What Is a Cost Centre?

Most businesses have heard of cost centres, but many don’t understand what they are—or how they work. A cost centre is an operating unit within a company that incurs costs and adds value to the organization. It is used to track expenses and measure financial performance. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at cost centres and explain how they can help businesses better manage their finances. Read on to learn more about what a cost centre is, how it works, and its benefits to businesses.

What is a cost centre?

In business, a cost center is a department or function within an organization that incurs costs. The term generally includes all indirect costs incurred by the organization, such as overhead and general and administrative expenses. A cost center is not usually responsible for generating revenue or profits for the organization.

The purpose of a cost center is to track expenses so that managers can identify areas where costs can be reduced. Cost centers are often categorized by type of expense, such as marketing, research and development, or human resources. Managers typically review cost center reports on a regular basis to look for ways to improve efficiency and reduce expenses.

Some businesses use cost centers as a way to control spending. For example, they may give each department a budget for the year and require managers to stay within that budget. This approach can help businesses keep costs under control but may also limit creativity and innovation if departments are afraid to spend money on new initiatives.

Types of cost centres

There are three types of cost centers: service, production, and support.

Service cost centers are those that provide a service to the organization, such as the accounting or human resources departments. Production cost centers are responsible for creating or manufacturing products. Support cost centers provide services that help other departments within the organization, such as maintenance or security.

The type of cost center will dictate what types of costs are incurred. For example, service cost centers will incur costs related to salaries, rent, and office supplies. Production cost centers will have costs related to raw materials, machinery, and labor. Support cost centers will have costs related to repairs, replacement parts, and fuel.

Knowing which type of cost center you are dealing with can help you better understand where the money is going and how it is being used.

How to manage a cost centre

A cost centre is a department or function within a business that incurs costs. The purpose of a cost centre is to allow a business to track and manage the costs associated with that department or function.

There are a few different ways to manage a cost centre. The first way is to ensure that all costs are properly accounted for. This means tracking all invoices and expenses associated with the cost centre. It is also important to have a clear understanding of what costs are fixed and what costs are variable. This will help you to better predict and manage costs going forward.

Another way to manage a cost centre is to set budgets. This will give you a clear picture of how much money can be spent in each area of the cost centre. Budgets can be either fixed or flexible, depending on your needs.

Once you have established how you will track and manage costs, it is important to monitor the results regularly. This will help you to identify any areas where costs are spiralling out of control. If you see any areas of concern, you can take action to correct the problem.

By following these tips, you can effectively manage a cost centre and keep costs under control.

Pros and cons of cost centres

A cost centre is a department or function within a business for which costs can be allocated. The main purpose of cost centres is to help managers control and monitor expenditure.

There are both pros and cons to using cost centres within a business. Some of the advantages of cost centres include:

-They provide a clear picture of where costs are incurred within the business
-They can help identify areas where costs need to be reduced
-They can improve communication between different departments within the business

However, there are also some disadvantages to using cost centres which include:

-They can lead to siloed thinking within the business, with each department only worrying about its own costs rather than considering the costs across the whole company
-Cost centres can be complex to set up and maintain, particularly if the business has a lot of different departments or functions
-Allocating costs accurately to each cost centre can be difficult and time-consuming

When to use a cost centre

There are a few key instances when it is appropriate to use a cost centre:

1. When allocating costs across different departments or business units
2. When allocating shared costs that cannot be easily assigned to specific products or services
3. When developing budgets for future periods
4. When analyzing and tracking actual costs incurred


A cost centre is a business unit or area within an organization that incurs costs and allows for easier tracking of expenses. Cost centres can be used to help companies manage their spending and make sure that resources are being utilized efficiently. They also provide useful information about finances, allowing businesses to make informed decisions about budgeting and resource allocation. Knowing how to properly utilize cost centres is key in developing a successful financial strategy for any organization.

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