Cost Accountancy – Definition, Course structure under IMAI and more


A cost accountant is an expert in financial matters which are related to the cost management. He /She is a person who determines the actual cost incurred in the process of creating a product or providing a service. The purpose of cost accounting is to analyze the profit graph and also to help in the preparation of the budget. All the data provided by cost accountants will help in deciding the most profitable services, internal departments, products and processes and the one that is least profitable is either scrapped or merged with others. They also physically validate the inventory through various methods of cost accountancy.

Chartered Accountancy course deals with the preparation of Financial Statements (i.e., Balance sheet and Profit/Loss Account) along with other accounting procedures. It also deals with auditing and taxation relating to the organization. Chartered Accountants are mainly invested in financial matters relating to the company. A chartered Accountant deals with the finance of the company as a whole.

Cost Accountants are more into the management and production processes of the company. Cost Accountants as the same suggest deal with costs relating to the manufacturing of a product or service. The main duty of a cost accountant is proper management of costs and designing of various cost control methods. A cost Accountant deals with costs of individual departments as well as assimilated costs relating to the company as a whole.

The governing board of Cost Accountancy is Institute of Cost Accountants of India. The official website for the board is:

Official Website of ICMAI

The Cost Accountancy course involves three levels- Foundation level, Intermediate level, and the Final Level. There are regional centres in most of the states and the student has to fill out the necessary forms with all the necessary documents and submit them at their respective regional centers.

Candidates interested in Cost Accountancy course can apply for it after completion of their Intermediate (10+2) or if they completed an equivalent examination. The candidates have to first register themselves with the Institute of Cost Accountants of India. The foundation exam is held twice a year in the months of June and December. Although the duration of the foundation program is eight months it entirely depends on the candidate’s competency. The foundation course consists of 4 subjects and they are

  •     Organization and Management Fundamentals
  •     Accounting
  •     Economics and Business Fundamentals
  •     Business Mathematics and Statistics Fundamentals

After securing the minimum marks for the foundation program, the candidate is eligible for the intermediate program. The course’s minimum duration is ten months but the qualifying entirely depends on the capability and dedication of the candidate. The candidate should not be less than 18 years of age. It is divided into 2 groups.

Cost Accountancy Course Structure

Group I

  • Financial Accounting
  • Commercial & Industrial Laws and Auditing
  • Applied Direct Taxation

Group II

  • Cost& Management Accounting
  • Operation Management and Information systems
  • Applied Indirect Taxes

After securing the required minimum marks and clarifying the intermediate level, the student is eligible for the Final level. The final level is also divided into Group I and Group II. The syllabus is

Group I 

  • Corporate Laws & Compliance
  • Strategic Financial Management (SFM)
  • Strategic Cost Management – Decision Making
  • Direct Tax Laws and International Taxation

Group II

  • Corporate Financial Reporting
  • Indirect Tax Laws and Practice
  • Cost and Management Audit
  • Strategic Performance Management and Business Valuation

This is an Eighteen-month course. The final Level along with the group exams also includes a Dissertation of 5000 words. There is also compulsory 100-hour Computer training along with 15-day Modular training and an Audit / Industrial training for 6 months. The student must complete all these and secure minimum marks that are necessary for qualifying the Final level. The student has to undergo a three year training period or internship under a qualified Cost Accountant after completion of their Final level and then he/she becomes a certified Cost Accountant registered with Cost Accounting board.

Career Prospects

The student after becoming a Cost Accountant can work in the industrial sector. They also can opt for jobs in the Government Sector; also there is a lot of scope in banking and insurance. Apart from these the qualified candidates can practice as a consultant or can work at coaching centers as an instructor. The salary approximately varies from 25000 to one 1, 00,000.T he salary is wholly dependent on the size of the firm, the intensity of the work as well as the skill and competence of the candidate.

Every organization is in need of a viable and capable cost accountant. With ample experience and quality in the work done, a cost accountant can be held at top positions in the management. Be it Cost Accountancy or any professional course, the amount of experience gathered and also the ability to have an open mind for new things is what helps a candidate in determining their success.