Cost Analyst Job Description, Duties, and Responsibilities
What Does a Cost Analyst Do?
Cost analysts aid businesses estimate the money and resources needed to complete manufacturing, construction or other projects.
Their job description entails analyzing costs incurred, as well as resources utilized for operations in an organization.
They also report cost analysis results to the management board for decision-making and control.
Cost analysts are responsible for breaking down cost summary into simpler parts, and also study and produce reports on each factor.
As part of their duties, these analysts compare standard costs against actual cost for a given period in order to identify and report conditions subject to improvement.
Their role also involves budgeting and accounting practices which allow managers determine the actual cost of providing given unit of services.
Analysts may perform cost allocation operations to provide basic information required for budgeting, accounting, and collection of service data for further cost analysis.
They study cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit which sometimes entail following up financial analysis to identify the financial workings of an organization.
They employ their knowledge from these long-term analyses to proffer solutions to problems related in their approach.
Cost analysts assume that a certain benefit or outcome is desired, and that there are several alternative ways to achieve it.
In these alternative ways of achieving a particular goal of a great outcome, they make use of an approach that is cheap but very effective.
The cost analyst work description also entails periodic reporting of financial statements to their organization’s financial manager and ensures that accounting procedures are adequate and functional.
They research and identify means of improving the effectiveness of production or any operation with the main aim of making profit for the organization.
Analysts responsible for costing in a company provide the management board with reports associated with factors affecting costs or profit of goods and services.
They monitor and analyze changes in production design, raw materials, methods of production, or services provided to know their effect on cost.
To get into the cost analyst career requires at least a Bachelor’s degree in accounting or in a related field of study.
About two years of accounting experience in a cost accounts department is also required.
Some of the qualities you need to succeed in this career include ability to perform duties with minimal supervision, problem solving skill, and keen eye for details.
Cost Analyst Job Description Example/Template
Cost analysts perform various cost-related functions in an organization. Below is a job description example that highlights major cost analyst tasks, duties, and responsibilities in most firms:
- Make estimation of new and proposed costs of production
- Collect and analyze information to determine costs of business activities such as the purchase of raw materials and costs of production process
- Make analysis of collected information as well as keep records of their findings and results
- Analyze changes on the methods of production, goods and services provided, and even raw materials to know how they affect cost
- Analyze and prepare reports periodically for the difference between actual production costs and standard costs
- Maintain the documentation of data and any statistical arrangement in cost analysis
- Secure accounting related documentation such as financial statements, journal entries, checks, and invoices
- Identify possible opportunities for improving the efficiency of production with the main aim of making profit
- Assist in the preparation of the annual budget to make sure that standard costs for all productions are calculated in line with budget consideration
- Assess the company’s scale of preference to analyze the opportunity costs of given operations
- Advise the management in terms of financial issues
- Provide the management board with reports containing the factors that affect cost or profit of goods and services
- Maintain accurate job aids for all duties assigned.
Requirements – Skills, Abilities, and Knowledge – for Cost Analyst Job
If you are seeking the cost analyst job, the following are common requirements you may be expected to fulfill to be invited to an interview with most companies:
- Education and Training: To become a cost analyst, you require a Bachelor’s degree in accounting or any other relevant field
- IT Skill: You should be able to make use of software packages like Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, as well as apply database information
- Communication Skill: Cost analysts have excellent communication skill and are able to clearly relay information in both written and verbal forms
- System Evaluation: They can navigate successfully through a company’s financial systems like the general ledger, sales, and inventory to know the limitation of the information they contain.
If you are an employer needing to hire for the cost analyst role in your organization, the sample job description for the position provided in this post can serve as a template you can follow to create yours.
You are sure to be able to produce a detailed description of the cost analyst position in your company that increases your chances of attracting the best qualified applicants to your advert.
And if you are interested in getting into the cost analyst career, this post will equally help you to know the duties and responsibilities you may be assigned when hired for the position.
Did you find this post useful in learning about what cost analysts do? Please, leave your comment in the box below. You may also share your job description if you work as an analyst in charge of costing in your organization.