Showing posts with label accounting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label accounting. Show all posts

Monday, September 18, 2017

Overwhelmed


          As I have already mentioned, I had started two classes on Labor Day this month.  One in managerial accounting and the other in financing.  My accounting class seems like a refresher course as there is some familiarity within the topics. It also feels like a prequel to my financing class and I wish I had it BEFORE my financing class and not side-by-side as I tend to get the two mixed up and have actually turned in one assignment for one class into the other.

          Fortunately I have really good instructors in both classes who have been able to give me feedback right away instead of waiting until the end of the week as was the case with my last instructor who did announce ahead of time that his grading day is Sunday and that is it.

          I am having the hardest time with the subject at hand.  Valuation principals and investments and blah, blah, blah . . . One class asks me how a manager makes a decision (no, it isn't my managerial accounting, it's the other one . . . see what I mean) and so I look up all of these references for one class and end up using them for the other class.

          Most of my accounting assignments have been in excel and so I don't have to have all those references in my back up file.  When I am asked to write about a personal finance decision (wrong again - the 300 word project about personal financing is for the accounting class; it is the second part to be handed in along with the excel assignment) I am looking at all these words and definitions trying hard to apply it to my personal life, but they're all business words and I am not a business and I have absolutely no desire to be!
          We make estimated guesses.  We cannot predict the future.  We can't control what downfall the economy may have to endure due to natural disasters.  I have so many thoughts in my head and they are spilling over.  I don't like the riled up emotion I feel when I am trying to answer the questions.  Roland has always been able to separate business from personal life.  Not me.  I cannot keep my emotions out of it!

          And then there is the scrapbook I had gone through that has triggered all sorts of thoughts.  I knew I couldn't sit down and write just one post and do my assignments.  So I broke my thoughts into several posts that still managed to beg for me to write them - and hey, why not?  I couldn't focus on my assignments anyway. I'm not worried about failing the class.  I've been getting As the entire time except for one class - with an instructor who would pass out virtual caramels - I was late turning in an assignment and so did not get full credit.  I think I was taking two classes at that time also. 

          I feel fortunate that I had only one class in July and one class last mod.  I don't know how I managed with the two classes that started on the day of Jeanie's funeral.  I felt like I had been in a coma for three weeks.  Perhaps that is the secret - have my subconscious take over.  I just felt so tired I don't think it was possible to experience emotion.  Since school started for Jenna, I've been neglecting the library also.  I find it necessary  to take a breather.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Accounting - a Cure for Insomnia




            I started two new classes on Labor Day - well, new to me.  The classes themselves aren't new.  One is in financing and the other is accounting.  Oh, joy.  It hasn't been a full week, and already I've gotten them mixed up.

            The instructor who teaches finance is one I've already had before.  My accounting instructor is the most enthusiastic one yet.  She talks quicker than I can take notes.  She doesn't spend much time on the assignment but does seem to cover a lot of ground.  It is still overwhelming.

            Now, I'm a visual person, which I think I have mentioned.  I love finding videos on YouTube that will help me understand whatever subject.  CrashCourse was great for economics and history, but it doesn't appear that there are have been any CrashCourse made with the subject of accounting.  Too bad.  Meanwhile, I have been searching for something that doesn't sound or read like Ben Stein.





            You see the reaction of the students?  I actually have a more attentive face learning the depression and economics and so forth than studying accounting. I have not come across yet that makes me go, "OH . . . I get it now!"  Ben Stein also done commercials for "Clear Eyes" and while the commercials themselves seem to have some eye amusement, his voice does not



            Accounting reads like double talk.  The language is seriously over my head.  And of course, everything is written in third person.  I guess that's one reason I prefer reading material in first person as opposed to third person.  Third person is too textbooky and impersonal.  There is nothing personal about accounting.  The higher up the class is, the more foreign it sounds.  Although I do seem to be getting some of what I  hear or read.

            Though the majority of my instructors have pput more enthusiasm into their voices and have brought in their passion toward the subject, I haven't run across that on YouTube.  Most of it has been monotone and robotic.

            When addressing the question, "What woudl you recommend for falling asleep?" I have always suggested wathing "the English Patient" - how can you seriously sta awake for the entire movie?  If that doesn't work, pull up YouTube and type in accounting.  That should do it.  

Monday, July 17, 2017

I don't know what to call this post . . . frustration?



                I am now taking two accounting classes.  The language is foreign to me.  I do okay in accounting 108 but I seem to be reading (and hearing) binary code for the other.  I have seen the names of only two other classmates who are currently taking both classes.  What is up with that?  Just because I don't see their names doesn't mean all my other classmates are taking the same two classes but with different instructors.  I personally would rather have just one at a time - or at least one on Monday morning and not have to wait for a walk through for both classes on Tuesday evening . . . and still replay the recordings over and over in hopes that I'll understand.




                I like my 108 instructor.  He's not boring.  He is easy to follow.  I understand what he says.  If I have a question or concern, he gets back to me right away.  I am comfortable with the subject - mostly input and data.  The class has been learning how to use QuickBooks - which I believed I'd been set up for prior to my account.  Unfortunately, I had my user name as my hotmail name and my server at yahoo - which I don't have an account for with my hotmail name.  And so I spent much of the first week trying to correct that and struggled in my 213 class.  I still do.  I don't know what questions to ask because I'm just not understanding the language or following my instructor.  Fortunately there have been a few students in the class who have been able to explain things in a more watered down version that has made more sense to me.  It's still a foreign language though.

                I have NO intentions of trying to start my own business or franchise.  It seems to be Roland's dream, but has never been mine.  Especially now.  I find his classes like a thousand times more confusing than any accounting class that I've had.  I learn from entertaining videos.  There are NO entertaining videos.  Let's face it:  Accounting is a subject that is incapable of entertainment.  It is definitely work.

                My instructor reminds me of my brother-in-law, who often tries to hard at entertaining.  It's not faked enthusiasm necessarily - it's like a teacher trying too hard to be accepted of his students that he does his best at becoming one of them.  I think he might have the approval of a few of my classmates, but honestly, I am not on board.  He throws us imaginary caramels as he can't toss us real ones.  His suggestion is that we each go out and purchase our own caramels but we're not allowed to take any from the container unless he "gives" it to us.




                You know what's great about being an online student?  You don't have to get dressed to go to class.  You can eat lunch as you listen to lectures.  You can roll your eyes or make faces at the  instructor and he/she will never know.  You can make snide comments so long as your mike is muted.

                My PC doesn't have a microphone.  I have to use the laptop if I actually want/need to converse.  It certainly is a lot faster than typing (especially on the laptop - for me anyway).  Most of the time the instructor mutes those with microphones anyway.  But it is quicker to ask questions vocally than to type them out.  Laptops belong to the school until graduation.

                I started discussions in both of my classes.  I enjoy the topic more in 108.  In 213 I did some research but not enough to analyze a satisfactory answer.  I stated how foreign the accounting language feels to me, gave a couple of examples, and how in-house financing might be perceived from the customer's end, but asked a question on how it's paid off once an invoice goes to collection or if how it works on the business end if a creditor advocate is involved.

                I'm still learning.  Sometimes it feels like a painful process.  Often I make more of something than really needs to be.

               

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Where My Discussion Post Ends and My Blog Post Begins

          When I was in my twelvth mod, I had two classes.  I would try to attend the live lecture of each class.  I think I had attended all four lectures in my algebra class - perhaps only three.  Fortunately there was no problem with the hook-up system (the school uses a program called Zoom) but the instructor in my management class would always have a problem with the system cutting out or recording only audio or video, but not both.  It generally happened whenever she played a video in addition to her lecture.  I told her to stop showing videos and just send us the links.  I don't know if it would have made any difference.

          Last mod I also had two classes - two accounting classes.  I still don't understand the language, but I actually did well in both classes.  That is amazing considering what torture it was trying to get into a live lecture or (in most cases) listen to the recording . . . as it wasn't just one or two instructors having issues with Zoom;  the entire school was affected.  That is what Roland had told me anyway.  Not only is he a full time student at the same online school as I am, but is employed with them as well.

          This mod I am taking only one class (hooray) again in accounting (boo) and I don't know if Zoom has been fixed or not.  Thus far it does not look promising.  No one in the class appears to have been contacted by our instructor - usually he or she will introduce self or remind us of upcoming lecture or something.  There was supposed to be a live lecture yesterday, which starts at the same time as the children's summer reading program. I had already made a commitment to summer reading.  In addition, it seems I have been recruited to be the story lady - for the last two weeks anyway. 


          Yesterday the library (or the one in charge of the program rather) decided to celebrate SpongeBob's birthday and shared some trivia while children were coloring.  I shared Allison Jackson's "There was an old lady who swallowed a pie" - only I changed the wording a little bit and used SpongeBob as the character instead of an old lady, asking the children between each item of food, "do you think he'll die?"  they would always answer "No"  and they were right.

          I like Allison Jackson's version better than the original "There was an old lady who swallowed a fly"  because (with the exception of one item) her story deals with real food and no one dies.

          Neither Jenna nor I are avid SpongeBob fans - in fact we'd be okay with knowing that he had croaked.  But the idea of a sponge and some of Allison Jackson's rhymes gave me an opportunity to educate rather than just read or tell.


          So back to my accounting - I was hoping to watch the lecture before posting my discussion to perhaps get a better idea of what is expected.  As of now, I don't even know if my instructor tried to give the lecture or if he has started working for the university this week or is on sabbatical or what.  His discussion post was created on Saturday before the class had even started.

          Our topic is on importance of accurately accounting for costs in Job Order Cost Accounting.  Also, discuss the consequences of errors in this area. From what I understand, overhead charges and cost of labor that must be paid by the company is figured in the cost that a consumer must pay.

          The video example that had been given is building a burger and breaking down the cost of said burger.  There is the obvious cost for the meat, the bun and other ingredients, but the breakdown also includes the employee's wage.  Just suppose he was getting paid 10.00 an hour and it takes 3 minutes for him (or her) to build each burger.  That is 3 minutes to every 60 or 5% of 10.00.  and a predetermined overhead cost.

          The cost of electricity (for instance) is not figured into each burger, per se.  Utilities, indirect labor [that would be the supervisor making certain the employees are working, or the time spent cleaning (or idling) after all the customers have been served], indirect materials [someone has to pay for the cost of that grill] and property taxes or rent) are all part of that predetermined rate.  All of those costs are all added up together for the year and then more math is deducted and combined and made into a percentage that is also added to the cost of the burger.



          One of my class mates used auto labor as an example which I was actually able to understand a little more and have been trying to come up with my own examples using my false lawn care service from my former management class, or the cost of labor that we have seen (and will expect to see more) for the demolition and restoration of our floor, walls and spaces in between.  Thus far we've had to dole out checks for the plumber, the electrician and the pest control.  All with overhead costs - though we don't understand why on the electrician.

          Roland had asked for a card and wondered if he would be able to make a deal with trading services for a future project.  Wiring in the front room to put in a ceiling fan for new cards and marketing.  This area really needs to be educated in marketing. They either don't believe about it or know about it or care.  The font on the business cards was very hard to read.  Roland thought the shape of the font looked like an anchor.  I thought it looked like an open mouth - like perhaps a dentist would use.  I don't know what the overhead would be.  There is no sign on the truck.  I don't know how their pricing breaks down.  I suspect they can charge what they want as there doesn't seem to be any competition.

          I personally am not impressed with big vans and trucks bearing fancy names - especially now that I know it is part of my cost and I don't wish to support brand names when they have so many employees that the company has lost sight of them as well as the consumers.  Let me give a "for instance" which I wasn't planning to call by name, but because of my dissatisfaction, I want to warn others about why I stopped using the services of a certain company.

          Whipple Plumbing and Heating is a chain in Utah (Salt Lake/Ogden areas) which I believe has gotten too big for its breeches.  I don't know how many employees it staffs nor do I understand why we tried their services several times.  We ALWAYS had to call them to return to finish or correct a job and then ended up calling someone else to permanently fix it.

          I think they were called three times while we lived in Kearns and twice in West Valley.  For the poor plumbing issues (one project, never resolved by Whipple) we had three different guys, none which corrected the mistake of the other, we finally called an elderly man that Roland had been in contact through some clients of his. 

          Elwin Shipley arrived in his unmarked truck and fixed the problem.  He was awesome!  He fixed problems one time.  If you were to contact him again, it would be for a different problem.  Unlike Whipple, who got it right only one time (which will be my next paragraph), Elwin didn't charge an arm and a leg.  He didn't need to.  He didn't have the extra overhead cost.  I wasn't paying for the logo on his truck.  (Whipple had definitely figured a LOT of overhead expenses - had I continued to use them, I would have probably ended up paying for an entire fleet of trucks)

          Whipple had a promotion on toilets and as ours had to be replaced, we gave them another try (first one in WV).  The plumber who came out was very friendly toward Jenna and the dog and just a down to earth wholesome guy - or so it appeared.  He said that when I called, I could ask for a specific plumber.  That was our exception.  That was the only thing that we didn't have to have work redone on.

          Because I had liked the plumber, when another situation we had required plumbing services, I called Whipple with another opportunity and the name of the plumber who seemed to have the attitude "I've got you in my snare now, I don't have to be nice to you."

          Perhaps he was just having a bad day - perhaps there had been a recent death in the family or someone in his flipped him off on his way to work . . .  who knows.  The point is he just rubbed me the wrong way.  That was the last time we used Whipple.



          My discussion post was about Gil's heating and air conditioning - a business that relies on word of mouth.  I just thought of another.  Remarkable Rooter also gets the job done.  WITHOUT THE OVERHEAD!  Why pay more?  Really?  Because the competition has a brand name and drive a fancy van?  My consumer attitude may get me into trouble with my classes . . . although they haven't so far.  Did I mention that I LOVE living in a small town with an ignorance to marketing?  Well, I do.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Just Names on the Payroll




          I still like the feel of a book in my hands rather than having to constantly refer to the screen and "turn" the page by pressing next or arrow.  When the library had the book sale back in October and November, I found an accounting book that was in great condition - but it was from 1979.  I picked it up anyway. 

          Thus far I have taken two accounting classes and am now on my third and so far my outdated book has been compatible to my first two courses.  I obviously hadn't taken payroll or taxes into account.  Guess what my accounting focus is on for this class?

          The government laws are constantly changing.  This tax is taken out for this purpose, that tax for another.  We no longer have just FICA and SSN - now there is IRCA created in in 1986, FMLA created in 1993, PRWORA created in 1996, the list goes on and on.  I don't know that I'm expected to memorize every initial and reasons for the organization for this week - but I'm certain I'll need to understand them all before I get a job doing payroll.  DANG!



          I'm trying not to take these laws personally and actually have a better understanding of WHY I had taken that history class.  Our last discussion post was on the topic " Equality vs. Equity".  I wrote the following:

        "When I first saw the topic Equality vs. Equity, I was confused as I was looking at equity to mean: "the value of the shares issued by a company" rather than " the quality of being fair and impartial"  Sadly, it was the antonyms that further helped me to understand.

        "Several thoughts have entered my mind since Saturday when I started reviewing for this upcoming discussion, including topics such as the education system, the school's meal program, or a continuation of my "soapbox" from last week's discussion [a post about Political Freedom in which I questioned the words “All Men are Created Equal” written at the time of slavery - thus not applying to ALL men] , but I have since decided on a topic that I picked up from 60 Minutes last a night.

        "According to Community Tool Box, about 18% of the American population has some kind of disability.  In 1990 a law was passed which enforces businesses to comply with stipulations enforcing guidelines for wheelchair access (CTB, 2016)

        "The 60-minute feature took Anderson Cooper to different business locations that don't seem to meet the guidelines here. Many of these businesses were being sued because they were not actually up to code of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

        "For those with disabilities, I think that the act is more of equity than equality.  There are just some differences that will [never make us equal]. We need to embrace those differences and not discriminate or bully. I think equity is better than equality especially if we constantly fight in the name of "equality" if we are looking to be cookie cutter images of one another. I like what makes me unique.

        "We can share our talents and learn from one another.  Equity is a good thing - but can also be taken advantage of."


Bibliography
60 minutes (2016, December 4). What's a "drive-by lawsuit"? (A. Cooper, Interviewer)

Section 4. Ensuring Access for People with Disabilities. (2016). Retrieved from Community Tool Box: http://ctb.ku.edu/en/table-of-contents/implement/physical-social-environment/housing-accessibility-disabilities/main "

          I now have two chapters to read for my accounting class, and really am trying to read with an open mind.  This morning I believed I would be wading through a lot of jibberish that I wouldn't fully understand and would put me to sleep. By noon it seemed to be doing the opposite- stirring up emotions which I know I should not allow to rise to the surface, and yet they have.  Instead of taking a nap, I am riled. I am livid, even sad.  All these "governing rules" or stipulations is what has been flushing our economy down the toilet.  Well in part anyway.  Or at least that is my opinion.

         It has been suggested that employers use a payroll system – someone outside the company who specializes in cutting checks.  I think it would be a lot easier to work for one of those companies cutting paychecks for people that you don't know rather than follow all the "governing rules" on your employees'' paychecks knowing that skimming just one or two dollars from every tax or deduction it will take food off his table.  It would be much easier to do payroll when the names are just names and there is no personal attachment.
          Roland has always been able to separate personal from business.  I can’t even separate my class discussion or material without personality.  How the heck would I ever be able to do a job?  It’s funny how often I have stressed out over assignments or classes and have ended up doing well – as if all that emotion had been unnecessary and wasted.  I hope that is the case now.
        I’ve had an option of reviewing videos in addition to the manual of each course thus far.  This course doesn’t have any cool videos – or even lame ones for that matter.  I have no choice but resort to the book, the power point outline of the book and my instructor’s lecture – which is a bit more helpful than trying to analyze the text myself, but still . . . I want a video that will teach me and make me smile.  As of now, I’m really not doing a whole lot of smiling. 


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

I didn't realize I was Signing Up for a Foreign Language




       I couldn't sign into my lecture last week; it doesn't appear anyone did, and so my instructor found a new way of getting in to see if that would make a difference.  There were two students who joined the morning lecture this week.

       I am such an airhead during the morning.  For some reason, I can't find my chat box unless I shrink down the screen.  When I tried to stretch the screen, apparently the image was magnified, but not the box itself and so I couldn't see all the demonstrations.  I did try to answer questions.  I know my eyes may be looking at something right or left, but my mouth always says the wrong thing.  Always. 

       I don't know how I've lived this long and haven't been able to distinguish my left from my right.  I know what they are when I'm driving - but if I'm not the one behind the wheel, I can still sometimes get it wrong.  If I am giving directions to someone, I will say, "Pay attention to my hands and not my mouth" and still manage to point right when I say left or vice-versa.

       In Utah, I would say, "East, West, North or South" to  avoid my left/right slip of tongue.  I can't do that here.  With all those twists and turns on the  roads and an overcast sky, I honestly am more confused by e,w,n, and s than I am with l and r.

       Thus far, the assignment seems a lot easier this week than last, but I was quite lost as I tried to follow yesterday.  The instructor asked if we had questions and I did, but I thought I ought to get a better handle on whatever language she was speaking so that I could process it in my mind and translate it into something I could make sense of.




       My instructor said she had always wanted to be an accountant.  That is such a foreign concept to me.  Why would anyone pick said career at such a young age?  I don't foresee any glamour associated with being an accountant.  I don't think I ever had any concept of it before.

       I was going through a bunch of youtube videos hoping to find one that would help me believe that accounting could/can be fun.  There were a couple that showed different accountants telling their favorite accounting jokes.  I would like to understand the jokes and learn why they are funny;  as of now, I don't understand any of them - nothing about accounting makes me laugh.  Even the idea of a child saying, "I'd like to be an accountant when I grow up," leaves me speechless.  



       I signed onto my laptop during the afternoon as I can't seem to type as fast as I can vocally ask.  Like most people, I hate the sound of my voice when I listen to a recording of it.  And there it is - for not only all the class to listen to, but my instructor puts her videos on youtube for some reason - oh, joy.  But perhaps it's an accurate representation of how I feel - like I'm in a foreign land and I haven't yet learned the language.  And this is just the first in a series of 23 accounting classes.

       On the plus side, I don't have to waste my time looking up references just for the sake of looking them up.  No wordy essays for this class.  No APA format.  It's all excel and exams.  Ironic that I like to write and I don't like numbers.  This election year must have ruptured my brain or something.