What is a cost management system (CMS)?

A cost management system (CMS) consists of a set of formal methods developed for planning and controlling an organization’s cost-generating activities relative to its short-term objectives and long-term strategies. Business entities face two major challenges: achieving profitability in the short run and maintaining a competitive position in the long run. An effective cost management system must provide managers the information needed to meet both of these challenges.
The differences in the information requirements for organizational success in the short run and long run. The short-run requirement is that revenues exceed costs—the organization must make efficient use of its resources relative to the revenues that are generated. Specific cost information is needed and must be delivered in a timely fashion to an individual who is in a position to influence the cost. Short-run information requirements are often described as relating to operational management.

Meeting the long-run objective, survival, depends on acquiring the right inputs from the right suppliers, selling the right mix of products to the right customers, and using the most appropriate channels of distribution. These decisions require only periodic information that is reasonably accurate. Long-run information requirements are often described as relating to strategic management.

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