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How to Become a Cost Accounting Supervisor

Career News May 27, 2014

Do you have the ability to organize your work, use your logical and convergent mind to solve problems, all the while overseeing an operation? You’re not just a numbers person…you could have the makings of a manager!

A cost accounting supervisor is the manager in charge of expense accounting, taking in all costs associated with products manufactured and sold. This is integral to the company’s survival, as this determines many logistics and influences decision-making at all levels of business. If you apply for this job, be ready for to perform heavy duty accounting work for a corporation, consulting firm, or a private sector.

Your goal is to increase profit, reduce wasteful spending, and build a foundation of financial understanding that other managers and executives can follow. In order to do this, you will consider what processes and details affect the cost of production, services and products. This also encompasses packaging expenses, inventory costs, and other overhead costs.

Setting You on the Right Course

A college education is practically required by hiring companies because you learn all accounting procedures in school. In formal training, you will also pick up important lessons on communication, accounting procedures, state and federal compliancy, and other pertinent issues. A bachelor’s degree is preferred, but because this is such a book-heavy part, a master’s degree often cinches the deal.

You report to the manager for this job. Alternatively, you may maintain authority over staff as a supervisor and manager. In any case, work experience is appreciated, and relevant experience at that—usually in accounting. Stick to courses like business administration and accounting, and aim to put three to five years on your resume for continuous work experience.

Computer skills, organization knowledge, and a talent for critical analysis are all equally important in a job position where you are, in essence, the mathematical brain of the business. You may not make the most important decisions, but you are involved in researching the numbers. This data will influence future movements.

Certification and Licensing

It may also serve your interests to pursue a Certified Public Account (CPA) title. If you deal with the Securities and Exchange Commission, licensing is a requirement. Licensing also requires additional college credits, but most college courses are very aware of this and include extra learning on the curriculum. Certification is handled by the Institute of Management Accountants, which has similar requirements. Keep current in all of your studies, as many states require continuing education for official licensing, not to mention certification by the whole industry.

For career progression, earning your master’s degree as you work is a worthy goal, as a bachelor’s degree may not solidify your career rise. A master’s degree prepares you for increasingly complex levels of responsibility.

In the end, hard work, ethical behavior and a thorough understanding of finance are going to help you excel in this field. Don’t settle for a regular office job when you can work towards long-term career fulfillment and management. By starting school now, you can take the first step towards prosperity.

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