Today my Stern business class started: Financial Accounting. I had been dreading it, thinking “oh, business, this is going to be sophisticated and difficult! I am going to dread this 6-9pm course!” However, upon my first day of class (although I will need a pack of skittles to stay awake) I really enjoyed it. In fact I would venture to say that it’s my best class so far, well right up there with Carlo’s course in London.
Now in financial accounting you have your assets and your liabilities and owner equity. Since its a double balance thing you record things like such. Say you want to buy a chicken. Don’t ask me why, you just do. So you spend $30 on a chicken of your assets but then add $30 worth of chicken to your inventory of chicken. Inventory also being an asset. However, if you wanted to buy a whole hell of a lot of chicken and you put it on a credit card in basic terms. You’d add + $ for chicken to your inventory and + $ for chicken to your liabilities, basically your bills. At the end of the day assets = liabilities + owner’s equity. Owner’s equity being if you decided to sell stock in your chicken. Oh god that was the worst unintentional pun ever! I may actually use it again just for the sake of the cringe that crept over me.
So had class today. But yesterday is when the important thing began. I was thinking about President’s day weekend as I was walking to the PATH and Benjamin Franklin (who was never a president but also goes with the bird theme as he suggested the turkey – relative of the chicken – to be our national bird) for that matter why do we have a national bird and no other national animals? Really animals, stand up for your rights!
But back to Ben. So Ben would keep a day planner. I remember reading about this in middle school in some terribly illustrated book in a class by a woman who I wasn’t so keen on. I would regularly fail our reading tests. So Ben would have this day planner and he’d keep track of where every one of his hours went. Or more like, how he spent them. He’d get up terribly early and utilize the daylight and such and work off into the night. So I began thinking about how I use my hours and where do they all go to. I figured that I spend at least 2-3 hours a day in just commuting! That adds up! I spend another 40 hours a week in going to work, my internship and classes. Again, a lot of time. Then when you think about how much sleep you get and how much time that takes up! So you can imagine my mind is just reeling over how much time I spend where and doing what.
Now bring this back to Financial Accounting. Again, I was walking to the PATH. I do my best thinking when I’m walking as anyone who has seen me on a telephone or dictating something would be able to tell you. And here it is the art of financial accounting. How can I make a balance sheet of my day? So instead of assets = liabilities + owner equity, you’d end up with Enjoyment = Work + Extremities. I was counting sleep and eating under extremities. But then… bear with me as I take you through a train of thought that really belongs on a carnival tunnel…. how would I assign value to the numbers? Would I make the measurements units of time, units of experience, units of money, units of quality? Its just mind boggling! For instance, though I was considering sleeping and eating as extremities, things you just need to do, they can also totally be considered enjoyment. And in that case, how do I create my balance sheet?! Hence the concept of quality or for that matter experience. If I spend $2 on a cupcake and it make my entire day, how do I weigh that against the 4 hours of work I just did so I could buy the cupcake or feel that I emotionally deserved the cupcake enough to financially buy it!
So you can see, its really difficult to account for yourself! I mean, then you get into the whole concept that accounting is just numbers and the number have no real meaning! Because there are plenty of things that aren’t considered in accounting that do contribute to the value of your company! For instance with all the big pharmaceutical companies, if they develop the Paten for the drug in house, they don’t have to put it on their balance sheet! Or if you bought a building 10 yrs ago and the real estate is now worth more, you still put the price of purchase on your balance sheet. So numbers mean absolutely nothing and I can’t even begin to consider how that will effect my personal accounting! I mean my mind just may explode by the time I figure it all out. And if then you take into consideration that TIME IS JUST A HUMAN PERCEPTION! Thank you Data/Star Trek episode and the book Speed, then where are we to begin with? And isn’t time acutally a dimension, like the 4th dimension? Does the forth dimension not exist? Oh my gosh this is just amazingly crazy and I have no idea how I’m going to get this personal accounting thing to work. Then again, its just as likely or rather maybe more likely that I’ll have forgotten about this whole art project by next week. However, if there are any suggestions out there – send them my way!