|Cost Accounting & Management Essentials You Always Wanted To Know by Vibrant Publishers|
|Category: Business and Finance|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: A relatively slim volume packed with information, solved examples and practice exercises which lifted my abilities with accounts to a whole new level.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 130||Date: June 2017|
|Publisher: Vibrant Publishers|
|External links: Author's website|
I'm capable of drawing up a profit and loss account (income statement in the USA) and a balance sheet and I do so for my own business and for another organisation. The accounts give me broadly what I need: I know whether we're making a profit or a loss and I can look at the expenses and see what looks as though it could be trimmed back in future years. My problem was that the accounts didn't really give me any help in making decisions, which was why I turned to Cost Accounting and Management, part of Vibrant Publishers' Self-Learning and Management series. Cost accounting provides the information required by authorities external to the company and to those within it who need to make decisions, so don't worry that you're going to have to draw up two sets of accounts!
Before I opened the book I was nervous that I would find myself out of my depth, but I was eased into the concepts with a look at cost accounting terms. The definitions are clear with plenty of simple examples and I soon realised that my accounts were lacking and rather simplistic. Costing systems lead to a clearer income statement which actually aids decision making. As you're introduced to concepts you're given examples to work and they are immediately followed by the solution. I found this really helpful - immediate feedback on whether I was right or wrong and the opportunity to go back and reread any section where I wasn't so certain about what I'd learned.
Learning is quick though: I surprised myself by happily talking about the degree of operating leverage - a concept which would have been completely alien to me before I started the book, but which is very useful when it comes to making decisions. I liked that this wasn't just a book devoted to the numbers when it came to making decisions: there are qualitative factors to be taken into account too. The figures might say that you should, for example, take on a one-off order, but the effect on staff morale should be borne in mind as well as the effect it might have on other customers - and that could come back and bite you in the future. The book shows you how to look at outsourcing, product mix and one-off orders in detail - these are not situations where a snap decision should be made.
Activity Based Costing mines deeper into the specifics of costing activities and allows all expenses to be tracked back to individual products, which is invaluable when you're considering which lines (or customers!) to concentrate on - or discontinue. Support department cost allocation is useful not just for allocating costs as the name suggests, but also for unearthing unused capacity.
Some parts of the book I'm unlikely to use but the fact that I could complete the exercises gave me more confidence in my abilities in the parts which I knew I would use. There's an excellent glossary which is invaluable, if only to check that you understand the American usage of certain terms.
I've one niggle with the book. I loved the examples which are immediately followed by the solution, but I felt at sea with the practice exercises where there is no solution given, to the extent that later on in the book I was disinclined to try these exercises. It's not a major niggle in an otherwise excellent book. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
Need something more basic? Try Learning Accountancy: The Novel Way by Zarir Suntook.
You can read more book reviews or buy Cost Accounting & Management Essentials You Always Wanted To Know by Vibrant Publishers at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Cost Accounting & Management Essentials You Always Wanted To Know by Vibrant Publishers at Amazon.com.
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