There are no prerequisites.

Course Description

One of management’s primary responsibilities is to ensure that costs are appropriately managed. This means that costs are focused on the primary needs of a business and that controls are in place to keep other expenditures from taking place. This course addresses a number of tools that can be used to examine the cost structure of a business, including analyses for cost objects, constraints, and processes. Instructor Steven Bragg addresses how to reduce costs in all of the major areas of a corporation, including compensation, sales, production, procurement, and administration. In addition, there is extensive information regarding asset reduction techniques as well as cost management reports and measurements.


Steven M. Bragg, CPA

Steven M. Bragg, CPA, is a full-time book and course author who has written more than 70 business books. He provides Western CPE with self-study courses in the areas of accounting and finance, with an emphasis on the practical application of accounting standards and management techniques. A sampling of his courses include the The New Controller Guidebook, The GAAP Guidebook, Accountants’ Guidebook, and Closing the Books: An Accountant’s Guide. He also manages the Accounting Best Practices podcast.

Steven has been the CFO or controller of both public and private companies and has been a consulting manager with Ernst & Young and an auditor with Deloitte & Touche. He holds an MBA from Babson College, a Master of Finance from Bentley College, and a BA from the University of Maine (summa cum laude).

Course Specifics

Dec 5, 2017
There are no prerequisites.

Compliance Information

Qualifies for CA Fraud: No

Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, participants will be able to:

 Chapter 1

  • Recognize the concept of cost management, identifying an example of a cost management system as well as advantages and dangers of having an active cost management program
  • Specify ways in which control over costs can slip away from the management team, identify the environment needed to bring costs back under control, and cite the effects of cutting costs too deep

 Chapter 2

  • Identify the various types of costs a business can incur, noting the characteristics of each type and how they are used

 Chapter 3

  • Recognize the concept of direct costing, noting the difference between contribution margin and gross margin
  • Cite the applications to which direct costing analysis can be put as well as any limiting factors

 Chapter 4

  • State the components and derivation of the cost-volume-profit concept, and how it is used
  • Determine the amount of units a company must sell to make a profit given a set of circumstances

 Chapter 5

  • Recognize the concept of target costing, identifying the uses to which this tool can be put as well as how costs can be altered to meet target costing goals

 Chapter 6

  • Identify the costs that are associated with cost objects, and the decisions that can arise from cost object analysis

 Chapter 7

  • Identify the key components of constraint analysis, recognizing how profits can be improved under this type of analysis

 Chapter 8

  • Identify the tools used to conduct a process analysis, citing their appropriate usage and effectiveness

 Chapter 9

  • State the components of a zero-base budgeting system, citing examples, advantages and disadvantages, and situations in which zero-base and conditional budgeting can be used

 Chapter 10

  • State the analysis tools to use for different cost-reduction strategies, noting the characteristics of each as well as their applicable effect on cost reduction

 Chapter 11

  • Cite the types of cost reduction methods available when reducing compensation costs, identifying potential side effects of using these methods as well as strategies to combat any negative effects

 Chapter 12

  • Identify methods used to reduce benefit costs, citing the potential impacts and resulting side effects of using these methods

 Chapter 13

  • Identify the techniques available for increasing the effectiveness of sales and marketing activities and the side effects of using these methods

 Chapter 14

  • Identify the cost reduction techniques that can be used to reduce the costs of production and maintenance operations, citing the characteristics of each technique as well as potential side effects of using these methods

 Chapter 15

  • Cite the key procedural steps and forms needed to maintain a proper system of procurement, noting internal techniques used to manage suppliers and spending

 Chapter 16

  • Recognize the range of methods available for the reduction of costs for accounting, human resources, legal services, and other areas of administration

 Chapter 17

  • Identify cost reduction tactics for managing facilities costs and strategies that help to offset long-term fixed costs

 Chapter 18

  • Identify the methods used to reduce the costs of banking, cash management, leasing, and insurance, noting key similarities and differences between each method

 Chapter 19

  • Identify techniques used to reduce the investment in accounts receivable, citing the characteristics of each technique and the situations in which they are most applicable

 Chapter 20

  • Recognize the cost reduction concepts used to reduce the level of inventory, identifying their characteristics, key advantages, and the situations in which they are most applicable

 Chapter 21

  • Identify the analysis methods used to evaluate prospective investments in fixed assets as well as alternative forms of payment for these assets
  • Recognize the reasoning behind having a post-implementation review

 Chapter 22

  • Identify the key reports and report formats needed to support a system of cost management, noting the characteristics and usage of each as well as situations in which these reports might be used

Chapter 23

  • Identify the most essential measurements used to evaluate the cost structure of a business and specify the situations in which these measurements might be used

Choose Your Preferred Format

Online Access

Get immediate access to a robust collection of learning and reference materials, allowing you to dive deep into the information you need. Our self-study materials are authored by top-quality, industry experts who focus on helping you grasp concepts quickly using real-life examples. Download your CPE to any device, and take it with you so you can learn when and wherever you want. Complete your CPE with an online exam, and enjoy instant grading with the option to print your certificate immediately upon passing.

online access
Hard Copy

Our self-study materials are authored by top-quality, industry experts. You’ll receive a bound notebook of all the course materials, shipped to you within one business day. In addition, you’ll also have full online access. Each self-study package includes a robust collection of learning and reference materials to help you cover the information efficiently and put it into practice immediately.

hard copy
Self-Study Video

Experience high-quality instruction with our Self-Study Videos, available to you 24/7. With more than 80+ videos currently in the Western CPE Self-Study Video library, you can see and hear our expert instructors deliver the information you need in a dynamic way that allows you to immediately apply your learning. Unlike a live course or webcast, you can complete the course on your own time, playing and pausing as needed. Self-Study Videos allow you to complete your CPE requirements on your own time.

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