Accounting Article- Helpful Guideline About Cost Accounting

Published: 04th April 2009
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Many of the small business managers I know view accounting this way. It's overhead and really doesn't contribute to the bottom line. Or does it? The people who run the accounting system speak in an unintelligible blur of debits and credits. They have been little grasped of the operation that generates the money to pay their salaries.

The Association of Government Accountants grants the Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM) designation for accountants, auditors, and other government financial workers at the Federal, State, and local levels. Candidates must have a minimum of a bachelor's degree, 24 hours of study in financial management, 2 years of experience in government, and passing scores on a series of three exams. The exams cover topics in governmental environment; governmental accounting, financial reporting, and budgeting; and financial management and control.

There may also be intangible assets owned by your company. Patents, the exclusive right to use a trademark, and goodwill from the acquisition of another company are such intangible assets. Their value can be somewhat hazy. Generally, the value of intangible assets is whatever both parties agree to when the assets are created. In the case of a patent, the value is often linked to its development costs. Goodwill is often the difference between the purchase price of a company and the value of the assets acquired (net of accumulated depreciation).

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To find the annual depreciation cost for your assets, you need to know the initial cost of the assets. You also need to determine how many years you think the assets will retain some value for your business. In the case of the truck, it may only have a useful life of ten years before it wears out and loses all values.

Last in/first out, this method, commonly referred to as LIFO, is based on the assumption that the most recent units purchased will be the first units sold. A "widget" is an imaginary item that could be just about any product. The advantage of last in, first out accounting, or LIFO, is that typically the last widgets purchased were purchased at the highest price and that by considering the highest priced items to be sold first, a business can reduce its short-term profit, and hence, taxes.

Accountants also act as personal advisors. They not only provide clients with accounting and tax help, but also help them develop personal budgets, manage assets and investments, plan for retirement, and recognize and reduce their exposure to risks. This role is in response to clients' demands for a single trustworthy individual or firm to meet all of their financial needs. However, accountants are restricted from providing these services to clients whose financial statements they also prepare. (See financial analysts and personal financial advisors elsewhere in the Handbook.)

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