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What is a responsibility center?

A responsibility center is a part or subunit of a company for which a manager has authority and responsibility. The company's detailed organization chart is a logical source for determining responsibility centers. The most common responsibility centers are the departments within a company.

When the manager of a responsibility center can control only costs, the responsibility center is referred to as a cost center. If a manager can control both costs and revenues, the responsibility center is known as a profit center. If a manager has authority and responsibility for costs, revenues, and investments the responsibility center is referred to as an investment center.