What Is Responsibility Accounting?

Responsibility Accounting
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A system that identifies responsibility centers and then determines their goals is referred to as responsibility accounting. Additionally, it aids in the creation of performance measurement procedures and the preparation and evaluation of the identified responsibility centers’ performance reports. So, in this article let’s know more about what is responsibility accounting.

How Does Responsibility Accounting Work And What Is It?

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Management, budgeting, and internal accounting are all held accountable in responsibility accounting, a type of management accounting. All of a company’s planning, costing, and responsibility centers will benefit from this accounting.

The creation of monthly and annual budgets for each responsibility center is frequently part of accounting. It also keeps track of a company’s expenses and profits, compiling reports that are sent to the right manager for review either monthly or annually. The responsibility centers are the primary focus of responsibility accounting.

Features of Responsibility Accounting:

Continue reading to learn more about the variety of accountability accounting features.

Outputs and Inputs:

Only with accurate input and output information can a responsible accounting system be put into place. Costs are the monetary phrase for inputs, and revenues are the monetary term for outputs. Therefore, knowledge of costs and revenues is essential for responsible accounting.

Budgeting Use:

Financial data that is planned and actual is also necessary, in addition to cost and revenue data. Only with proper budgeting will the implementation of the accounting strategy be conveyed to the relevant management levels.

Relationship Between Organisational Structure And The Responsibility Accounting System:

A successful responsible accounting system absolutely needs clear authority structures and efficient organizational structures. The accounting system has been properly created to fit into the current organizational framework.

Finding the Responsibility Centres:

The responsibility accounting system cannot be deployed unless responsibility centers have been defined. The centers later came to stand in for the organizational decision-making centers.

Reporting on Performance:

Any departure or interruption from the plan needs to be recorded and reported as soon as possible because the responsibility account primarily refers to control. Corrective actions must be implemented as soon as a problem of this nature is reported. ‘Responsibility’ or performance reports are created using this data as the foundation.

Different Types of Responsibility Centers

A responsibility center is a functional company unit that is tasked with producing a financial report and is given specific objectives, goals, personnel, procedures, and policies.

Managers are given particular authority over how much money is spent, how much money is made, and how much money is invested. Let’s examine the four different responsibility center kinds.

Profit Center:

It adds to both income and outlays, producing profit or loss, as appropriate. For instance, the product manager is in charge of the product line, which is a profit center.

Cost Center:

Only particular charges that have been incurred are covered by the center. For instance, the housekeeping division will simply have expenses.

Revenue Center:

Only sales are generated by the revenue center. Consider the sales department of a company.

Investment Center:

Profits and returns on investments are the responsibility of the center. The latter includes the money invested in the business of the organization. An investment center, for instance, is a company’s subsidiary. The president of the subsidiary would be in charge of that situation.

Steps Involved in Responsibility Accounting:

The company divides into many responsibility centers for the purpose of responsibility accounting. At each center, the responsibilities are divided among the staff.

The performance of that center is evaluated by comparing planned and actual performance. Through responsibility reports, the center managers convey results.

Organizations can do responsibility accounting by following the series of actions shown below:

Set-up Responsibility Centers:

The divisions of the company are the Investment, Profit, and Cost centers. These divisions are referred to as responsibility centers.

Determination of Objectives:

Every center has a manager that is chosen by the authorities. They are in charge of that center’s operation.

Tracking Actual Performance:

The goals for each center are chosen and communicated to the center manager. It could include predetermined criteria, budgeted goals, or planned objectives.

Comparison of Actual with Budgeted Targets:

The authority compares the actual performance to the budgeted performance in great detail.

Calculation of Variance:

The management calculates the difference between performance and standards after comparing.

Corrective Measures:

In the event that responsibility is adverse or unfavorable, authorities take the appropriate corrective action. These actions aid in raising the performance of accountable managers.

Organizations can control costs by taking these actions. Additionally, it improves operations at each responsibility center.

Advantages of Responsibility Accounting

The following is an explanation of how responsibility accounting for management has the following benefits:

Simple Recognition:

It makes it possible to determine which managers are to blame for poor or excellent performance.

Benefits For Motivation:

There will undoubtedly be significant advantages in terms of motivation if a responsible accounting system is implemented.

Accessibility to Data:

There is a method for displaying performance data. In addition to motivating managers to act in the enterprise’s best interest, a framework for a system of managerial performance evaluation can be established on that basis.

Information At Hand:

Information that is pertinent and up to date with the minutes is made available. This information can be used to estimate future costs or revenues and establish standards for departmental budgets.

Planning and Making Decisions:

Responsibility accounting aids in planning and decision-making as well as control.

Control And Delegation:

The adoption of a responsibility accounting system enables management to achieve its dual goals of delegating responsibility while maintaining control.

Assistance with Future Management Training:

Obligation bookkeeping helps for preparing the future administration of an association.

Disadvantages of Responsibility Accounting

  • When the company’s controllable and uncontrollable costs are properly distinguished, responsibility accounting can be beneficial. When identifying responsibility centers, managers take this into account first and foremost. However, it is difficult to determine which costs fall under which centers due to practical issues.
  • The entire system can come to a standstill if there is even a slight disagreement between individual and business interests. Disagreements can also result in severe disagreements. In addition, new plans and policies cannot be developed in such circumstances.
  • The organizational structure becomes clumsy and hazy in social responsibility accounting. That at last influences the general presentation of the labor force.
  • Because the absence of the system can result in the misappropriation of funds and income, this accounting system tool can only be effective when there is a proper reporting system for execution.
  • The absence of staff with extensive training rounds out the list of disadvantages. That is aware of everything management needs to know about the company’s performance, as any communication flaw could result in incorrect outcomes.


Adapting responsibility accounting, which helps to separate the company’s operations and enables the hiring of the best talent suitable for each center, is very effective. It also works as a tool to improve the company’s efficiency and transparency.


Q. What Is Corporate Social Responsibility?

A. A form of business self-regulation, corporate social responsibility aims to hold businesses accountable to the public and improve society. Being eco-friendly and eco-conscious are two examples of CSR-friendly business practices; fostering workplace equality, diversity, and inclusion; showing respect to employees; giving back to the neighborhood; and ensuring that ethical business decisions are made.

From voluntary choices made by individual businesses to mandatory regulations at the regional, national, and international levels, CSR has evolved. However, many businesses choose to incorporate the concept of “doing good” into their business models rather than just comply with the legal requirements.

Q. Why is responsibility accounting preferred to other budgeting procedures?

A. Priorities can be set by budgeting. The complex task of running a business is significantly simplified by the management information produced by the budgeting process. The effectiveness of management is the focus of budgeting. Doing the wrong job exceptionally well is preferable to doing the right job moderately well. Of course, doing the right job exceptionally well is even better!

Q. What exactly is accountability accounting?

A. This ensures that the knowledge of those who have access to the greatest level of detail is fully utilized when budgets are prepared by those who are accountable for achieving them. It also indicates that managers and subordinates are committed to the budget and will set goals that are both realistic and ambitious.

Q. Is zero-based budgeting the same thing as responsibility accounting?

A. No, these are not the same ideas. Although responsibility accounting is more formal than zero-based budgeting, both terms refer to the idea of reworking each department’s costs in detail. It is essential to keep in mind that responsibility accounting takes place during the monitoring phase of the budget process, whereas zero-based budgeting takes place during the planning phase.

Q. What is responsibility accounting used for?

A. Together, budgeting and responsibility accounting entails providing management with control data. The efficiency and performance of executing the plan are compared using this feedback system. Additionally, it provides an opportunity for plan revision and reevaluation.

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