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COST ASSIGNMENT involves assigning costs of an account to the accounts that are responsible or accountable for incurring the cost. For example, the cost of issuing purchase orders is allocated to the various objects procured. The cost assignment is done through assignment paths and cost drivers. The assignment path identifies the source account (the account whose cost is being assigned "Issue Purchase Orders" in the above example) and destination accounts (the accounts to which the costs are being allocated the various cost objects procured by issuing purchase orders in the above example). The cost driver identifies the measure or rationale on the basis of which the assignment needs to be done, that is, whether the costs of issuing purchase orders need to be assigned to various cost objects evenly, based on some defined percentage values, or based on some criterion, like the number of purchase orders of each cost object issued. Defining the cost drivers and assignment paths (i.e., source and destination accounts) enable proper assignment and accounting of the various costs incurred in the organization.

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INVENTORY for companies: includes raw materials, items available for sale or in the process of being made ready for sale (work in process) for securities: it is securities bought and held by a broker or dealer for resale. A firm that has a sustainable competitive advantage has an inventory and net earnings are rising on a corresponding basis. Inventories that spike up/down are indicative of competitive industries prone to boom/bust.

REASONABLE CERTAINTY is the degree of certainty that would be found to be in existence by a reasonable person.

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