In this lesson, you will learn about the reason for using a cost center as an assignment object to collect overhead costs and get to know the role of a cost center hierarchy.
Your company consists of different departments like Accounting, Manufacturing, Marketing, and so on. All of these departments are accountable for the costs that are incurred in their area of responsibility. The manager of the marketing department, for example, must make sure that all the expenses which are caused by his department – like consuming office supplies, electricity, or IT support – are tracked accordingly.
From a management accounting perspective, the departments are represented by cost centers. Each cost center is assigned to the person responsible – the manager. This person is accountable for all costs incurred in their area of responsibility.
Costs can also be planned so that you can compare the actual expenses with the planned values for each cost center. This enables you to analyze where your cost center has caused less (or more) costs than expected.
By charging the cost center with costs and monitoring them closely, you can clarify the following questions:
Tracking costs using Cost Center Accounting helps to identify cost drivers in the company and to understand why costs are developing in a certain way.