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A Simple Explanation About Profit Center & Cost Center In Accounting

In this article, we will help you understand how the business concept for-profit centre & Cost centre A profit centre is an activity or a process in our business that can be measured and directly impact the bottom line. A cost centre does not have a direct impact on the bottom line of our business. The difference between the two is huge! So why are these terms used to describe different parts of a business? Let’s look at what each one means and how you can make sure you use them correctly in our company.

Effective financial management involves organizing and monitoring financial activities to maximize resource usage while reaching goals of an organization. Profit centres, cost centers and internal or corporate orders all play an essential part of successful financial operations for any business; by understanding each one in detail it helps companies improve both decision making and overall efficiency of financial operations.

Introduction to profit centre & cost centre

Profit center accounting’s primary purpose is to determine profit within the area of responsibility. We can further analyze the fixed assets of our company by assigning balance sheet items (fixed assets and receivables and payables). Stocks) to profit centres. Profit centers can be classified based on product lines, geographic factors (regions, offices, and manufacturing plant locations), or function (production and sales). Our business can create profit centres by assigning profit centres to various master data (materials cost centres, orders cost centres, projects, sales orders, assets, and cost objects).

segments of profitability and efficiency Each profit centre is assigned an administrative unit control area.

Cost Center gives information about the costs incurred for your business. SAP allows you to assign Cost Centres to specific departments and managers within your company. Marketing, Purchasing, Human Resources, FinanceSales & Distribution, and Information Systems are all examples of Cost Centers.

What is Profit Center?

A Profit Center in accounting is an organizational unit that represents a management-oriented organization and serves internal control. Analyzing profit center operating results can be done using either the cost of sales or the accounting period

A Profit Center is an organizational unit that allows for SAP Controlling. It’s used to control internal processes. We can create Profit Centers based on our organizational needs. This allows management to identify the responsible areas and will enable us to divide them. This will enable us to give decentralized units authority and allow them to manage and control them. The Profit Center’s balance of revenues and costs is the responsibility of its responsible person. Profit Center Accounting can assess a particular unit within a company. A branch office, a plant, a function, a product, a division, or a product group could all be examples. To analyze profit and loss internally. Profit Center Accounting uses data from many company operations, such as accounting, logistics, and supply chain management. We assign Profit Centers during master data design to other account assignment objects such as Sales Orders and Production orders, Cost Centers and Internal orders, Projects, etc., to which revenues and costs are posted.

Profit center
Profit center

The SAP system does not require that the user enter the Profit Center. Data is instead derived from internal orders, cost centres, material masters, etc. SAP S/4HANA Finance Consultants determine whether to use the functions in Controlling or Profit Center Accounting. Different Profit Centers can be found in other control areas. It helps prepare P&L for various decisions; each Profit Center head needs information. The group leader’s general information (control is at level) is critical. To make choices, different Profit center CEOs require further information. They are in charge of particular responsibilities.

Profit center example

Let’s consider a manufacturing company that produces and sells electronic devices. The company has three main divisions: Product Development, Production, and Sales.

Product Development Profit Center:

  • The Product Development division focuses on designing and developing new electronic devices.
  • It incurs costs related to research and development, design resources, and prototype production.
  • The division generates revenue by licensing intellectual property rights or selling patents to other companies.

Production Profit Center:

  • The Production division manufactures electronic devices based on the designs provided by the Product Development division.
  • It incurs raw materials, labour, machinery, and factory maintenance costs.
  • The division generates revenue by selling the manufactured products to distributors or retailers.

Sales Profit Center:

  • The Sales division handles the distribution and marketing of electronic devices.
  • It incurs sales personnel, marketing campaigns, advertising, and distribution logistics costs.
  • The division generates revenue by selling the devices to customers directly or through partnerships with retailers.

In SAP, each profit centre is given a unique identification, such as a profit centre code. This enables accurate tracking of revenue and costs for each division. The profit centre code allows management to track the financial performance of each division separately.The corporation can examine the profitability and effectiveness of its many divisions by analysing the financial data of each profit centre in SAP. It assists in identifying areas for improvement, allocating resources effectively, and making sound business decisions.

It’s crucial to highlight that the example is oversimplified and that in the actual world, a corporation might have numerous profit centres with more intricate architecture. Organisations can improve their understanding of the financial performance of various business divisions and make data-driven decisions to increase overall profitability by implementing SAP profit centres.

Why profit center is used in SAP?

a profit center is used to represent a business unit that is responsible for generating its own revenues and profits. It is a way to track the financial performance of specific areas within an organization, such as a department, division, or product line. Profit centers are used in SAP to help managers make informed decisions about how to allocate resources and optimize the profitability of their business unit.

  • Determining the financial performance of a specific business unit or area of the organization
  • Allocating costs and revenues to specific business units or areas of the organization
  • Analyzing the profitability of different products, customers, or markets
  • Providing a basis for budgeting and forecasting
  • Facilitating the monitoring of business unit performance and the identification of areas for improvement
  • Profit centers are typically used in conjunction with other SAP modules, such as Financial Accounting (FI) and Controlling (CO), to help managers track and analyze the financial performance of their business units.

Why a Profit Center is required?

Profit center’s primary objective is to be an autonomous organizational unit that operates in the market independently, takes responsibility for its revenue and costs, and can be used to become an investment center or a company within a company. Internal and external accounting might become more integrated with the profit centre concept, and it acts as a link between the two accounting concepts. Profit Center Accounting answers the following questions:

  • What is the revenue?  
  • What is the cost to manufacture goods? 
  • What is the contribution margin? 
  • What are the administrative and sales expenses? 
  • What is the operating profit? At the profit center level, you can do return on investment (ROI), economic value added (EVA) and cash flow analysis.

Profit centers can be used for a variety of purposes, including:

How to Create a Profit Center?

IMG Path is as follows

Display Menu Path SAP IMP ➔ Controlling➔ Profit Center Accounting➔ Profit Center➔ Define Profit Centre

Profit center tcode in sap

  • Create a profit center -KE51
  • Change a profit center-KE52
  • Display a profit center -KE53
Profit center vs cost center
Profit center vs cost center
profit centre tcode
profit centre tcode

The next screen enter all required entries, click on save

Profit center table in sap

  • Table of Profit Center Master Data -CEPC
  • Table of Profit Center Master Texts -CEPCT

What is Cost Center

A cost center can be defined as an element of an organization that directly or indirectly increases the company’s profit. Marketing and Customer Service are two examples. You can categorize a company as a profit, cost, or investment center. Cost is a simple concept to grasp.

A cost center is a business division that raises the company’s expense but not the profit. Examples of cost centers include customer service, research and development, and marketing. Businesses may categorize business units as profit centers, cost centers, or investment centers. Cost centers can be easy to classify as cost centers, simple divisions. Cost centers can encourage managers to underfund their units to gain a competitive advantage. This could have a negative impact on the company as a whole (e.g., lower sales due to poor customer service). The cost center is likely to be a target for budget cuts and rollbacks, as it has a negative effect on profit. Cost considerations are often a driving factor in operational decisions made by contact centers. Because indirect profitability is difficult to quantify, managers often find it hard to justify equipment, technology, and staff investments. Sometimes, business metrics quantify the value of a cost center and link costs and benefits to the overall organization. For example, in a call center, measures such as average handle time, service quality, and cost per call can be used in conjunction with other figures to justify present financing.

Why do we use cost center in SAP?

In the SAP system, a cost center is a organizational unit within a company for which costs can be recorded and tracked. It is used to collect and allocate costs that are incurred by a business, such as personnel costs, indirect material costs, and overhead costs.

Cost centers are used for internal cost allocation and performance measurement. They allow a company to track and analyze the costs associated with specific business activities or departments, and to identify areas where costs can be reduced or efficiency can be improved.

In addition to helping with cost management and analysis, cost centers can also be used for budgeting and planning purposes. They can be used to set budgets for specific business activities or departments, and to track actual costs against budgeted costs to identify variances and take corrective action as needed.

Why is a Cost Center required?

Cost centers are the locations where costs are incurred. It can be set up based on functional requirements, areas of responsibility, allocation criteria, geographic locations, activities, or services provided. Its purpose is to provide cost-related information in Overhead Cost Accounting. Cost centers are then grouped into decision-making, control, and responsibility units. Cost Center is placed in the cost center standard hierarchy to map this structure.

What is a cost center example ?

A cost center is a specific organizational unit within a company that incurs costs. Examples of cost centers may include:

  • A manufacturing department in a factory
  • A research and development department in a technology company
  • A sales department in a retail company
  • A customer service department in a service-based company
  • An administrative department in a company
  • Each of these cost centres would incur specific costs associated with their respective activities, such as personnel costs, materials costs, and overhead costs. By tracking and analyzing the costs incurred by each cost centre, a company can better understand the financial performance of each unit and identify areas for cost reduction or efficiency improvement.

How to Create a Cost Center ?

IMG Path is as follows:

SAP IMG Menu➔ Controlling➔ Cost Center Accounting➔ Master Data➔ Create Cost Center

Cost Center
Cost Center

Cost Center Next screen

  • Enter the new cost center number
  • Enter the validity dates of new cost center Optional – in the reference section
  • In the cost center

Cost center tcode in sap

  • Create a Cost Center -KS01
  • Change a Cost Center -KS02
  • Display a Cost Centre -KS03

Cost center table in sap

  • Cost Center Table -CSKS
  • Cost Center Text Table-CSKST
  • Cost element table -CSKB

There are two types of organizations, profit centres, and cost centres. Profit centers focus on generating revenues for the organization and cost centers focus on reducing expenses.


Understanding the distinctions between cost centres, profit centres, and internal orders is essential for efficient financial management. Profit centres generate revenue while retaining profitability, whilst internal orders act as a temporary framework for managing project- or event-specific expenses and revenues. Cost centres focus on lowering costs in particular geographic areas. By adopting these financial structures, businesses can successfully optimize operations and achieve financial success.

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