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Cost Accountant

Date: Oct 13, 2021

Location: Peru, IL, US

Company: James Hardie

As a member of the Accounting team, the Cost Accountant reports to the Plant Controller and is responsible for planning, analyzing, and communicating the profitability of the plant’s manufacturing operations through detailed reports of efficiencies related to the plant’s production and other key financial information for management review. The incumbent is also responsible for coordinating and conducting cycle counts and annual physical counts within the plant, guiding the cost analysis process, and building and controlling the plant’s annual budget.

Position Responsibilities

Plan, analyze, and communicate the profitability of the plant’s manufacturing operations to produce informative, detailed reports outlining efficiencies, plant production, and key financial information for management review (60%)

  • Independently collect and analyze operational data
  • Gather data from key shop floor staff on production, inventory control, maintenance, etc.
  • Examine the plant’s production costs, gain/loss, and month-end closing data
  • Gain understanding, and explain and reconcile manufacturing financial variances for the plant
  • Verbally communicate results to plant manager, plant management staff, and plant operators in both small and large group settings
  • Identify resources and solutions to control or eliminate gaps to plan and/or plant performance goals

Guide cost analysis process by implementing, refining, and reporting cost account processes that highlight operational opportunities and initiate projects that provide effective solutions (20%)

  • Participate in daily/weekly plant meetings to explain the results of analysis and identified solutions
  • Provide trends and forecasts and recommend future action
  • Continually identify, design and implement best cost accountant practices and process improvements and explain processes and techniques throughout the plant
  • Interact with all levels of the plant to help drive change and gain commitment and buy-in for the new processes
  • Collaborate with business partners in the implementation of SAP to better control operational processes

Coordinate and conduct cycle counts and annual physical counts within the plant (15%)

  • Gather employees to take part in the cycle counts
  • Train employees on the proper counting technique and measure their understanding
  • Ensure that the cycle count is completed efficiently and accurately, and that all data has been entered properly
  • Identify and explain inventory variances between the general ledger and perpetual inventory as well as differences identified during physical inventory counts

Build and control the annual budget for the plant (5%)

  • Gather the past year’s data and forecasting budget for the new year
  • Determine additional labor, cost of labor, total cost/square footage of the plant
  • Communicate budget for the year and place controls to main this number

The position responsibilities outlined above are in no way to be construed as all encompassing.  Other duties, responsibilities, and qualifications may be required and/or assigned as necessary.


Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Ability to challenge information and a passion to exhaustively uncover robust facts and data which improve insights and the quality of the final decision
  • Demonstrated knowledge of standard and cost accounting methods
  • Proven presentation skills with the ability to communicate at all levels
  • Demonstrated knowledge of manufacturing accounting process and procedures (preferred)
  • Proven ability to synthesize complex and detailed data and information into meaningful outtakes and decision-based information
  • Demonstrated expertise of research methods and report preparation
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively take action to solve problems while exhibiting sound judgement and successful stress tolerance
  • Superior interpersonal and written/oral communication skills with the ability to communicate cost and financial information across the business
  • Ability to be tactical as well as see the bigger operational picture
  • Demonstrated ability to identify problems and think independently about alternative ways to solve problems based on analysis of data
  • Ability to offer advanced solutions based on collected, summarized, and analyzed data
  • Ability to apply creativity and latitude in identifying new projects, trends and processes
  • Demonstrated advanced skills with the standard features of various personal computer word processing and spreadsheet software (Microsoft Word and Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Internet, pivot tables & V Lookups, and other financially-related and proprietary software)
  • Results-oriented to ensure delivery of appropriate products and services in accurate, complete, and timely fashion
  • The desire and tenacity to grow within the organization with the ability to relocate to other manufacturing facilities for advancement opportunities, as appropriate



  • Bachelor’s Degree in a related field (Accounting or Finance Degree preferred)
  • 3 or more years of manufacturing and cost accounting experience (manufacturing environment preferred)
  • 3 or more years of experience in standard costing, material, labor and overhead variance analysis
  • Demonstrated experience with ERP systems software (SAP preferred)



Nearest Major Market: Ottawa

Job Segment: Accounting, ERP, Plant, Plant Manager, SAP, Finance, Technology, Manufacturing