• LAS VEGAS:  June 4-6, 2024
  • BOSTON:      October 8-10, 2024
  • LAS VEGAS:  October 15-17, 2024

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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




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


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


Income Taxes
– 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






The Boston Seminar will be at the Omni  Parker House – 60 School Street,  Boston. We have reserved a block of sleeping rooms at the hotel for the nights of October 7-11.

Click link: Omni Parker House for a reservation


Golden Nugget
129 East Fremont Street
Las Vegas NV 89101

We have reserved a block of rooms at the hotels where the seminars will be held.  Book early. The block of rooms well be held open until a month before the seminar. This is an AAA four diamond hotel but we negotiated a low weekday rate. To get the group rate click on the link below or call (800) 634-3454 and give them the Group Code. You will probably want to make a reservation arriving the day before the seminar.


For our June 4-6 Seminar —  Room nights available June 3-7

Click link: Golden Nugget June  or call and give them this Group Code GSFAI01 (the I in this group code is the capital letter I and the 0 is zero)


For our Oct 15-17 Seminar —  Room nights Oct 14-18

Click link: Golden Nugget Oct 15-17 or call and give them this Group Code GSFAI02 (the I in this group code is the capital letter I and the 0 is zero)


If you are staying at the Golden Nugget 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.)

We will have a Continental Breakfast each morning and Lunch will be provided and we hope you can join us for cocktails after class the first day.

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.




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