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American University (Accounting)
I am a creative, intuitive Accountant with intense on-the-job experience, having worked as an accountant in the "private" sector for 20 years, and for a colorful variety of industries. I started out as an auditor for a CPA firm, but mostly I've enjoyed being the audited rather than the auditor. I've worked for record companies, ad agencies, nonprofits, telecom, publishing, and hospitality.
My teaching methods adapt to individual styles of learning. If you think you have a "mental block" on the subject, and you need a learning plan tailored to your unique way of understanding, I am the tutor for you. If you think you're just not good with numbers, relax. Accounting math is mostly basic algebra and percentages. Finance math and Statistics are more challenging. Either way, we're not talking Calculus or Trig here...
Again: I can tailor your learning experience based on HOW YOU LEARN. Are you visual? Do you like mnemonics? Are you trying hard to define what a credit versus a debit is? (If you are, don't. My favorite definition is Debit means left, and Credit means right, but not as in "correct").
Are you confused because when you deposit money in the bank, it shows up as a Credit? If you're in Accounting 101, you should be confused. If you can answer that question, you're probably advanced and know more than you think.
What is your Myers Briggs Personality Type?
What's my purpose of the above questions? Well, with a few simple questions in person or over the phone, I can assess your learning style and release any block you may have on the subject. It's as easy as A=B + C (or rather, A= L + E). Don't let the Accounting textbooks written in boring passive voice intimidate you. I will turn everything into active, exciting, informative, voice. I will ACTIVATE the area in your brain that is confused.
If you need career advice, as I've mentioned above, I may ask you what your "Myers-Briggs" personality type is, just to break the ice. Based on a few questions, I can probably accurately tell you where you fall among the 16 types. This will help me understand HOW you learn, and what makes you tick. (Caveat: universities and corporations pay the Myers Briggs Foundation thousands of dollars to determine a student's or employee's type; I'm not an authorized Myers Briggs representative. But with a cursory analysis based on some easy questions, I am certain that I will, with 90% accuracy, guess your proper type. Which is very INFJ of me.)
Accounting can be fun. And basic accounting will never change; it's been around since Pythagoras. If Accounting is your career of choice, welcome to a career as a Historian. If Accounting is a boring requirement for your MBA or specialized business degree, your attitude has to change. Accounting is important. It explains precisely what business is all about, or what nonprofits are all about. Maybe not "all about", but it will neatly summarize what makes businesses thrive or go bust, and it will also explain how businesses can get sneaky and fail. It will also explain the mystery behind public accounting, if that's a mystery at all to you...
At the very least, it will help you understand your taxes.
If Finance is your gig, welcome to a career as a Business Forecaster of the future. But if you don't learn from historical mistakes, you are doomed to repeat those mistakes. As a Finance person, you should seek an edge and learn more, respect more, and focus more, on....(drum-roll please): the BALANCE SHEET.
There's nothing more beautiful than a finalized, audited Balance Sheet. Well, not really. But it's quite a relief to know that it must balance, and that it represents a stunning portrait in time; the outcome of lots of detailed work done for a given time period, wrapped up in any easy to understand snap-shot. The P&L is a moving picture; the Balance Sheet lives on as finalized, timeless painting. And it contains the result of the entire moving picture, captured in one "CUT!" made by the Director.
Thanks I am a creative, intuitive Accountant with intense on-the-job experience, having worked as an accountant in the "private" sector for 20 years, and for a colorful variety of industries. I started out as an auditor for a CPA firm, but mostly I've enjoyed being the audited rather than the auditor.… Read more
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I am a Washington, DC CPA. My degree is in Accounting; I have a "Bachelor's of Science & Business Administration" from American University in Washington, DC; my Accounting GPA was 3.9/4.0.
Most of my Accounting experience is in "private" industry (vs. the years I spent as an auditor in "public" accounting). My accounting functions as an employee for various for-profit and non-profit organizations include:
1. Controllership (from day to day functions to month-end close, culminating in the annual financial audit as the point person for the external auditors),
2. Financial analysis (e.g., gathering accounting data and creating/presenting reports to executive on PowerPoint), and
3. Compliance (e.g., ensuring foreign subsidiaries are compliant with their country's financial laws, ensuring appropriate transfer pricing, and monitoring the integration of subsidiary results within the consolidated F/S as being GAAP compliant. Compliance work often includes monitoring the timeliness and accuracy of financial filings, including tax returns, payroll filings, and other financial filings; it also involves meeting the applicable country requirements with regard to the given structure of a foreign-owned business or charitable organization.
I am a CPA, i.e., an Accountant with an initial background in public accounting as an Auditor. I am only qualified to teach beginning Finance students (college level Finance 101 students). So if you're prepping for the CFA exam, I am not qualified to be your tutor (yet).
Given Finance is not my primary field, I offer an initial free one-hour consultation/tutoring session.
My commentary below includes some of my credentials, but I've also added comments for those new to the area of "Finance" as an academic field.
Most of my Finance know-how is through my Accounting experience, having worked for companies with investment assets (anchored towards long-term assets). Two of my positions involved accounting for my employer's private debt (a company's liability in the form of loans, credit lines, or debentures).
Although I've worked for two large publicly traded corporations, equity accounting was not one of my primary focuses; however, I've assisted with SEC filings.
As Assistant Controller for a privately held LLC, I spearheaded the accounting process for a complex private debenture agreement (a "collateralized debt obligation"). It was inspired by the music industry "Bowie Bonds", innovative in that estimated future music-related income acted as the debt's primary collateral (based on successful past musical works, and "exploiting" well known music for commercials, soundtracks, etc.).
More recently, on a temporary basis, I handled the accounting for a nonprofit holding over $1 billion worth of endowment funds, invested diversely, including private holdings, aggregated stock portfolios (handled by 3rd party investment managers), bonds, hedge funds, and other types of investment instruments with a relatively high level of complexity.
I have a knack for Finance math. However, over the years, financial instruments have become increasingly complex. I am currently studying investment options which didn't exist when I graduated, which involve old equations + new, interesting factors that have developed over the years.
Often people think of "Finance" and "Accounting" as if they were were virtually the same subject; this is a gross misconception. Nevertheless, Companies often refer to their Accounting Department as their "Finance Department". Aside from the fact that both subjects involve business (transactions), the difference between the two is like black vs. white, with a grey overlap. (Think of two circles, one black, and one white, intersecting slightly; that's the gray area).
The Finance Department of an organization is usually its BUDGET and FORECASTING department. Finance is about planning, managing an enterprise's FUTURE, by making assumptions and using historical financial results, which are provided by the Accounting Department. Budgetary assumptions are the key to using budgets as a metric in analyzing actual results. Budgeting and Forecasting jobs bear no resemblance (or very little resemblance) to those of Wall Street traders or experts who work for investment banks, managing client money utilizing "risk management" tools (portfolio diversification being crucial).
However, Finance courses usually do not focus much (if at all) with budgeting and variance analysis. Financiers use financial ratios (e.g., receivables turnover, current assets vs. current liabilities, etc.) to analyze the health of a company, but ratio analyses is more often studied in Accounting classes.
In college, my Finance course involving the government and federal reserve was called "Money and Banking". I am qualified to teach this subject because I've kept up with changes and have studied banking laws, before and after the most recent financial collapse.
To conclude: If you are NOT a Finance major but are struggling with your Finance classes, or you just recently chose Finance as a major and need some help, I may be the best choice for you. If I need to learn a topic to help you, I will do so in my own time.
I have been working on Excel spreadsheets since about 1993. They've been my primary software tool in every position I've held since then.
Excel is simply 2nd nature to me at this point; however, I understand how intimidated the package is, and with every new version Microsoft puts out, the added features have expanded Excel's capabilities but also its "intimidation" factor.
I use a lot of shortcuts, tricks, and I'm very good at instantly identifying a student's level of knowledge with Excel.
Writing songs is my passion--I'm not a classically trained musician; my songs are generally alternative rock pieces, but with some classical progressions (I'm inspired by British rock, especially Muse, Queen, and Bowie).
I'm a rock vocalist, and I compose on keys (although I do not play well). I studied piano briefly with a teacher in NYC. I'm mostly self-taught, with some help from voice teachers who are also pianists.
I've studied voice; in college, it was an elective. My rock teachers include Melissa Cross of NYC, who is renowned for her "Zen of Screaming" approach targeted to heavy-metal rock singers. My vocal coaches incorporated music theory in their lessons.
I use protools to record my songs, and had an album professionally recorded (producers on a work-for-hire basis).
I've sung in four NYC cover pop/rock bands; played keys for one. My own project or band has one self-released CD; I wrote 90% of the songs.
I analyze my own songs in terms of music theory, for notation purposes. Although I write rock and alternative rock songs, I like to produce actual sheet music for my compositions.
I've aced entrance exams for audio production schools, but chose not to enroll. In terms of audio production, a diploma is fairly meaningless. Experience is gained through apprenticeship or on-the-job training.
I am bilingual. I am American, and grew up in a bilingual household. My mother is from Nicaragua, where I spent a lot of time in my childhood. My dad is from Oklahoma.
I took a few Spanish classes in high school & college to improve my writing skills and explain grammatically "why" a phrase/sentence/word is correct, even though I spoke grammatically proper Spanish. For me, it was akin to taking an English class where you diagram sentences. But in Spanish classes, the added value was analyzing the best translations from English to Spanish and vice-versa, and applying the appropriate modulations in context.
MY conversational Spanish is innate, and in a way, my primary first language. I tend to speak like a Nicaraguan. However I love accents, and can speak what is commonly considered to be, for example, the Mexican accent or dialect. I am also quite familiar with European Spanish, or proper Castilian Spanish including its very different sounding dialect when compared to most of Latin America.
Business Spanish is something I've learned on the job, when working with Latin American affiliates or clients. I have experience translating documents and being the translator in meetings between English speakers and Spanish speakers.
My edge: I understand Spanish in a "cultural" sense, e.g., why certain things in a movie are funny to a Spanish-speaking audience, and not evident to an English-speaking audience relying on sub-titles.
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