Accounting Category: Cost accounting and analysis

Accounting Articles

Cost savings are important for all organizations regardless of their industry, business model, or strategy. While cost savings are especially important for companies that rely on the cost leadership strategy and those in the mature life cycle stage, organizations that pursue differentiation strategy can still benefit from cost saving opportunities. In this article, we will discuss how cost hierarchy can be used to identify opportunities to save costs.

In this short tutorial, we will compare nominal and effective prices. Then, we will use the concept of effective price to compare suppliers.

Transfer pricing is an important topic for top management, accounting and finance departments, and financial auditors, especially among multinational corporations. Transfer pricing is important for at least two reasons: performance evaluation of business units or segments; and tax strategy. There are several methods that can be used to calculate an optimal transfer price. In this tutorial, we review these methods and provide examples.

Intercompany transfer pricing is a large area of attention for top management, chief financial officers, finance directors, auditors, and others within organizations with multiple business units or subsidiaries. In this accounting tutorial, we take a look at what transfer pricing is, why intercompany transfer pricing is important, different transfer pricing methods, and the tax implications of transfer pricing.

Organizations need to estimate costs to make pricing decisions, manage expenditures and investments, forecast litigation outcomes, bid for government contracts, and so on. The common methods used to estimate costs include: account analysis, statistical analysis, and engineering analysis. In this article, we will review an example of account analysis.

Cost estimation is a process of estimating (predicting) the cost of a cost object. A cost object is anything we are interested in estimating or calculating a cost for. Examples of cost objects include products, services, projects, activities, business units, product lines, customers, suppliers, and so on. Before we discuss common cost estimation methodologies and tools, we need to understand the reasons for cost estimation.

“Can we decrease the selling price of a product and stay profitable?” “Should we purchase a component part from a supplier in Mexico, Canada, China, or the EU, or should we manufacture it locally?" “How much would it cost us to manufacturer a product?” “What is the estimated profit of our North American division next year?” “How much in advertising expenditures can we budget for the next quarter?” “How much should we bid for a federal construction project?" “What is the anticipated cost of a litigation case?" … The list of questions managers face in their daily decisions is infinite. Managers are paid to manage people and make decisions. Many decisions are forward-looking and require an estimate of future benefits and costs. This is called a cost-benefit analysis. Often the cost-benefit analysis involves the comparison of a few alternative courses of actions, but sometimes it can be used to evaluate just one scenario.

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