Apr 012009

The most important lessons are learned, not taught.

You can only be taught so much in life, but most of what’s important you’ll have to learn yourself.

A lot of people were frustrated in our core Financial Reporting course-the accountants were upset that the course was teaching that their science was all tricks, smoke, and mirrors. The poets were terrified that the final exam was a detailed review of the mechanics of accounting standards.

The lectures consisted, for the most part, of a Japanese and Italian man making jokes and examples about how the science of accounting is really a grey area, as the values of things change depending on the business operations.

The lessons learned were to think critically about everything-especially the hard numbers on a balance sheet. What is your inventory really worth, when it was purchased at different prices at different times? What does “goodwill” really refer to? Define revenue (you’d think that one would be easy). The other lesson learned was the bootstrapping-you had to learn all the mechanics of accounting yourself (there was an evening class for those with trouble), but Tomo wasn’t going to sit with you each week and go over adding and subtracting columns of figures-his work was on strategic accounting-what a manager needs to know about what his accountant is doing.

This series is all be tagged “Lessons learned” if you want to read all of them.

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 Posted by at 08:12

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