Job Description: COST ACCOUNTING JOBS
Cost Accountants are in great demand in Canada as companies strive to monitor product, project, and operating costs, as they search for cost savings in fixed and variable operating costs, materials, and labour.
Cost Accountants are based in a physical or virtual office where they work on a computer to enter, analyze, and reconcile costs for specific projects or general operations. They are on the lookout for cost variances in materials, processes, and labour that can impact the bottom line.
On an ongoing basis, Cost Accountants enter data about costs in a computer system and reconcile costs with the general ledger. On a periodic basis, they report to their superiors about estimated vs. actual costs and monthly revenue and cost accruals. At more senior levels, they may also make financial recommendations to management as they evaluate the costing methods in use, as well as product costs, forecasts, and budgets.
Cost Accountants can aspire to positions in auditing or accounting management, while more senior personnel might set their sights on other corporate positions.
Cost Accountants must be able to work independently, yet be able to coordinate their tasks with other departments and communicate their findings to management. They should have a deep understanding of accounting principles and a knowledge of forecasting and budgeting. In addition, they must be accurate and attentive to detail, excellent problem solvers, and computer savvy with accounting software and basic Microsoft Office programs.
Required Skills and Training
A university degree in accounting, business administration, economics, or commerce is required for most jobs, along with completion of a professional training program, approved by a provincial institute of chartered accountants. There are some opportunities for people with experience in job costing who lack the academic credentials.
Most jobs require 24-30 months of on-the-job training along with membership in a provincial institute of chartered accountants. Candidates are expected to be working on acquiring professional credentials. More experience is needed in senior positions.
Skills and Certifications:
Certification by the General Accountants Association or Society of Management Accountants is required. Bilingualism is an asset, while the ability to speak even more languages will equip an up-an-coming cost accountant to function in multi-national companies operating in Canada.
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