The heyday of managing companies on the basis of cost accounting is long past. Cost accounting reached the height of its popularity in the 1960s, when the idea was to set up cost planning per cost centre and to juxtapose actual costs against planned costs or target costs. Still: cost accounting (also known as cost and performance accounting or cost and earnings accounting) continues to be an important cost management tool which provides important pricing information. The widespread use of SAP software means that cost accounting is pre-integrated into financial and other company accounting. This standard software package also generally prescribes the use of a flexible budgeting approach.