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profit center definition and meaning

define profit center

It does not provide insight into the profitability of individual lines of business, internal departments, branch offices, or even individual producers of the company. Further, profit centres also stimulate healthy competition between each unit and its managers. The managers of profit centres have been given decision-making powers over revenues and costs related to their business unit. They are given the authority to take steps necessary to boost revenues and eliminate unwanted expenditures to generate profits for the entity. As seen above, a profit centre is a branch or division of the company which directly adds to the company’s profitability.

Business organisations can use profit centres effectively to measure the performance of various business centres. Cost centres can be merged with profit centres to ensure that there are no unwanted expenditures and there is cost optimisation. Financial records and accounts are maintained separately for each profit center.

What is Profit Center Group?

By using profit centre accounting, the organization is aware of each business centre’s expenditures. It enables the entity to perform budgeting and forecasting more efficiently and ensure appropriate fund allocation among business centres. Managers shall be assigned to each profit centre who can determine prices and operating costs related to his profit centre. They also face pressure from management as they shall be directly responsible for their division’s revenues, costs, and profits. Other types of reporting entities within a business are the cost center and investment center. A cost center is only responsible for its costs, while an investment center is responsible for its return on assets.

define profit center

It is used to combine the various profit centers together according to the requirement of the orgaization. The profit center can be divided according to the company’s requirement which enables the management to analyze the area of responsibility. It is a part of the Enterprise Controlling module and also integrated into the new General Ledger Accounting.


After identifying profitable and low-profit units in the organization accountants or management decides the allocation of resources and it lays down its future strategy to increase the revenue of the least profitable unit. Also, management decides ceasing of certain activities altogether based on profitability and other factors. Investors can easily analyse the company’s overall performance based on the costs and revenue belonging to a specific profit centre individually. Certain functions, like information technology, appear more suited to this concept than others because—except for the addition of a selling function—little else (except perhaps expansion) would be required. Managing external databases is functionally the same as managing those in-house.

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This website is using a security service to protect itself from online attacks. There are several actions that could trigger this block including submitting a certain word or phrase, a SQL command or malformed data. My Accounting Course  is a world-class educational resource developed by experts to simplify accounting, finance, & investment analysis topics, so students and professionals can learn and propel their careers. Use the T-code KCH1 or go to Accounting → Controlling → Profit Center Accounting → Master Data → Profit Center Group → Create.

How to Create a Profit Center?

It is treated as a separate business having its revenues and costs accounted for on a standalone basis. This means that profit centres are the self-contained entity within the entity that practically operates independently, producing their costs, revenues and profits. All cost centers “do something” and therefore theoretically have something to sell—but the marketability of many centers is problematical or, de facto, must be relaunched as new ventures.

  • Management typically analyzes the performance of both the department as a whole and its manager.
  • Based on the fact whether a department is capable of generating revenues through its activities, a department can be classified as a profit center or a cost center.
  • Profit centers are crucial to determining which units are the most and the least profitable within an organization.
  • Company that dedicates an entire division to profit generation leads to additional risks.
  • The profit centre managers shall be accountable for generating profits for their business units, thereby meeting the profit standards of the entity.

Profit Centre Accounting helps to determine the profits and losses for each profit centre for the given period. It can be done using the cost-of-sales approach or period accounting method. This type of accounting helps to analyze revenues and lets you explore fixed capital and other statistical figures, such as the number of employees. Each business unit with a revenue stream shall be considered a separate profit centre for internal control purposes.

Key Features of SAP CO Profit Center

At the retailer Walmart, different departments selling different products could be divided into profit centers for analysis. For example, clothing could be considered one profit center while home goods could be a second profit center. As a profit centre, a cost centre is also a department or unit that supervises, allocates, segregates, and eliminates all sorts of costs related to a company. Cost centres enable the limiting of unwanted expenditures and help to keep a check on costs incurred by the company.

Each business centre can focus on its strengths and identify and cover up its loopholes. Assessment of each business centre allows for increased productivity of the organization. The management is responsible for managing a profit center and they do have decision- making authority regarding their management. This work involves a lot of pressure as management needs to ensure that sales of products and services are always more than the cost.

The department manager should focus on increasing revenues while maintaining the same cost levels. Organizational units compete with one another, and this may, sometimes, result in conflict between different centers and reduction in cooperation between different units and sharing of resources. In this tutorial, you will learn step by step process to create a new profit center in SAP.

  • The most obvious is the radical reorganization of the poorly performing function.
  • They function by differentiating between certain revenue-generating activities.
  • The bonuses and perquisites of managers of profit centres shall be directly linked to the profitability of their business centres.
  • It reflects a management-oriented structure of the organization, which is used for internal control.
  • The following sap co tutorials guides you how to create profit center group in SAP and what is profit center standard hierarchy in SAP.

In a profit center, performance is measured in terms of the numerical difference between revenues (outputs) and expenditure (inputs). It is involved in the manufacture and sale of outputs, and it measures how well the center is doing economically. The profit center also determines the efficiency of the manager in charge of the center. Profit as a measure of performance is especially useful since it enables senior management to use one comprehensive measure instead of several measures that often point to different directions. A profit center helps in motivating managers to perform well in areas they control and also encourages managers to take initiatives. The profit center helps the organization to make the best use of specialized market knowledge of the divisional managers, and entrusts the local managers the responsibility of tradeoffs.

Examples of profit centre

They make sure that the unit is profitable in each period either by increasing the revenue or optimizing expenses and sometimes using both the techniques simultaneously. There are many divisions in any entity, while some divisions act as a support system for others such as what is bad debt the method of bad debts written off and protection accounting, others such as thesales department is capable of earning revenues through their activities. Based on the fact whether a department is capable of generating revenues through its activities, a department can be classified as a profit center or a cost center.

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