Accountants and auditors help to ensure that firms are run efficiently, public records kept accurately, and taxes paid properly and on time. They analyze and communicate financial information for various entities such as companies, individual clients, and Federal, State, and local governments. Beyond carrying out the fundamental tasks of the occupation— providing information to clients by preparing, analyzing, and verifying financial documents—many accountants also offer budget analysis, financial and investment planning, information technology consulting, and limited legal services.
Managerial accounting is concerned with providing information to managers - that is, people inside an organization who direct and control its operation. Managerial accounting provides the essential data with which the organizations are actually run. Managerial accounting is also termed as management accounting or cost accounting. Standard costing is an important subtopic of cost accounting. Standard costs are usually associated with a manufacturing company's costs of direct material, direct labor, and manufacturing overhead. Rather than assigning the actual costs of direct material, direct labor, and manufacturing overhead to a product, many manufacturers assign the expected or standard cost. This means that a manufacturer's inventories and cost of goods sold will begin with amounts reflecting the standard costs, not the actual costs, of a product. Manufacturers, of course, still have to pay the actual costs. As a result there are almost always differences between the actual costs and the standard costs, and those differences are known as variances. Standard costing and the related variances is a valuable management tool. If a variance arises, management becomes aware that manufacturing costs have differed from the standard (planned, expected) costs. * If actual costs are greater than standard costs the variance is...