Difference Between Cost Accounting and Management Accounting (With Table)

The business sector has become the sole market for generating production. There are numerous aspects of maintaining a business, starting from accounts and everything in between. Accounting plays a vital role in business purpose to keep track of all financial transactions and progress of the business and helps in the overall development.

Cost Accounting vs Management Accounting

The difference between cost accounting and management accounting is that cost accounting focuses on the motive to generate maximum profits and the overall productivity of the company. In comparison, management accounting focuses on managing, analyzing, and planning to improve the performance of the company.

Cost accounting plays a vital role in analyzing the financial prospects of a business and helps in keeping track of the financial progress of the specific company. It analyzes the costing and summarizes the details to be able to improve the financial progress of the company. It deals with focusing on the maximum profit and accounting aspects of the business. 

Management accounting focuses more on the management side of the business, as the term suggests. Management accounting deals with planning and making the required changes in the system of handling business. It sets strategies to build a stronger base to increase the productivity of the company and improvements in overall performance.  

Comparison Table Between Cost Accounting and Management Accounting 

Parameters of Comparison     Cost AccountingManagement Accounting 
DefinitionIt focuses on improving the profits and maximizing the benefits of the business.It focuses on managing and planning for the improvement of the overall performance of the business.
Interpretation of dataIt provides a quantitative approach to information. It provides both quantitative and qualitative information.
Evaluation processIt does not entirely participate in the evaluation of the company.It participates in the evaluation of the company.
Future outlookIt focuses more on the present costing scenario.It emphasizes the future performance of the business.
Range of performance It has a short range of planning for accounting.It has both short and long-range planning for managing to account.

What is Cost Accounting?

Cost Accounting is the process of keeping track of the financial progress and dealing with all the necessary calculations to maximize the process of benefit in the company. It analyses and produces the quantitative calculations of the costing process and helps in improving the performance. 

Cost accounting provides the details of the information after analyzing the costings of the company to contribute to the recent developments of the company. It has a short range of data planning which proceeds to improve the costing and summarizes the accounting. It can easily be operated without management accounting as cost accounting works independently on creating the data regarding the costing. 

Cost accounting has fixed rules to follow while calculating and analyzing the data of the costing. These rules must strictly be followed to prepare the reports regarding the accounting and costing performance of the company. It is mainly focusing on the distribution, analysis, and calculations of the costing of productions and details regarding the costing accounting. 

Cost accounting gives special emphasis on the past as well as present records of data to interpret the costing of the business. It helps in the overall improvement of the performance regarding the financial development of the business. 

What is Management Accounting?

Management accounting deals with the overall planning and strategizing the company policies to function better. It produces reports regarding the functioning of the company, which helps to improve the faults and focus on the strength of the business. It manages the information and data on the performance of the company. 

Management accounting works on the information and progress results of the business and emphasizes contributing to creating strategies and policies for future upliftment of the company. It focuses both on the performance of the present and builds the base for a better future. 

Management accounting does not have any fixed rules to adhere to while managing and planning the strategies, and the reports provided are strictly used by the internal parties involved in the business. It also produces both long and short ranges of planning for the present endeavors and also to secure the future business. 

It produces both quantitative and qualitative data of interpretation after analyzing the details and information of the performance of the company and works accordingly. Management accounting cannot be operated without the involvement of cost accounting as it is related to producing the reports on costing also. 

Main Differences Between Cost Accounting and Management Accounting

  1. Cost accounting helps to analyze the financial development of the company and helps to improve the benefits. While management accounting strategizes and plans to improve the overall performance of the company. 
  2. Cost accounting focuses on producing short-range planning for the business. Whereas management accounting focuses on producing long-range planning for the future development of the business.
  3. Cost accounting produces quantitative data after interpretation of the information. On the other hand, management accounting produces both quantitative and qualitative data.
  4. Cost accounting keeps track of both past and present information of costs. While management accounting tends to deal with future aspects of the business. 
  5. Cost accounting has to follow specific guidelines while producing reports on costing and profits. But, management accounting does not have to follow any such rules while producing reports. 


To run a successful business, all these aspects must be maintained highly with full precision to avoid any disparity. Accounting is an important process that helps to keep track of the overall production of the business and must be checked properly for better production rates in the business. 

Starting from managing finance and strategizing plans for future advancement, all of these are done by the various aspects of accounting. Both cost accounting and management accounting are important and play a vital role in the successful journey of a business. The information provided by this accounting sector helps in the overall development of the business and the company. 


  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=l2gFCAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PR19&dq=difference+between+cost+accounting+and+management+accounting&ots=EuybwtnxmU&sig=QTDDKbbEh4Bw2vLer1tqhrgxTP8
  2. https://search.proquest.com/openview/baa3ecca6421ae79305c9f35e7d94723/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=31820

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