Dynamics 365 Business Central for Cost Accounting - Financial Management

The Business Central cost accounting module allows businesses to create pricing strategies, reduce overhead costs, and track cash flow, increasing profitability.

Business can allocate costs among various departments, products, and projects.

Cost accounting helps you complete the project within budget by keeping track of business operations.

You can track your company's performance and make informed decisions by getting a deeper understanding of financial health.

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What is Cost Accounting in Business Central?

Cost accounting in Business Central focuses on capturing, classifying, allocating, and analyzing the costs of different departments, products, or projects within an organization.

It allows you to monitor and control expenditures by offering detailed information, such as cost types incurred, where the cost is invested, and who bears the cost.

Tracking and analyzing cost data can help you identify areas where costs can be reduced, improving profitability.

You can evaluate your company's operational efficiency, make informed decisions, and measure department & project performance.

Components of Cost Accounting in Business Central

Cost accounting in Business Central has the following main components:

Cost Types

Cost types help businesses classify costs, such as labor costs, utility costs, material costs, and overhead costs.

Businesses can define a chart of cost types according to their business needs, with functionality and structure like the general ledger chart of accounts.

Users can create their own chart of cost types in cost accounting by opening the page in edit mode. Or transfer exiting income statement accounts from the general ledger to manage costs effectively.

Cost Centers

The cost center in D365 is organizational units, which incur costs but don’t contribute to company costs directly, such as HR, accounting, recruitment, and IT.

It allows businesses to track spending, improve operational efficiency, and reduce costs by offering visibility to each department or unit.

Users can set up far more cost centers in Business Central in any dimension compared to General Ledger. Cost accounting goes beyond the typical general ledger dimensions.

The first level of cost centers is used in the general ledger, while additional levels of cost centers are used in cost accounting.

Cost Objects

Cost objects allow businesses to track the cost of products, services, projects, or other entities offered by companies.

This allows businesses to understand the financial impact and allocate costs.

Cost Entries

Users can transfer operational costs from the general ledger to cost entries automatically based on predefined criteria such as cost center or cost object dimensions.

For example, if a company incurs costs related to raw materials, labor, or overhead, these costs are directly allocated to the relevant cost objects based on the transaction details.

Cost Journals

Cost journals allow you to record costs that do not originate from the general ledger in Business Central, such as internal charges or allocations.

Cost Allocations

Cost allocation in Business Central allows users to distribute costs between cost types, cost centers, and cost objects. Users post overhead costs in cost centers first, then charge for objects.

For instance, salaries, supplies, and travel expenses are assigned to cost centers first and then allocated to the cost of sold products and purchased materials.

Cost Budgets

You can create cost budgets in Business Central to plan for expenses during a specific period, like budgeting in the general ledger.

Budgets can be applied to cost centers or cost objects, allowing you to compare actual costs to budgeted costs.

Users can create multiple cost budgets according to their needs and copy them to the general ledger in Business Central, and vice versa.

Cost Reporting

Business Central allows you to use filters and sort the results, allowing you to display the data you require.

These reports can be used to identify cost trends, compare actual costs to budgets, and evaluate the profitability of products, services, or projects.

How to Set Up and Manage Cost Accounting in Business Central

Setting up cost accounting allows business to understand the cost of running a business and ensure profitability. Here are the detailed steps to set up and manage cost accounting in Business Central:

Setting Up Cost Types

The first step in setting up cost accounting is to define your cost types.

Structure your cost types like the chart of accounts or transfer them directly from your general ledger chart of accounts to ensure consistency in financial reporting.

You can create new cost types or edit existing ones. Enter descriptions and link them to corresponding general ledger accounts for tracking purposes.

Once you've created your cost types, use the "Indent Cost Types" function to organize them hierarchically.

Transferring General Ledger Entries

Business Central allows you to transfer general ledger entries to cost accounting entries based on specific criteria, like dimension values. Here's how to prepare and initiate the transfer:

  • Set the "Starting Date for G/L Transfer" in Cost Accounting Setup to the desired start date.
  • Verify that the "G/L Account Range" field in each cost type card links to the correct general ledger accounts for cost data transfer.
  • Ensure relevant general ledger accounts have a "Cost Type No." linked to a cost type.
  • Assign dimension values corresponding to cost centers and/or cost objects to relevant general ledger entries.
  • Use the "Transfer GL Entries to CA" function to initiate the transfer. This process creates connections between general ledger entries and cost entries for traceability.

Cost Allocation Process

Cost allocation involves distributing costs between cost types, cost centers, and cost objects. Here's how to set up cost allocations:

  • Use the "Cost Allocation" function to define allocations.
  • Specify an allocation source, like cost types to be allocated, and one or more allocation targets, where the costs will be distributed.
  • Define allocation levels, validity period, and variants for grouping allocations.
  • You can use batch jobs with filters to automate cost allocations based on your defined criteria.
  • Define allocation bases for each target, which can be static (fixed values or ratios) or dynamic (based on changeable values like employee count or sales revenue).

Managing Cost Budgets

Cost budgets help organizations plan and control expenses effectively. By comparing actual costs to budgeted amounts,

businesses can identify variances and implement corrective measures to optimize resource utilization and improve profitability.

Benefits of Using Business Central for Cost Accounting

Business wants to improve their productivity, efficiency, and financial operations while ensuring accuracy and compliance. Here are the benefits that can help you fulfill your requirements:

Analyze End-to-End Cashflow: You can understand the operational efficiency and financial health of your business.

It allows you to predict customer trends, identify potential issues, and monitor market spending.

Visibility: You can gain visibility of your financial statements, like direct materials, labor costs, and overhead expenses. This helps you identify key areas for improvement and increase profitability.

Allocate Costs: You can allocate costs to different departments or activities in your organization based on the cost rates or consumers.

It offers in-depth details about producing the products or offering a service and distributes the cost accordingly.

Leverage Cost Accounting in Business Central with Dynamics Square

Businesses can’t afford a single error while managing their financial health. So, the Business Central cost accounting module is vital for businesses to improve profitability and stay competitive in the market.

Business Central facilitates robust features, such as cost type, allocation, and reports to help you deal with the complexities of financial processes.

Dynamics Square is a renowned Business Central partner in Canada, helping businesses get the most out of their Dynamics BC investments.

We are a team of 150+ consultants that help you from scratch until completion.

We also offer free Business Central support for one month after completing the Dynamics 365 Business Central implementation.

Get in touch with our consultant and manage the financial health of your business.

People Also Ask

What are the four types of cost accounting?

Cost accounting is crucial for businesses to understand the actual cost of goods and services. Here are four types of cost accounting:

Standard cost accounting
Predetermine costs for materials, labor, and overhead to find variation between actual and standard costs.

Activity-based cost accounting
Identifies activities that drive costs and assigns those costs to products or services more accurately.

Lean accounting
Focuses on eliminating waste and maximizing value for the customer.

Marginal costing
Separates costs into a variable (change with production) and fixed (remain constant).

What is cost accounting in Business Central?

Cost accounting in Business Central helps businesses to understand the cost by tracking, analyzing, and summarizing costs associated with production.

It offers visibility about costs associated with materials, labor, and overhead.

What is the cost center in Business Central?

The cost center includes the department that incurs costs but doesn't provide direct profit. Businesses can track spending, improve operational efficiency, and reduce costs.

Awanish Kumar

Awanish Kumar is a seasoned writer with a passion for exploring the ever-evolving landscape of cloud-based software. With years of experience in the tech industry Awanish delves into the intricacies of cloud computing, translating complex concepts into engaging and informative blogs. From Saas to Paas, he navigates the digital realm, offering readers valuable insights and practical tips to leverage the power of cloud technology.


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