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A cost control clerk is a position within the accounting department of many organizations. He is primarily responsible for monitoring the compliance of various departments with the organization's overall budget and reporting any deviations from this budget. Cost control clerks do not require significant advanced education and some are even available to high school graduates with no college experience.
One of the primary duties of a cost control clerk is to monitor the expenditures of the various departments within a business to ensure that they are within their budgetary limits as set by higher levels of the organization. This principally involves reviewing cost reports prepared by managers and supervisors to make sure they are operating within their financial limits, but may also include more in-depth inspections, such as counting or inspecting inventory to determine value and quality.
Achieving Cost Reductions
Another important duty of cost control clerks is seeking out ways to reduce costs. Whether or not a department or the entire company is at or below budget, cost control clerks are tasked with constantly searching for ways to minimize the expenses incurred by the business. This could include, for example, identifying areas of waste within the organization or seeking out savings by identifying cheaper suppliers. Obviously, she can not be an expert on every aspect of the company, so close interaction with department managers is an important element in identifying ways to reduce costs.
The cost control clerk generally has no direct authority over other employees. While he may have some assistants or support staff, they rarely can directly influence the decision making of department managers. Their primary goal is to monitor and report their findings to mid and upper-level managers in the finance and accounting departments. These supervisors will then take the cost control clerk's report—and any recommendations—into consideration when planning future budgets, organizational changes or procurement strategies.
Bryan Richards has been writing since 2002. His work has appeared in the "Eau Claire Leader Telegram," the "Wisconsin State Journal" and "Small Business Opportunities." His areas of expertise include business and legal topics. Richards graduated from the University of Wisconsin School of Journalism where he also majored in economics and political science. He is currently a JD/MBA student at the University of Minnesota.