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Cost Accountant

Summary

The duties of a cost accountant include budgeting, cost management, performance evaluation and asset management within a company or organization. They may work with corporate executives to make a strategic financial plan for the company, or they may prepare financial reports for tax authorities, creditors, stockholders and regulatory agencies. Cost accountants may advance to higher-level positions within the management accounting world, such as Finance Director, Financial Controller, Chief Financial Officer, Cost Controller and Chief Internal Auditor among many other important positions.

Career Opportunities as a Cost Accountant

  • Government sector
    The Central Government constitutes an All India Cadre known as Indian Cost Accounts Service (ICAS) at par with other Class-I services such as IAS, IFS etc. to advise the Government in cost pricing and in framing the appropriate fiscal and tax policies. Cost Management Accountants are eligible for Indian Cost Accounts Service/Job.
  • Education sector
    Many Cost Management Accountant (CMAs) choose to get employed in universities and colleges to teach cost and management accountancy. University Grants Commission (UGC) has notified that CMA with first Class Graduation can be appointed as Assistant Professor in universities and colleges in the area of Management/ Business Administration. Various Universities have also recognized CMA qualification as fulfilling the eligibility requirement for admission in PhD in Commerce. It enables CMAs to pursue PhD without any masters degree.
  • Business Organizations
    The Cost Accountants are most sought after in the business world as their skills are considered to be vital in investment planning, profit planning, project management and overall managerial decision making process. They are also empanelled by many Public and Private Companies and Cooperative Societies as Internal Auditor for auditing financial books of accounts.
  • Banks
    Banks have also empanelled CMAs for a variety of work such as Cost Management, Enterprise resource planning, Financial Management, Project Consultancy, Materials Management, Tax Planning, Revival of Sick Units, Incentive Plans, Energy Audit etc.

How to Become a Cost Accountant

Stream Graduation After Graduation After Post Graduation
path 1
Clear Class XII in Commerce Stream (Recommended)
  • Pursue Foundation course for 8 months.
  • Pursue Intermediate course for 10 months.
  • Pursue Final course for 18 months.
--
path 2
Clear Class XII in Commerce Stream (Recommended)
  • Pursue graduation in any field except fine arts for 3 years.
  • Pursue Intermediate course for 10 months.
  • Pursue Final course for 18 months.
--
path 3
Clear Class XII in Commerce Stream (Recommended)
  • Pursue graduation in any field except fine arts for 3 years.
  • Pursue the program of Certified Management Accountant (U.S)
--

Important Facts

  • The Institute of Cost Accountants of India holds exams for cost management accountant degree in India.
  • Registration for the ICAI course is open throughout the year However, students who desire to appear for June Term Examination should apply before 31st January of that year and for December Term Examination should apply before 31st July of that year.
  • To be certified as a CMA (U.S) candidates must fulfill both an education requirement and an experience requirement in addition to passing the exam.
  • To be certified as a CMA (U.S) candidates must fulfill both an education requirement and an experience requirement in addition to passing the exam.
  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university
  •  Foundational knowledge of economics, basic statistics, and financial accounting
  • Two continuous years of professional experience
  • CMA (Certified Management Accountant) awarded by IMA (Institute of Management Accountants, USA) is a global professional qualification.

Leading Institutes

Top Cost Accounting Institutes in India
College Location Website
Institute of Cost Accountants of India, New Delhi New Delhi www.icmai.in/icmai/index.php
Top Cost Accounting Institutes the World
Institution Location Website
Institute of Management Accountants, USA USA www.imanet.org/?ssopc=1

Work Description

  • Perform cost accumulation tasks as a member of the target costing group
  • Be Responsible for budgeting, cost management, performance evaluation and asset management within a company or organization
  • Collaborate as part of an executive team to create a financial plan for the organization
  • Work with corporate executives or heads of companies to strategically plan for a company
  • Prepare financial reports for tax authorities, creditors, stockholders and regulatory agencies
  • Plan, study, and collect data to determine costs of business activities such as raw material purchases, inventory and labour
  • Analyze actual manufacturing costs and prepare periodic reports comparing standard costs with actual production costs
  • Provide management with reports specifying and comparing factors affecting prices and profitability of products or services
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