Basics of Cost Accounting: Product Costing

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  • Introduction to cost accounting
    • Welcome to Cost Accounting! In this module, we will introduce you to the basic concepts of cost accounting. You will learn what cost accounting is and how cost accounting relates to corporate accounting. Thereafter, you will get familiar with some basic cost terms that are essential for cost accountants. Finally, we will introduce you to a framework that distinguishes three sub-systems of cost accounting. This framework will guide us through the following modules.
  • Cost-type accounting
    • In this module, we will introduce you to cost-type accounting - the first of the three cost accounting sub-systems. Cost-type accounting helps companies to make their cost structure transparent. It gives companies an overview of which costs have been incurred. We will take a closer look at three important cost items namely material costs, personnel costs, and machine costs. You will learn how companies record and calculate them.
  • Cost-center accounting
    • In this module, we will dive into cost-center accounting. Cost-center accounting creates transparency about where, i.e. in which cost center, the overhead costs of a company have been incurred. It connects cost-type accounting with product costing by performing three allocation steps: First, overhead costs from cost-type accounting are assigned to cost centers. However, ultimately cost accountants want to assign the costs to cost objects. Because this is easier for costs of production-related cost centers ("direct cost centers") than for costs of "indirect cost centers" such as the IT or the canteen, companies allocate overhead costs from indirect to direct cost centers first. Finally, they determine overhead rates for the allocation of overhead costs from direct cost centers to cost objects. In this module, we will introduce you to each of these steps.
  • Product and service costing
    • In this module, we introduce you to product and service costing. Product and service costing provides companies with information about the costs of individual products or services. It is the final of the three cost accounting sub-systems. We will sometimes just refer to product and service costing as "product costing", but of course some companies offer physical products while others offer services. We explain how companies design product costing systems and we make you familiar with important methods of product costing. We also discuss how well the costing methods are suited for different production processes and program types. To this end, we will distinguish "job shop production" and "mass and batch production".