LAS VEGAS — May 31 –  June 2, 2017

SAN FRANCISCO — Oct 4 – 6, 2017

LAS VEGAS — Oct 11 – 13, 2017

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Golden Nugget
129 East Fremont Street
Las Vegas NV 89101

We have reserved a block of rooms at the hotel where the seminar will be held.  Book early. The block of rooms well be held open until a few weeks before the seminar. This is an AAA four diamond hotel but we negotiated a low weekday rate. To get the rate, make your reservation using the links below.  Or, call (800) 331 5731 and use the one of the codes below to get our group rate. You will probably want to make a reservation arriving the day before the seminar.

$89 or $99 plus resort fee of $15 per night

 3 nights starting 5/30/17  — GSFA530

 3 nights starting 10/10/17 GSFA101





San Francisco State University Downtown Center

835 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94103

We have not block out any hotel rooms but there are many hotels within a few blocks.



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Dr. Joel Berk


CLE CREDIT: Available in most states. Applications for CLE will be made upon request.


To provide a working understanding of finance and accounting as applied to both the regulated utility and non-regulated companies.

Upon completion of the seminar, participants will be able to:

  • Understand accrual accounting
  • “Read” an annual report of a company
  • Calculate key financial ratios
  • See the link between finance and accounting and the rates a utility needs to charge
  • Understand how a utility makes money now and what needs to be done for the future
  • Analyze whether shareholder value is being created as opposed to net income



Lecture and discussion with a note-taking outline provided to each participant. Extensive use of:

  • A non-debit and credit approach
  • Problem solving sessions
  • Annual Report of a Utility Company
  • Homework assignment
  • Interaction with other participants
  • Group case work


Day 1 — 8 AM to 4 PM



Basic Accounting Concepts
– Balance Sheet
– Income Statement


Financial Statement Analysis
– Return on Equity
– Total Shareholder Return


The Utility’s Four Sets of “Books”
– GAAP, Tax, Rates, Managerial
– Cost of Service Regulation
– Rate Base, Operating Expenses, Allowed Return
– Above-the-line versus and Below-the-Line Expenses


Mock Rate Case
– Advertising
– Take or Pay Contracts

Ethics Considerations


COCKTAILS Optional 4:30 -5:30


Day 2 — 8 AM to 4 PM

Modifications to Rate of Return Regulation
– Adjustment Clauses, Trackers, Riders, Deferrals
– Rate Freezes, Decoupling
– Pre-approvals
– Formula Ratemaking


Present Value Analysis


Shareholder Value
– Theory
– Income versus Shareholder Value Maximization
– Risk Considerations
– How to Make Decisions


Accounting for Utility Plant

– Straight Line Depreciation
– Accelerated Depreciation
– Capitalization Versus Expense
– Methods of Capitalizing More or Less
– Which is Better for the Utility


Day 3 — 8 AM to 3 PM

– Temporary Differences
– Deferred Taxes (Normalization)


Cost of Capital
– Weighted Average Cost of Capital
– Risk Premium Approach
– Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) Method


Capital Project Analysis Review Case
– Cash Flow as affected by Taxes & Rate Regulation
– Which Discount Rate to Use
– Creating Shareholder Value




For a list of organizations who have sent people to our classes, look at our previous participant list.