What is Cost Control?
Cost Control can be defined as a tool that is used by the management of an organization in regulating and controlling the functioning of a manufacturing concern by limiting the costs within a planned level and it involves a series of activities that begins with the preparation of a budget, evaluation of the actual performance and ends with implementing the necessary actions that are required in rectifying discrepancies if any.
This is a mechanism that helps the management in regulating the costs of a manufacturing unit. This involves the determination of necessary standards, ascertainment of actual results for comparing the same with the expected data, analyzing variances and establishing a necessary action that must be taken.
The management uses of these technologies for the purpose of producing a product at the lowest possible cost by identifying and eliminating any sort of unnecessary costs and yield more profits. In other words, the purpose of this is to prevent cost waste from taking place and execute business operations within the pre-determined cost standards.
- The mechanism of cost control can not be exercised if the costs reported are not prepared and presented on time.
- Adequate and proper delegation of authority is important for effective control.
- Deciding responsibility centers is highly important in the case of an effective control system.
- The relevance of costs that are controllable in nature is also an important characteristic of an effective cost control system.
- Active participation of each and everyone in the organization is the first strategy of these systems. The management must ensure that each and every member of an organization is actively involved in the implementation of a cost control system.
- The next strategy states that the management must take a fresh look at how they can save more on the energy costs.
- In the third strategy, the company must ensure that it is successful in reducing its office footprints, i.e., if it’s fully utilizing all its commercial space.
- The fourth strategy states that the company must work with professionals and consultants on a project to project basis.
- The fifth and last strategy states that the company must train and challenge its accounting as well as finance employees to speed up on the cost control system.
Examples of Cost Control
ABC Limited has a particular project in line. The company is unsure of taking up the project in question. Enlist these steps of the company must take up for confirming the project.
ABC Limited must take the following steps:
- The company must use appropriate techniques like reference class forecasting for validating cost estimates of the project.
- The company must validate planning pertaining to the business, project, and operations and then design a budget for the same.
- The company must take appropriate financial controls and monitor costs from time to time.
- The company must report the performance of the project and ensure that there is full governance of the same.
Tools of Cost Control
- Cost Estimate: This tool is used in the initiation phase. In this phase, the users are responsible for evaluating the financial viability of a particular project.
- Budget: This tool is used in the planning phase. In this phase, the users plan out the work by considering the overall cost estimates and converting the same into a budget.
- Cost Monitoring: This is used in the execution phase. In this phase, the users monitor their costs in order to check if there is not any sort of overspending or unnecessary spending so that they can keep the expenditures in line with the budgets.
- Financial Evaluation: This is used in the closing phase. In this phase, users evaluate if a particular project has met the pre-determined financial targets or not.
Importance of Cost control
This system is highly helpful for companies in getting rid of the unnecessary costs involved in a particular project. With this, companies can effectively eliminate wastage of costs. It helps the users in evaluating the financial viability of a particular project. It helps the users in deriving the cost estimate and accordingly design a budget for a particular project. Users can use a cost-control mechanism for regulating and monitoring the costs incurred in a project from time to time.
Difference Between Cost Control and Cost Reduction
- It can be defined as a process that is used for the purpose of controlling the costs whereas cost reduction is a process that is used for the purpose of reducing or minimizing the overall cost of production.
- Cost reduction is a permanent process whereas cost control is temporary in nature.
- It enhances the creditworthiness of a company.
- It helps in enhancing the return on capital employed for an organization.
- It helps the management in increasing productivity with the resources that are available.
- This mechanism helps an organization in enhancing the volume of profits with minimum sales and output.
- This system helps the employees in sourcing jobs continuously.
- This system helps the employees in earning reasonable remuneration and incentives.
- It can sometimes lead to mismanagement which can further lead to some serious and adverse problems for an organization.
- The probabilities of human errors in the cost control system can lead to serious inaccuracies and the management might end up making certain decisions that can ultimately impact the profitability of an organization.
This mechanism is very effective for organizations as it helps them in regulating and controlling the costs that are involved in a particular project. It can also be taken into use by users for determining if the project in question is financially viable or not. This mechanism also helps in enhancing the creditworthiness of an organization and also contributes to the prosperity, wellness and economic stability of the overall industry.
This has been a guide to What is Cost Control & its Definition. Here we discuss the purpose of cost control, characteristics, and types along with examples and importance. And also discuss its tools, strategies, advantages, and disadvantages. You can learn more about from the following articles –