Difference between Cost & Management accounts

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Management Accounts: Management accounting is the process of analyzing business costs and operations to prepare an internal financial report, records, and account to aid managers’ decision-making process in achieving business goals.

Cost Accounting: Cost accounting is a process of recording, classifying, analyzing, summarizing allocating, and evaluating various alternative courses of action and control of costs in the organization. Cost accounting provides detailed cost information that management needs to control current operations and plan for the future.


The following are the difference between cost accounting and management accounting:

S.No. Cost accounting Management accounting
1. The main objective of cost accounting is to determine and record the cost per unit of output. The main objective of Management accounting is to provide information to management to formulate plans and policies.
2. The scope of cost accounting is limited to the ascertainment of cost. The scope of management accounting is very wide. It includes budgeting, tax planning, interpretation of financial results, etc.
3. In cost accounting, both the present and past figures are considered for cost determination. Management accounting deals with future projections and plans on the basis of past and present cost data.
4. Cost accounting has certain principles and procedures and proformas for recording and analyzing the data. No specific rules and procedures are followed in management accounting. Management accounting prepares and presents information as per the requirement of management.
5. Cost accounting information is useful to both internal and external parties. The information provided by management accounting is useful only to the management.
6. The status of cost accountant in industries comes after the management accountant. Management accountant is senior to cost accountant in industries.
7.  Cost accounting has been used since the industrial revolution. Management accounting is relatively a new concept and has developed only in the last 30 years.
8. Cost accounting is concerned only with cost determination and cost control. Management accounting highlights both cost and revenues also.
9. In cost accounting, only quantitative aspects are considered. Management accounting considers both quantitative and qualitative information.
10. Costing can be installed without management accounting. For the installation of management accounting, both financial and cost accounting are required.