts

Learning Objectives

•    To understand the meaning of different costing terms to understand different costing methods
•    To have a basic idea of different costing techniques
•    To understand the meaning of cost sheet

In order to determine and take a dispassionate view about what lies beneath the surface of accounting figures, a financial analyst has to make use of different management accounting techniques. Cost techniques have a precedence over the other techniques since accounting treatment of cost is often both complex and financially significant. For example, if a firm proposes to increase its output by 10%, is it reasonable to expect total cost to increase by less than 10%, exactly 10% or more than 10%? Such questions are concerned with the cost behavior, i.e. the way costs change with the levels of activity. The answers to these questions are very much pertinent for a management accountant or a financial analyst since they are basic for a firm’s projections and profits which ultimately become the basis of all financial decisions. It is, therefore, necessary for a financial analyst to have a reasonably good working knowledge about the basic cost concepts and patterns of cost behavior. All these come within the ambit of cost accounting.

Meaning of Cost Accounting

Previously, cost accounting was merely considered to be a technique for the ascertainment of costs of products or services on the basis of historical data. In course of time, due to competitive nature of the market, it was realized that ascertaining of cost is not so important as controlling costs. Hence, cost accounting started to be considered more as a technique for cost c ...
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