TWILAP, Two Weeks in the Life of an Accounting Professor. Most people think I only work a few hours per week, just the time spent in the classroom. They aren’t aware of all the behind the scenes activity. In this series, I’ll journalize on what it’s like to be a professor.
Today is going to be a teaching and learning day. Notice that so far this week, I haven’t done much on my co-primary responsibility, which is scholarly activity. There just doesn’t ever seem to be time for that. I’ll have to tend to that, as soon as possible. I have two deadlines coming up. Monday, December 1, for submitting a proposal for an online conference on teaching. I’ve thought it out, will only take me 30 minutes to get it ready. Monday, December 8, for submitting proposals for papers, workshops and panel discussions. This will take some significant amounts of time. I definitely need to write a paper on this one. But, the paper is only just begun and no where near where it needs to be.
4:30-5:40 a.m. E-mail.
In Managerial accounting, up first at 10:30, we’re going to cover budgeting. Accounting texts do a lousy job of budgeting because they (don’t even try to place students in situations where behaviora and social factors influence the budget preparation process. It is pretty much taught as crunch a few numbers. But budgeting is more than that. It involves making decisions about expanding or contracting certain activities, promoting A or discharging B, and deciding between different strategies such as make or outsource. No, textbooks just run students through a few number-crunching exercises and that’s it.
So, what am I to do? I refuse to go through some of the number crunching work as it has no value I can see, except it is a way of passing class time. I will work on preparing cash budgets, as it does tie biz activities to having cash to pay for those activities. That’s useful, right? Well, the Managerial Accounting students have been given their reading assignment and I’ve written two homework problems, actually the ideas are stolen from a better managerial accounting book. I’ll pull the students right along today, higher and higher up the mountain.
Today is the last day of class before Thanksgiving. Most students aren’t thinking about class. Neither am I. If today was a travel day, I would have left to see my two sons, at home in Ohio breaking from their graduate programs in New York and Michigan. I’ll just have to miss them this time around. I’m tempted to cancel class, but that isn’t proper behavior on my part.
Intermediate Accounting is much easier to plan for today. We’ll finish up with the accounting for raising cash through using receivables. We’re not talking about actually getting customers to pay us today, but either (1) borrow, using the receivables as collateral, or (2) selling the right to the cash eventually collected. Then, we move on to an early discussion on inventory. The financial accounting for inventory is made more problematic because IFRS is at odds with U.S. GAAP, and no one has indicated which way the rule is likely to go.
I don’t know about earning events for today’s class, but I do have stories and questions. These are learning events after a fashion. Much of the learning will come in the two days after break.
6:45-7:10 a.m. E-mail. First interesting story comes from CPA.BLOG (NYSSCPA), “Watch and Learn: Bracing for the Retirement Crisis” A second story really bites into SEC Chair Mary Schapiro’s rear end. It this cricitism merited? Don’t know, but Schapiro wimped out and didn’t stand up for GAAP. Still, no way is Schapiro as bad as the worst SEC chair in history, “A Pox on Cox.“
7:20-7:45 a.m. In transit.
8:00-8:55 a.m. E-mail. Tom Selling says, “To Head in the Right Direction on IFRS, the SEC Should Make a U-Turn” He’s right on the button.
8:55-10:05 am.. More grading. Trends noticed yesterday. I’ll have to fix that via discussions with class after Thanksgiving. 10 papers/projects out of 50 are now graded. That means about 20 more hours of grading.
10:05 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Office hours and classes. My later afternoon class isn’t meeting today. The students opted to attend earlier session so they could leave early for traveling home. I don’t blame them. I had 6/19 attending my principles class, and 21/33 attending Intermediate. Attendance always suffers the day before Thanksgiving. Students in class appeared unhappy to be there. Guess what, I wasn’t happy to be there, either. But that’s what I get paid for, and that’s what students are paying for.
3:50-5:00 p.m. E-mail. Francine McKenna, writes a whopping good article at re: The Auditor, “Going Concern Audit Opinions: Why So Few Warning Flares?”
5:55-6:20 p.m. In transit back home. Will be stopping to purchase some videos for the long weekend.
In the USA, we say Happy Thanksgiving.
Over and out – - David Albrecht