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Accounting For Small Business Owners and Construction Accounting Classes

I was skimming through the Fall 2013 continuing education classes catalog at SUNY Broome and noticed that there weren’t any classes on basic accounting, construction accounting, or CPA exam review. When I skimmed through the SUNY Binghamton continuing education classes catalog, I again noticed a lack of accounting classes.

Basic accounting for small business ownersBasic Accounting For Small Business Owners

I am drafting cold letters to send to SUNY Broome and SUNY Binghamton, offering to teach non credit courses on basic accounting for small business owners and construction accounting. The basic accounting course will cover basic accounting concepts that every small business owner should know, including:

  • How to read financial statements: I will explain how to read and understand a balance sheet and income statement, including the major items of each.
  • The different accounting methods for recognizing revenue: I will explain how revenue is recognized under the percentage of completion method, the completed contract method, the cash method, and the accrual method.
  • The most important financial ratios: I will cover the most important financial ratios and their importance, including gross margin, working capital, liquidity, and debt.
  • Types of taxes: I will explain the different types of taxes that every business has to deal with, including sales and use taxes, corporate and income taxes, and employee and employer taxes.

Construction accountingConstruction Accounting

The construction accounting course will cover concepts that I have come across as a construction accountant, including:

  • The different types of contracts: I will explain the different types of contracts that exist, including fixed price contracts, unit price contracts, and time and materials contracts.
  • The different parties involved in a job: I will go over the many parties involved in almost every construction job, including the owners, architects and engineers, general contractors, construction managers, specialty trade subcontractors, suppliers, insurance agents, and bankers.
  • Unions and prevailing wage: I will explain how union and prevailing wage affect the costs of a job.
  • The different forms, documentation, and paperwork involved: I will cover the most common paperwork that is used, including application for payments, release of liens, change orders, consents of surety, certificates of insurance, and bonds.
  • The different accounting methods for recognizing revenue: I will explain the differences between the percentage of completion method, completed contract method, cash method, and accrual method.
  • How improper estimates can affect the entire company: I will cover how crucial proper estimates are to the entire company.

Household finances and budgetHousehold Budgeting and Finances

In brainstorming course topics, I realized I could offer a course on household budgeting and finances specifically geared to those who have little experience in such things and teach it at Good Shephard Village, a local retirement community in my area. Topics may include:

  • The differences between bank accounts, retirement accounts, investment accounts, credit cards, and debit cards: I will explain the difference between each account and the advantages and disadvantages to each.
  • How to balance a checkbook and budget your money: I will demonstrate how to balance a checkbook, budget your money, and pay monthly bills efficiently.
  • How to manage bank accounts online and protect yourself from scams: I will explain how to maintain financial accounts online and easily identify solicitations and scams.
  • The basic principles of insurance,investing, taxes, and estate planning: I will cover the basic principles of insurance, investing, taxes, and estate planning, and separate the experts from the opportunists.

I will attach my resume and a course outline for each class with each letter to illustrate my expertise and provide an idea of what each class will cover. In preparing the outline for each class, I realized just how difficult it is to develop course curriculum. I am not sure how information to include, how much time to spend on each topic, or how specific to get. Let me know if there is anything that I haven’t included that you think I should.

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