Cost analyst Job Description [Duties, Responsibilities & Skills]

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What is a cost analyst?

Cost analysts study corporate expenses and create reports for management. One common industry for cost analysts is manufacturing where they are needed to audit production costs.

Similar job titles are cost specialist and cost accountant.

What does a cost analyst do?

The primary duty of a cost analyst is to gather financial data (e.g. inventory purchases, labor costs) and analyze it to uncover inefficiencies. They may estimate production costs and track the changes in regular costs (e.g. due to new products and new processes).

Cost analyst responsibilities include:

  • Collecting and analyzing financial data
  • Estimating costs and comparing budgets with actual expenses
  • Monitoring costs after significant changes in products or processes

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Job brief

We are looking for a cost analyst to help us audit our expenses and find ways to make our operations more cost-efficient.

You’ll be the go-to person for cost analysis and you’ll get to prepare reports to help management make better decisions. To do this job well, we’d like you to be well-versed in data and financial analysis, and have strong attention to detail.

Ultimately, your job will be an integral part of our efforts to ensure profitability and business success.

Responsibilities

  • Gather and analyze financial data
  • Determine standard costs and investigate variances with actual costs
  • Prepare detailed reports, both periodically and ad-hoc
  • Help management make important decisions based on costs and benefits (e.g. investments, market growth, pricing changes)
  • Create and manage budgets, and monitor spending
  • Conduct audits on financial processes and transactions
  • Monitor changes in processes or methods to calculate effects on overall costs
  • Estimate product costs for existing and new products
  • Forecast and analyze costs of processes, labor and inventory
  • Suggest cost-reducing or profitable solutions
  • Conduct market research to support future business planning

Requirements

  • Proven experience as a cost analyst, cost specialist or similar role
  • Experience in data, operational and financial analysis
  • Knowledge of accounting processes and software
  • Strong analytical skills
  • A business acumen
  • Great attention to detail
  • Good communication aptitude
  • Degree in Finance, Accounting or similar field; Certified Public Accountant (CPA) preferred

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