Wednesday, 12 April 2017

The uses of costing

It costs time and money to produce costing information and it is only worth doing if the information is put to good use.

The following are some of these uses.

  1. To control costs
  2. To promote responsibility
  3. To aid business decisions
  4. To aid decisions on pricing

1.  To control costs

Possession of detailed information about costs is of obvious value in the controlling of those costs.

2.  To promote responsibility

Management theorists agree that power and responsibility should go together, although often they do not do so

Timely and accurate costing information will help top management hold all levels of management responsible for the budgets that they control.

Care should be taken that managers are not held responsible for costs that are not within their control.  This does sometimes happen.

3.  To aid business decisions

Management must decide what to do about the unprofitable product.

4.  To aid decisions on pricing

We live in competitive times and the old 'cost plus' contracts are now virtually never encountered.

What the market will bear is usually the main factor in setting prices.

Nevertheless, detailed knowledge concerning costs is an important factor in determining prices.

Only in exceptional circumstances will managers agree to price goods at below cost.

They will seek to make an acceptable margin over cost.

Accurate costing is vital when tenders are submitted for major contracts and errors can have significant consequences.

Massive costing errors on the Millennium Dome at Greenwich were a spectacular example of what can go wrong.

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