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Cost Accountant

Date: Mar 26, 2021

Location: Summerville, SC, US

Company: James Hardie

Position Summary

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)



  • Decision Making: Identifying and understanding issues; problems, and opportunities; comparing data from different sources to draw conclusions; using effective approaches for choosing a course of action or developing appropriate solutions; taking action that is consistent with available facts, constraints, and probable consequences. 
  • Formal Presentation: Presenting ideas effectively to individuals or groups when given time to prepare; delivering presentations suited to the characteristics and needs of the audience. 
  • Work Standards: Setting high standards of performance for self and others’ assuming responsibility and accountability for successfully completing assignments or tasks; self imposing standards of excellence rather than having standards imposed.  
  • Planning and Organizing: Establishing courses of action for self and others to ensure that work is completed efficiently. 
  • Building Strategic Working Relationships: Developing and using collaborative relationships to facilitate the accomplishment of work goals. 
  • Initiating Action: Taking prompt action to accomplish objectives; taking action to achieve goals beyond what is required; being proactive. 
  • Gaining Commitment: Using appropriate interpersonal styles and techniques to gain acceptance of ideas or plans; modifying one’s own behavior to accommodate tasks, situations and individuals involved. 
  • Information Monitoring: Setting up ongoing procedures to collect and review information needed to manage an organization or ongoing activities within it. 
  • Continuous Learning: Actively identifying new areas for learning; regularly creating and taking advantage of learning opportunities; using newly gained knowledge and skill on the job and learning through their application. 
  • Stress Tolerance: Maintaining stable performance under pressure or opposition (such as time pressure, or job ambiguity); handling stress in a manner that is acceptable to others and to the organization. 



James Hardie is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, protected veteran status, among other things, or as a qualified individual with a disability. Equal Employment Opportunity is the law.

Nearest Major Market: Charleston South Carolina
Nearest Secondary Market: South Carolina

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