Not quite. You can’t let your business run on autopilot and expect good results. Any business owner knows you need to make numerous adjustments along the way – decisions about pricing, hiring, investments, and so on.
So, how do you handle all of the questions facing you as a small business owner?
One way is through cost accounting. Cost accounting reports and determines the various costs associated with running your business. With cost accounting, you track the cost of all your business functions – raw materials, labor, inventory, and overhead, among others.
Cost accounting differs from financial accounting because it’s only used internally, for decision making. Because financial accounting is employed to produce financial statements for external stakeholders, such as stockholders and the media, it must comply with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). Cost accounting does not.
Cost accounting allows you to understand the following:
1. Cost behavior. For example, will the costs increase or stay the same if production of your product goes up?
2. Appropriate prices for your goods or services. Once you understand cost behavior, you can tweak your pricing based on the current market.
3. Budgeting. You can’t create an effective budget if you don’t know the real costs of the line items.
To monitor your company’s costs with this method, you need to pay attention to the two types of costs in any business: fixed and variable.
Fixed costs don’t fluctuate with changes in production or sales. They include:
• dues and subscriptions
• equipment leases
• payments on loans
• management salaries
Variable costs DO change with variations in production and sales. Variable costs include:
• raw materials
• hourly wages and commissions
• office supplies
• packaging, mailing, and shipping costs
Cost accounting is easier for smaller, less complicated businesses. The more complex your business model, the harder it becomes to assign proper values to all the facets of your company’s functioning.
If you’d like to understand the ins and outs of your business better and create sound guidance for internal decision making, consider setting up a cost accounting system. We can help you set up cost accounting and inventory systems, prepare budgets, assist with cash flow management or any other matter related to ensuring the financial success of your business.
If you have any questions about starting or managing your small business or else understanding how your fixed and variable costs affect your business performance, please contact our office today. As a CPA, Accredited Small Business Consultant, and Advanced Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, Linda specializes in working with small business owners and provides tax, accounting, financial analysis, management, planning, and small business consulting services. She can help you to start, manage, and grow a successful small business. Call her today at (727) 391-7373 or else visit her on the web at http://www.LStortzCPA.com and also http://www.LindaStortzCPA.com.