Extant literature suggests that target setting must be complemented by cost control. There are, however, strong theoretical reasons to suggest that cost control, whilst meaningful for the manufacturing function, may be less effective for the marketing function. Difficulties in setting standards and tracing marketing results (sales) to marketing effort and the discretionary nature of many marketing costs are likely to reduce the effectiveness of cost control in marketing departments. This study examines firstly, whether cost control moderates the relationships between emphasis on tight budget targets and subordinates' propensity to create slack; and secondly, whether these relationships are found in both the manufacturing and the marketing functions. The results support a significant two-way interaction between emphasis on tight budget targets and cost control affecting propensity to create slack for the manufacturing function, but not for the marketing function. Marketing managers' propensity to create slack was found to be associated only with emphasis on tight budget targets. These results are consistent with the theory that differences in manufacturing and marketing can influence the effectiveness of accounting control systems.