Cost Accountant II

PQ Corporation
May 1, 2021
Malvern, PA
Job Type


For almost 200 years, PQ Corporation has envisioned the future of chemicals and catalysts through collaborative innovation, making products that touch all of us, every day.

  • Cleaner Emissions - Our Catalysts and Refining Services products and solutions help companies produce vehicles with improved fuel efficiency and cleaner emissions.
  • Better Care - Our products are critical ingredients in consumer applications that help make teeth brighter and skin softer
  • Carbon-Free - With inorganic and carbon-free products, we contribute to improving the sustainability of our planet.

We are a leading global provider of specialty catalysts, chemicals, and services that enable environmental improvements, enhance consumer products, and increase personal safety.

PQ Corporation is searching for a Cost Accountant to be based at our corporate headquarters in Malvern, PA.

  • We are not using agencies for this role at this time.
  • We are not offering relocation or visa sponsorship for this role at this time.

Cost Accountant candidates should possesses 3-5 years in an accounting/plant accounting/plant controlling role within multinational organizations and is ready to step-up in dynamic, hands-on, multi-site environment. Previous exposure to SAP is highly desirable. Professional designations (CMA/CPA) desirable but not required. Travel to the plant locations as needed (15-20%).

This role reports to the Cost Accounting Manager, the Cost Accountant II will provide analytical support over manufacturing and distribution costs, partnering with the Operations Leadership teams in directing and controlling the business performance across the US sites. The ongoing evolution of the business dynamics and the exposure to multiple Operations stakeholders make for a diverse and challenging job with significant growth potential.

More specific responsibilities include (and are not limited to):

  • review, preparation and maintenance of cost data relating to divisional, product line and process department income statements;
  • coordination of plant management, plant operations and engineering for the establishment of accurate costing estimates related to manufactured costs; data gathering for imported and tolled materials; set up of tolling processes in SAP;
  • review, analysis and update of costs to reflect changing conditions and cost of materials, ensuring accuracy and completeness of information;
  • participation in special cost studies/analysis for product costing, product pricing, and inventory levels, etc. coordinating activities through Marketing, Engineering and Plant Operations as required;
  • analysis and interpretation of variances from standard costs, plant fixed cost spending and planned capacity production;
  • ad-hoc analyses on product costs, inventory levels, raw material usage, energy consumption, yield reporting, etc.;
  • leadership and coordination of the audit of annual and quarterly physical inventories at plant locations;
  • preparation of quarterly and annual schedules as required by external auditors;
  • ensure that an effective control environment is maintained through compliance with both internal and external standards (SOX);
  • promote financial best practices and efficiency in processes; continuously identify and implement opportunities to improve;
  • identification of training needs, development of training materials and training of plant personnel and operating management to ensure correct interpretation and utilization of financial information and to maintain a high skill level for production reporting;
  • problem-solving skills to plant personnel to resolve plant-reporting problems and to improve plant-reporting accuracy;
  • acting as a liaison with other departments;
  • perform other duties as assigned.

  • Travel to the plant locations as needed (training, process evaluations, review of procedural techniques, cost reduction evaluations).
  • In addition to the necessary skills and experience to perform the responsibilities outlined above, there are a number of traits that a successful candidate will possess.

Technical Success Factors:

The Cost Accountant II will possess 3-5 years in an accounting/plant accounting/plant controlling roles, has a proactive mindset and excellent time-management skills. Additionally, the candidate will possess:

  • Bachelor's degree in Accounting or a related field;
  • strong Microsoft Excel skills;
  • experience with financial accounting software; SAP strongly preferred;
  • Sarbanes Oxley experience;
  • strong knowledge of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP);
  • professional designations (CMA/CPA) desirable but not required.

The Cost Accountant II must also possess the following traits:

  • Ability to work independently, prioritize and attain deliverables;
  • excellent interpersonal and communication skills and ability to work well within the broader Finance team and across the business unit;
  • ability to interact effectively with stakeholders at all levels, maintaining the highest standards of integrity and a service attitude;
  • ability to exercise sound judgment and take initiative in resolving problems and making recommendations;
  • must be highly disciplined, results-oriented and self-motivated;
  • strong organization skills. Ability to organize complex projects, manage multiple tasks, and meet established deadlines;
  • detail oriented.
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