Cost Control Methods: Definitions and Examples

Here are five cost control methods that allow a company to maintain and track its overall costs:
  • Planning the budget properly. …
  • Monitoring all expenses using checkpoints. …
  • Using change control systems. …
  • Having time management. …
  • Tracking earned value.

Similar to creating a personnel budget, you have a variety of options available to you, including categorizing expenses, identifying the most expensive positions, and coming up with ways to limit spending in each area. After completing all of these tasks, you will be able to control the budget and increase profits.

Cost control, Why cost control is necessary for a business?

The importance of cost control

Businesses can keep a tight budget under control with cost control, which stabilizes their finances and increases the profitability of their projects. Here are some explanations for why businesses must employ cost control techniques:

What is cost control?

Cost control is a technique used by financial experts to examine a company’s overall expenses and lower project costs to boost profit. A company typically employs finance experts to keep track of their cost performance, create budgets for each project, and alter initiatives that can improve their financial performance.

Finance experts also create, manage, and coordinate a project’s budget from beginning to end to ensure that workers adhere to it closely. Enhancing a project’s financial performance while lowering costs is the aim of using cost control techniques.

Factors of cost control

The following are a few variables that affect how a project’s cost is controlled:

Cost of labor

The cost of labor is the total amount of wages paid to workers on a project, including employee benefits and taxes. Since a project may involve multiple employees working at once, it’s crucial to account for labor costs when creating a budget. To get an accurate estimate of the project’s total cost, for instance, when creating a budget, be sure to include the total number of employees on the project and the maximum amount of time each employee can work on the project.

Cost of materials

The cost of materials is the price of all the materials and tools needed for a project. This entails placing material orders prior to the project’s beginning, throughout its completion, and after it is completed.

The actual cost

The total expenses incurred by a project from its inception to its completion make up its actual cost. This includes the price of labor, supplies, and any other project-related costs.

The cost variance

Cost variance describes any price differences between the project’s actual cost and the budget you have set. For instance, if your project has a $1,000 budget but ends up costing $1,500 instead, the cost variance will be $500 because there was a $500 difference between the project’s budget and actual cost.

Return on investment (ROI)

Return on investment (ROI) measures a project’s profitability in relation to the amount of money invested in it. A high return on investment (ROI) indicates that the project generated more revenue than it cost to complete.

5 cost control methods

The following list of five cost control techniques enables a business to monitor and maintain its overall costs:

1. Planning the budget properly

When beginning a new project, most businesses employ budget management as one method of cost control. It’s crucial to allow enough time to create an accurate budget for new projects because doing so ensures that costs are estimated, finances are organized, and cost variance is minimal. Businesses account for all project components when creating their budgets, including the number of workers they will need, the potential length of the project, and the amount of materials required.

It’s critical to leave plenty of room in your budget for any unforeseen expenses. For instance, some projects might end up taking longer than anticipated or requiring more materials than initially anticipated, so it’s important to set aside money in the budget for unforeseen changes.

2. Monitoring all expenses using checkpoints

As a common cost control technique, monitoring all project-related expenses helps businesses make sure the budget is being adhered to. Businesses frequently use checkpoints that are periodically evaluated throughout a project to check that team members are staying within the budget and to determine if any changes need to be made, such as if the team requests more time or material to finish the project. These checkpoints can be examined by experts once a week to once a month.

Using these checkpoints, financial experts can assess the necessary adjustments and adjust the budget as necessary. Changes can be made using this cost control technique with minimal impact on the budget.

3. Using change control systems

Systems for cost control called “change control systems” take into account any changes that could significantly affect the budget. Any issues that arise during the project or significant delays that result in the project not completing by the deadline may cause these changes, which may result in an increase in the labor and material costs. To ensure experts adjust the budget, change control systems keep track of all changes made to the project. Additionally, they ensure that all modifications are essential to the project and document all changes.

4. Having time management

By keeping costs under control and meeting deadlines, time management can reduce project costs. Since they must continue using materials and staff to complete the project, projects that are delayed can result in higher overall project costs and lower project profitability.

5. Tracking earned value

Among accountants, a common cost-control strategy is the use of earned value. It entails dividing the budget at the time of project completion by the percentage of work that has been completed on the project. Based on the time required to complete the project, the total cost of the project, and other factors, earned value aids professionals in predicting the financial outcome of a project.


What are cost control measures?

Cost Control: 5 Strategies to Consider
  • Get everyone involved. Encourage all staff members to think of ways the company could save time or money.
  • Be greener. …
  • Reduce your office footprint. …
  • Work with interim professionals. …
  • Challenge accounting and finance staff.

What 3 things can you do to control costs?

To proactively address differences, cost control compares actual expenses to estimated, or budgeted, expenses. Cost control includes everything from directly addressing budget variances to putting in place corrective measures that will allow you to cut unforeseen costs.

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