The Understanding of Cost Accounting Theory and Its Goal

Abstract: Since the 1950s, the theoretical explanations have been wrong. In the following half a century, they have been slightly repaired, but the basic idea of ​​holding on to the incompleteness has finally changed. This article first analyzes the basic theory of cost accounting, and finally explains the related issues of cost accounting theory.

Keywords: cost accounting theory understanding

Cost accounting is undergoing unprecedented changes. This change is mainly reflected in two aspects: First, the cost accounting technology and methods are constantly updated. The computerized accounting has or is replacing manual bookkeeping, and real-time reporting systems become possible when the enterprise establishes an intranet internet. Second, the scope of application of cost accounting continues to expand. Industries that traditionally did not pay attention to cost control, such as hospitals, computer manufacturers, automotive industries, and airlines, have put more and more effort into cost control. In fact, whether it is a bank, fast food chain, professional organization or government agency, cost control has become indispensable.

1 Understanding of cost accounting theory

1.1 Cost does not belong to the category of value. “Das Kapital” aims to analyze the capital exploitation system. Therefore, it grasps the essentials by analyzing the duality of the most common and common commodities in the capitalist society; however, as a cost accounting textbook, it also starts with the analysis of the duality of commodities. In order to explain what? It may be that some theoretical workers based on Marx’s formula of value w: W=C+V+m, and set the cost to k, so: w=k+m, shifting term: k=wm, which is: cost Equal to commodity value minus surplus value. But it must be pointed out that the cost k here is an abstraction, or it is the essential part of cost, that is, a part of socially necessary production costs, not the actual historical cost of cost accounting as an object.

As early as Chapter 1 of Volume 3 of Capital, Marx pointed out that cost has an illusion, as if it is a category of value itself. It not only points out that it is an illusion, but also points out positively that the category of cost has nothing to do with the formation of the value of commodities or the process of capital appreciation. In other words, cost is only the expenditure in the production process, and capital exploits laborers through the process of production expenditure, but this production expenditure has nothing to do with the rate and amount of surplus value extracted. It can be seen that for half a century, the use of the duality of commodities to explain the cost is fundamentally a misunderstanding, and it has finally failed to clarify what the cost is theoretically.

1.2 The cost cannot be separated from productivity. Since the cost is explained from the duality of commodities, and the essence of cost is deduced from the value representing the average amount of necessary labor in society, it is part of the socially necessary production costs; this derivation from abstraction to abstraction does not need to be deliberate, and can be derived from formal logic. Out. The above indiscriminately asserting that the loss of waste products does not constitute the value of the product is of course an inference drawn from formal logic without following dialectical logic. However, this difference is a thousand miles away.

In the history of human society, especially in the history of technological development, the sign of every progress is not what to produce but how to produce. The emergence of water mills in the countryside brought mankind into the agricultural society, and the invention of the steam engine brought mankind into the industrial society, and the increase in productivity always decreased in inverse proportion to the cost. For half a century, technology has always led to magical and rapid cost reductions from the three aspects of substitution, miniaturization, and scale-up. Substitution cases are very common. The use of glass fiber instead of copper wire to transmit information requires less consumption, low cost, and a large amount of transmitted information, which is hardly the same. The typical example of microfilming is the electronics industry, which has evolved from electronic tubes to transistors, and then from integrated circuits to the first generation of integrated circuits. Nowadays, a calculator that is less than the size of a palm was actually a huge device that took up two offices in the 1940s. Therefore, its production cost is exhibiting at a high rate of 90% decline every 10 years. As a result of the above aspects, the world’s demand for traditional materials such as copper and steel is declining, which is a good thing for saving the world’s non-reproduction resources.

The above-mentioned so-called difference in thought refers to the fact that in the past, it was only deduced from the concept that the essence of cost is part of the necessary production costs, but it was not really understood that social productivity is the watershed between necessary and unnecessary production costs, and productivity can be promoted by manpower and not change. of. However, the cost literature in the past no longer discusses the possibility of seeking cost-reduction measures in different ways from the difference between necessary fees and non-essential fees. This is undoubtedly a fundamental deficiency. It can be considered that, in addition to providing information, cost accounting should consider how to reduce and optimize costs as a more important task. This is feasible and necessary.

2 On the independence of cost accounting

Cost, as the capital expenditure for a company to produce a specific type and quantity of products in a certain period of time, is a problem that any company in any era attaches great importance to, and this is even more so today when it is moving towards a market economy. So can all value issues related to cost be included in cost accounting? Obviously not. Now there is a bad trend: each discipline (branch) is trying its best to expand its “effort” range, lengthen its “wings”, and cause unnecessary overlap and repetition.

It is generally believed that modern management accounting is developed from the original cost accounting, from which the functions of cost accounting are expanded to cost forecasting, cost decision-making, cost planning, cost control, cost accounting, cost analysis and cost assessment, etc. A huge cost accounting system and content have been created, which has caused duplication with management accounting, financial management and other courses. For this reason, some schools have merged management accounting and cost accounting into “cost management accounting.” Therefore, the two major branches of financial accounting and management accounting in the West should be divided into three major branches in my country: financial accounting, cost accounting and management accounting. Cost accounting should focus on the reflection and supervision of the “expense” element, with full cost accounting, variable cost accounting and standard cost accounting as its main content.

3 On the objective of cost accounting

Cost accounting goals refer to the goals and requirements that cost accounting should achieve. The goal of cost accounting is a product of certain political, economic and social environments, historical and contemporary, and reflects the requirements of a specific environment for cost accounting. Under different historical periods, different levels of economic development and different social systems, the objectives of cost accounting are also different. This is determined by the object, content, nature and function of cost accounting in a specific environment, especially the constraints of cost accounting functions. Therefore, the cost accounting objectives should be compatible with their functions, set scientific, feasible, and advanced objectives within the scope of the functions, and reflect their functions in the implementation of the objectives.

3.1 Basic objectives of cost accounting

The basic goal of cost accounting refers to the long-term, fundamental, and ultimate goal of cost accounting. The generally accepted view is economic benefits. Cost accounting starts from the measurement, recording, calculation and supervision of expenses and costs, serves to improve economic efficiency, and takes economic efficiency as the highest goal. The emergence and development of cost accounting is based on the reflection and supervision of expenses and costs, based on the concern and pursuit of economic benefits, and has an inseparable relationship with economic benefits.

3.2 Specific objectives of cost accounting

The specific goal of cost accounting refers to who provides accounting information, what accounting information to provide, and how to provide accounting information in the practice of cost accounting.

3.2.1 The service object of cost accounting information. As we all know, financial accounting is a kind of external report accounting, and its service objects are mainly business owners, creditors and relevant departments of the national government. Cost accounting is a kind of internal report accounting, which is determined by the socialist market economy environment.

3.2.2 The service content of cost accounting information. The service target of cost accounting information is different, and the required accounting information is also different. The higher the level of the service object, the more comprehensive and comprehensive the cost accounting information required, and vice versa. Secondly, in the internal management process of the enterprise, the relevant management department may request the cost accountant to provide specific cost accounting information at any time, the content of which has a certain degree of uncertainty. Objectively speaking, the daily cost information provided by cost accounting can be combined and classified from different angles to form completely different cost information to meet the needs of different purposes. This can be answered from the classification of costs and expenses and cost accounting.

The service method of cost accounting information. One is to provide direct materials, direct labor, manufacturing expenses, period expenses and details of the cost accounting information in the account through vouchers, account books, and the details. These information are generally provided on a regular basis and on a targeted basis. The second is to provide through off-book statistics and calculations, such as variable costs, fixed costs, processing costs, marginal costs, etc. This information is generally provided irregularly and non-targeted.

The third is to provide relevant cost information to specific objects in the form of special reports. The fourth is to provide cost information to relevant parties through oral reporting, such as the cost and expense report to the Staff Representative Conference after the year-end final accounts, and answer the cost and expense consultations of relevant government agencies and business owners.The goal of cost accounting is the highest level of cost accounting theory, and has a directional and fundamental impact on cost accounting assumptions and cost accounting principles.

Since cost accounting is a branch of accounting that focuses on internal services, there is no horizontal comparison between enterprises, so there is no comparability principle. Secondly, the core of cost accounting is the measurement of costs and expenses, not the recognition of profit and loss, so there is no matching principle.

by Abdullah Sam
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