The quarter is over! I’m still taking a calculus course, but I set my own deadlines and it’s a pass/fail remote learning course from Berkeley. For now, I’m basking in the satisfaction of putting a pain-in-the-ass exam behind me. I handed in my financial analysis project for the class right after the exam, and the end-of-quarter BBQ was last night. In a broad context, six of seventy units are out of the way, and the basic two introductory classes are over. Along with accounting, everyone at SCU takes a management class within the first two quarters.
The Summer quarter is shorter than the others by a few weeks, with longer classes and the same amount of material as other quarters. To exacerbate the difficulty beyond having this time crunch, the accounting class covered financial and management accounting. We looked at what’s involved in an SEC filing, in addition to internal financial reporting. In Spring, the class will be split into two quarters. Yes, the powers-that-be acknowledged that anyone who’s new to the concepts has had to drink from a fire hose.
I actually liked studying the material. After learning many of my bookkeeping skills from the Quickbooks manual, I’ve always seen accounting as a process of cleaning up a relational database. The general ledger is the foundation of real accounting, but in my mind, the GL was where one would make adjustments for bookkeeping errors and uncertainty. This means that even though I’ve generated financial statements from Quickbooks, I always dealt with the general ledger as little as possible. For instance, I was not previously facile with the double negative concept of debits in liability accounts.
If your eyes just started to glaze over, then join the club. There were days in the accounting class when you could practically hear people’s jaws going slack, with kind of a cross between a low moan and a long-suffering sigh. Still, the class gave me a much better understanding of the necessity, scope methods, and possible interpretations of the accounting process. A comprehensive final analysis project gave us the experience of breaking down the most recent SEC annual filing from our freely chosen company.
All in all, the management class was more appealing, but the accounting class answered more of the questions that I had prior to entering the program. I’ll probably end up thinking back to the management class more often, but I’ll get a lot of mileage out of being able to find and glean significant meaning from publicly available financial reports from any public company.