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Cost Audit: Meaning, Objectives, Applicability, Provisions and Benefits


A Cost Audit is a thorough and organized review of a company’s expenses. It aims to ensure that the company is following relevant laws and standards by checking the accuracy of its cost accounting records. A cost auditor specialist is liable for ensuring that costs are designated decently and accurately during an audit. This interaction assists organizations with distinguishing shortcomings, decreasing costs, and eventually further developing productivity and execution. It ensures financial transparency and accountability, making it an essential concept of Cost Accounting.

What is a Cost Audit?

An evaluation of costs, which incorporates non-benefit associations, is directed by a cost audit by looking at a substance’s expense records and related data. This cycle’s essential goal is to guarantee stakeholders, like investors, the board, and administrative authorities, that the expense data revealed by an organization is dependable and follows relevant guidelines and norms. This involves:

  1. verifying the accuracy of the cost accounts, cost reports, cost statements, and cost data in the cost accounting records and
  2. Reviewing these records to ensure they comply with cost accounting principles, plans, procedures, and objectives.

The cost auditor should verify the accuracy of figures through vouching, reconciliation, and other means.

Objectives of Cost Audit

Cost auditing is an orderly assessment of an organization’s expense bookkeeping records and practices to guarantee precision, consistency with legitimate necessities, and proficiency in cost administration. The vital targets of cost inspecting include:

  • The audit means pinpointing the excessive misfortunes or wastage and guaranteeing that the costing framework decides the sensible and exact expense of creation.
  • The essential objective of cost review is to guarantee that the expense connected with creation and deals includes just those goal elements and that those variables are used most.
  • To make sure that cost records are exact
  • To recognize blunders in cost accounts/records.
  • To present the game plan of interior review with an emphasis on expenses to limit the weight on the monetary examiner
  • To establish that the organization has legitimate expense books and records either expected by regulation or generally as an administrative choice
  • To ensure that the essential rule of cost bookkeeping or related arrangements referenced to execute specific legal standards are appropriately made in keeping up with cost accounts.

Applicability of Cost Auditing as per Companies CRA Rules, 2014

Cost Audit is a lawful impulse for:

  • Each organisation referred to in thing (A) of rule 3 whose yearly turnover during the quickly going before FY is Rs 50 crores or more.
  • Each organisation referred to in thing (A) of rule 3 whose all-out turnover of individual items or administrations for which cost records are commanded to be managed under rule 3 is Rs 25 crore or more.
  • Each organisation referred to in thing (B) of rule 3 whose yearly turnover is Rs 100 crores or more during the quickly going before FY.
  • Each organisation referred to in thing (B) of rule 3 whose all-out turnover of individual items or administrations for which cost records are commanded to be managed under rule 3 is Rs 35 crore or more.

Norms Under Companies (Cost Records and Audit) Rules, 2014

  • The class of organisations referred to in Rule 3 and the most extreme cut-off points set out in Rule 4 will delegate an expense reviewer in no less than 180 days of the beginning of FY.
  • Given that before such arrangement is made, the writ consent of the expense evaluator to such appointment and a declaration from them, as referred to in sub-rule (1A), will be obtained.
  • The expense inspector under sub-rule (1) will outfit an endorsement that the individual or the organisation, by and large, fulfils the standards for arrangement and subsequently doesn’t stand ineligible according to the Cost & Works Accountants Act, 1959 (23 of 1959) and the principles referred to thereunder.
  • The individual or the organisation, by and large, meets the standards referred to in Section 141 of the Demonstration;
  • The proposed arrangement sticks as far as possible, set out by the power.
  • The rundown of arguments against the delegated cost evaluator or review organisation forthcoming w.r.t proficient issues of direct, as referred to in the declaration, is precise and valid.

Filing of CRA 2 Form and Other Norms Around Cost Auditor

  • Each organisation under sub-rule (1) needs to document structure CRA 2 for hinting authority about the reviewer’s arrangement inside given timetables;
  • In something like 30 days of the executive gathering in which the choice for the equivalent was supported or;
  • Within 180 days of beginning the FY, whichever is prior, employ structure CRA 2 alongside the standard charge.
  • Each named auditor will keep on releasing their obligations till the expiry of 180 days from the conclusion of the FY or till they outfit the expense review report for the FY for which they have been selected.
  • Given that the auditor under these principles might be ended from this office before the lapse of his term, using a board goalpost delivering a sensible possibility of being heard by the cost auditor and keeping the explanations behind such matters recorded as a hard copy,
  • Given further that the CRA 2 structure to be petitioned for sharing matters connecting with the arrangement of one more cost auditor will fasten the concerned Board Resolution to the effect;

Norms for Intimating Vacancy and Filing of Forms CRA 2, CRA 3 and CRA 4

  • Any easy-going opportunity for the expense examiner made because of abdication, passing, or the Bodies will fill evacuation somewhere around 30 days of the event of such opening. The organisation will imply the authority using the CRA 2 structure within 30 days of such arrangement.
  • The Bodies will confirm the expense explanations and other applicable articulations are to be appended with the expense review report before board-approved chiefs endorse them for accommodation at the expense evaluator to report subsequently.
  • Each cost examiner who completes an expense record review will outfit the expense review report alongside their perception, if any, in the structure CRA.
  • Each cost reviewer will share their confirmed report to the Bodies within 180 days from the conclusion of the FY to which the information relates. The Bodies will examine such statements, especially the underground insect reservation referred to in that.
  • In no less than 30 days of receiving a duplicate review report, each organisation falling under said rules will work with the authority with such words in the CRA 4 structure in the recommended configuration and expenses.

Types of Cost Auditing

Cost auditing systematically assesses an organization’s expense bookkeeping records, cycles, and practices to guarantee precision, productivity, and consistency with significant regulations and guidelines. There are different kinds of cost evaluation, each filling explicit needs inside an association. Here are a few typical types of cost auditing:

  • Auditing for the Indian Government
  • auditing in the interest of helping the executives.
  • Auditing in the interest of councils.
  • Cost Audit for the exchange affiliation.
  • Auditing under the Organisation’s Sculpture
  • Exchange deals and question
  • Cost variety inside the business
  • Legal Auditing

Benefits Of Cost Audit

Cost audit benefits are the following:

  1. Management
  2. Society
  3. Shareholders
  4. Government.

Benefits of Management

  • Management gets reliable data for day-to-day operations like price fixing, control, decision-making, etc.
  • A proper reporting system to management will closely monitor all wastages.
  • Inefficiencies in the company’s working will be brought to light to facilitate corrective action.
  • Management by exception becomes possible through allocating responsibilities to individual managers.
  • The budgetary control and standard costing system will be significantly facilitated.
  • A company can establish a reliable check on the valuation of closing stock and work-in-progress.
  • It helps in the detection of errors and fraud.

Benefits of Society

  • This method is frequently used in price fixing. As per audit cost data, fixed prices protect consumers from being exploited.
  • In specific industries, price hikes are only allowed with valid justification, such as increased production costs. This helps reduce inflation and maintain consumers’ living standards by limiting price increases.

Benefits of Shareholder

  • It ensures that proper records are kept regarding purchases and utilization of materials, expenses on wages, etc. It also provides a fair valuation of closing stocks and works in progress. Thus, companies can ensure their shareholders a fair investment return.

Benefits of Government

  • When the Government enters a cost-plus contract, a cost audit helps the Government reasonably fix the contract’s price.
  • It fixes the ceiling prices of essential commodities, and thus, undue profiteering is checked.
  • This allows the Government to focus on inefficient units.
  • It enables the Government to decide in favour of protecting specific industries.
  • Consequent management action can create healthy competition among the various units in the industry. This imposes an automatic check on inflation.
  • It facilitates the settlement of trade disputes brought to the Government.

Drawbacks of Cost Audit

While cost audits can give many advantages, they also have a few hindrances. A portion of the significant drawbacks include the following:

  • Cost: Leading a cost audit can be a costly and time-consuming process that requires the inclusion of particular auditors who charge high expenses for their administrations.
  • Complexity: The complexity of an organization’s cost accounts and accounts requires an intensive assessment that requires high degrees of mastery.
  • Management resistance: Organizations might consider cost audits to interrupt their activities and may not help the audit cycle, prompting an incapable interaction.
  • Trouble in detecting fraud: During a cost audit, auditors may find it difficult to identify fraudulent activities because they are inappropriate for identifying fraud, mainly if it is well-concealed.
  • Limited scope: A cost audit gives a Limited point of view on an organization’s monetary execution, as it just spotlights the expense of its tasks.
  • Reliance on historical information: Cost audits depend on historical cost information, implying they need to consider future trends or economic situations that might affect the expense of items or administrations.


The administration can benefit from cost auditing as it provides valuable details related to managing production, helps optimize operational techniques, reduces unnecessary expenses, and aids in reformulating plans for cost accounting. Maintaining transparency and cost efficiency is crucial for organizations, with cost auditing playing a vital role in achieving this objective. By scrutinizing cost records and practices, businesses can identify areas for improvement and promote financial credibility. Organizations subject to cost audits must comply with relevant policies and ensure consistency to maintain the trust of investors and regulatory authorities.

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G.Durghasree B.A.B.L (Hons)

G Durghasree B.A.B.L (Hons) is a registered trademark attorney with extensive experience as an Advocate for a period of 8 years. She possesses expertise in trademark law, including trademark filing and trademark hearings. Additionally, she is skilled in contract drafting and reviewing, providing legal advice and opinions, particularly in the areas of Company Law, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), and Goods and Service Tax Law (GST). Her experience encompasses both litigation and non-litigation aspects of these laws.