Course description

This course examines the concepts and procedures underlying the development of a cost accounting system for managerial decisions, cost control, and performance reporting. Cost accounting can have a direct impact on product pricing, managing a growing business, generating a bottom-line profit and creating value for the company and its customers. Traditional cost accounting and new cost accounting management models are explored and contrasted. There is particular emphasis on management systems, which play a proactive role in planning, managing, and reducing costs. Topics include cost measurement and cost control; cost-volume-profit analysis; job costing; activity-based costing; tools for planning and control; master budgeting and responsibility accounting; flexible budgeting and variance analysis; management control systems; inventory costing, management, and capacity analysis; cost information for decision making; relevant information; pricing decisions; cost management; strategic profitability analysis; cost allocation and revenues; measurement and control of overhead costs; and revenues and sales variances.


  • Assistant Dean for Finance, School of Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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