Studying Cost Accounting is one of the best business investments a student can make. Why? Because success in any organization—from the smallest corner store to the largest multinational corporation—requires the use of cost accounting concepts and practices. Cost accounting provides key data to managers for planning and controlling, as well as costing products, services, even customers. This book focuses on how cost accounting helps managers make better decisions, as cost accountants are increasingly becoming integral members of their company’s decision-making teams. In order to emphasize this prominence in decision making, we use the “different costs for different purposes” theme throughout this book. By focusing on basic concepts, analyses, uses, and procedures instead of procedures alone, we recognize cost accounting as a managerial tool for business strategy and implementation.
We also prepare students for the rewards and challenges they face in the professional cost accounting world of today and tomorrow. For example, we emphasize both the development of analytical skills such as Excel to leverage available information technology and the values and behaviors that make cost accountants effective in the workplace.
New to This Edition
Deeper Consideration of Global Issues
Businesses today have no choice but to integrate into an increasingly global ecosystem. Virtually all aspects, including supply chains, product markets, and the market for managerial talent, have become more international in their outlook. To illustrate this, we incorporate global considerations into many of the chapters. For example, Chapter 6 talks about the special challenges of budgeting in multinational companies while Chapter 23 discusses the challenges of evaluating the performance of divisions located in different countries. The opener for Chapter 17 highlights the differences in the way process flows are accounted for under U.S. and international accounting rules and the impact of these differences on companies’ margins and after-tax income. Chapter 22 examines the importance of transfer pricing in minimizing the tax burden faced by multinational companies. Several new examples of management accounting applications in companies are drawn from international settings.
Increased Focus on Merchandising and Service Sectors
In keeping with the shifts in the U.S. and world economy, this edition makes greater use of merchandising and service sector examples, with corresponding de-emphasis of traditional manufacturing settings. For example, Chapter 10 illustrates linear cost functions in the context of payments for cloud computing services. Chapter 20 highlights inventory management in retail organizations and has a revised example based on a seller of sunglasses. Chapter 21 now incorporates a new running example that looks at capital budgeting in the context of a transportation company. Several Concepts in Action boxes focus on the merchandising and service sectors, including the use of activity-based costing to reduce the costs of health care delivery (Chapter 5), the structure of SGA costs at Nordstrom (Chapter 2), and an analysis of the operating income performance of Best Buy (Chapter 12).
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