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.

$99 plus resort fee of $15 per night

 3 nights starting 10/10/17 GSFA101

If you are staying at the hotel, the newer tower is the Rush Tower. In any case, when you check in you should ask for a room away from Fremont Street (which can be noisy at night.)

Our seminar will be in Shoal Creek Room on the second floor of the Carson Tower. We will have a Continental Breakfast each morning and Lunch will be provided.

Class begins at 8 AM ends at 4 PM (except last day we end at 3).

Dress is casual but you could bring a sweater or jacket as the temperature in the meeting room may vary. Also please bring a yellow highlighter.




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.

Our seminar will be in Room 673 of an office building at 835 Market Street (between 4th and 5th Street.) The 6th floor is occupied by SF State University Downtown Campus. Most of the students are taking classes at night so they have a great classroom for us during the day. You will need to enter the building at 835 Market Street and not try to get in through the Westfield Mall in the morning. Security at 835 Market will not allow anyone to get in until 7:30, although you will not need to check in with security after 7:30, just go up the elevator to 6th Floor.. We will have a  Continental Breakfast each day from 7:30-8:00.

Restrooms are right by the elevator (and our classroom) but you need a code to get in — Code is 719382

We will have WiFi — SFStateGuest with no additional code needed, although Google Chrome might not work well.

We are providing lunch each day and we hope you can join us for cocktails after class on Wednesday.

Class begins at 8 AM and ends at 4 PM (except the last day we end at 3).

Dress is casual but you could bring a sweater or jacket as the temperature in the room may vary. Also please bring a yellow highlighter.

Register Me


Dr. Joel Berk


CPE CREDIT for CPAs available for all States and CLE CREDIT for lawyers: available in most states


To provide a working understanding of finance and accounting as applied to both the regulated utility and non-regulated companies (competitors, customers and the future utility company).

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

  • Understand accrual accounting

  • “Read” an annual report of the company or its customers

  • Calculate key financial ratios

  • See the link between finance and accounting and the strategic plans of the company

  • 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

  • Do a capital budgeting analysis (engineering economics)


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

  • A non-debit and credit approach

  • Problem solving sessions

  • Homework assignment

  • Actual utility financial statements

  • 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.