Random Thoughts: Prepayments, Creative Accounting, and a 19 Month Vehicle Rego

Prepayments and accruals are something I touched on in ASS#2. They are one of the things that will trip you up when you first get started on learning how to post things in accounting. A timeline is handy, that’s my tip. And being highly aware of when those prepayments are to occur.

Vehicle registration is the big one most people will be familiar with. On your books, it’s prepayment for a certain period of time, which entitles you to the equivalent period of time to be allowed to drive your vehicle on the road. On the Department of Transport’s Books, it’s got a different name – I can’t quite remember it off the top of my head at the moment – but it’s along the lines of income received in advance, and they have to diminish that balance as you “use up” your registration.

My motorbike has been the source of a few posts. It was previously a two seater, but I had that converted to single seat, which requires the removal of rear pegs and either the removal of the rear seat or rendering the entire seat to be under 50cm. (QLD laws). What follows is qutie bizarre.

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I admit I’m a little behind in this assessment. Sort of. There are weeks where I got without looking at it, then in one week I’ll answer 100 questions and write 6. I try to find a balance, but sometimes it’s a little lopsided. Depends on how busy I am

I enjoy quizzes. They’re probably one of my favourite forms of assessment. I appreciate the effort that goes into writing a solid quiz. I enjoy things like personality tests and suchlike, which tells you something about me.

What I don’t like is the arbitrary way we rate things in Peerwise.

There’s not a single very hard question present anywhere, except for one that was so misworded it appeared it had a very hard rating but a very low quality score. Hard in that no one could understand and answer it, and that was reflected in the quality score.

What gets me is that I see some brilliantly worded questions and answers, but because they challenge someone a bit, they have a low quality score. The answerer marks it low because they couldn’t get it right first time. That’s easy to tell, you just need to look at the bar graph of first answers vs confirmed answers.

I don’t like the arbitrary way of marking, I don’t like the idea that I could mark someone down who has put a lot of effort into something because I’m having a crummy day or read it wrong. That’s on me, it’s not on the person who wrote the question.

So I came up with a bit of a guideline to help me provide feedback.

Legibility and proper grammar – I understand English is not everyone’s first language, but you can usually get a feel for that. I’ll read a question and its answers, and points are awarded for how understandable the entire question is. I’ve seen some that are: x + y = T/F? There’s no context. It’s literally something someone dashed out in 30 seconds. Some questions lend themselves well to this format. Others do not.

The amount of answer options and the quality – Some questions lend themselves to a true/false format. Others do not. Others feature one ridiculous implausible answer and the very obvious right one. Yet others have the full spectrum of answers, and they give you pause to stop and think a little more carefully about what answer you are going to choose.

Whether or not an explanation is provided – this to me is the most important. This course is about active learning. If you can take a concept, spin a question about it, create a right answer and a series of related, but wrong answers and then give an explanation of why that answer is correct, either in your own words or quoted from the study guide/lecture slides, then you have succeeded in active learning. Not only have you understood the material, you’ve taught it to others. Bingo. Points scored right there, I can excuse everything else, it doesn’t matter if I got the question wrong. If I can see something in a new light or learn something, you’ll get a higher quality score from me for that.

Typically, I’ll give a 3 rating if legibility and understandability and answer options and qualtity are there, along with a page reference to the study guide where the answer came from. A 4 rating is if everything is there and the writer has written their own explanation. 5 is reserved for brilliant questions that make me sit back in my chair and wish I’d thought of them to write – and sometimes they inspire me to write my own in challenge, on a different topic.

2 is the rating given if no explanation is provided, or the explanation is condescending – “Should be obvious, mate”. I spotted that one at least once… this course is possibly some students’ very first introduction to accounting. 1 is barely used.

0 is the rating you get if I spot a question and its answers copied from another person.

I admit I rate very few questions as medium or hard. I’m familiar with some of the advanced topics studied in this course, so I don’t find them hard. Most are easy questions to me. But that’s me, others may find them difficult.

And that’s my key to making the ratings a little less arbitrary.



Monday of Week 6

Let Grumpy Cat sum up my mood. I dropped my loose leaf financial reports, and they went EVERYWHERE. It took me an hour to sort them out. I have half a dozen reports here, because Freightways media liaison directed me to some interesting information contained in those instead. Soooo, roughly 300 sheets of paper ON THE FLOOR. I can thank an unexpected and unwanted phone call from Telstra for that, and they would NOT get off the phone.



I am now off to Officeworks. Where they will (hopefully) bind my financial reports with their Magical Machine of Science! And if I am lucky, be ready to pick up on Friday, because they are that slow.


Then I am going to roar off into the early afternoon sun, obeying the speed limit within 2km, rebelling hardcore there and settle in front of a different computer for an agonising afternoon of data entry. First I have to clear the desk off and wait half an hour for my PC to boot, reboot, reboot again, stutter and freeze, and work when I threaten it with a hammer.

I am living the dream, people. And to think I started this day with positivity.


Recap: Monday, Week 5

So. Today is the first day of week 5. Where am I at? I think Conspiracy Keanu has something to say that sums up my current mood.


Currently, I’m up to date reading the study guide. I’ve got my assessment ASS#1 done, uploaded and ready to submit. I need to jump on Peerwise and answer a good 60 or so questions, and submit 6 of my own. I need to get on the Moodle forums and talk a bit more. Still waiting to hear back from Freightways media liaison, if they ever do get back to me.

Being sick the last couple of weeks slowed me down. Another assignment due on Friday, so I need to get cracking. It’s all algebra so I bet I end up spending the entire week on it.

Some other random thoughts… money, gold, and hard drive sizes.

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Accounting Humour

I do believe I need this shirt.

You wouldn’t believe how many people ask what I’m studying, then ask if I can help them get more tax back. Nooooope. I’m not going to be that kind of accountant. There are more flavours of accountant than tax accountant!


Recap: Week 4

Is it week 4 already? Really? Where did the time go, slow down please. It’ll be Christmas before I know it and I am sooo not in a jolly mood.

To recap, I’m up to date on reading the study guide. I finished my assignment, updated most of the links that needed, referenced my quote, and did my spreadsheet. I have uploaded my spreadsheet onto Moodle if anyone would like to take a look. I spent a bit of time emailing Maria yesterday to have some clarification on something that was puzzling me. I really needed to take a break and come back to it, and when I did just that, it all became clear. Note: overworking and overthinking things ends in frustration. I am just in the middle of doing peer reviews, and then I will submit my assignment 1. I have to say it has been one of the more enjoyable assessment pieces I’ve submitted for uni.

I also followed up on my idea to send Freightways a list of questions. I couldn’t just email the Board of Directors directly, so I’ve gone through their media liaison. I will write a blog post about my email in the near future. I look forward to hearing from them. I hope they do return my email.

Currently waiting to go to work. Finding that I am definitely not delighted by the idea. I could be studying. I guess this is one of the opportunity costs that I am learning about in the ECON course I’m also doing this term: what is/are the opportunities forgone when you choose one course of action over another? By choosing to work today and tomorrow, my opportunity cost is the study time forgone. But if I’d chosen to study today instead, my opportunity cost would have been eating into my non-existent savings to pay food and rent.

Random Thoughts: Q&A with a CPA

Been sick with a crummy flu the last few days. Had enough, took some cold and flu with my Friday night cider and am now in a mood where I must pontificate on things. I even opened my Twitter account again. Welp, I am a sucker for punishment of unusual natures – I loathe twitter.

I’ve said I follow quite a few blogs in the various industries I represent and have interests in. (I’ve always been surprised that I settled on accounting as a career option, as opposed to anything involved with my immense loves of Arts and Sciences – iTunes U is one of my most favourite things ever, I’m sorry we don’t use it at CQU. Free education? I AM ON THAT.)

Well, this was posted some time ago on a blog I read regularly. It’s from an American point of view, so some things that they do in the USA vary from what we do.

Q&A with a CPA – Soap and Handmade Cosmetics!

This, this was interesting. The lady who owns the blog is a successful soapmaker in the USA, and has provided her readers with a Q&A with her accountant. I got halfway through a big comment I was going to post when this was first published, then my computer crashed and I lost the lot and I had to go to work, thus, I forgot all about it until now.

I would have enjoyed having a discussion with an accountant from a country I enjoy visiting (and would like to spend some serious time there again!) and seeing a different perspective. Also, an accountant who is familiar with my industry? That is freaking awesome. My parents’ accountant has no idea how to deal with manufacturing, and that annoys me so much. I get that cost accounting is a management accountant’s prerogative, but it’s a compulsory course in most university programs that I analysed before deciding on CQU. I wouldn’t choose the path he has (taxation)  – but on that note, neither am I ignorant of those rules and laws. I cannot afford to be, and neither can any accountant.

On a side note, despite being a skulker who lurks on the outside analysing things in real life, I enjoy attending seminars where I get to talk to people in any of the sectors I move in. That was what drew me to the USA in the first place, and now I frequently make an effort to go to anything writing or accounting related near me.

Finally, I always feel that I am so lucky I have a supportive insurance agent who sat down with me and learned about soapmaking and why “toiletries” are different to “industrial chemicals” and totally went to bat for me to get all my products bundled under one insurance code. There’s one digit of difference between the soap you use on your skin and the industrial engine degreaser you use washing your car at the car wash. One number difference, and instead of a few grand a year, it’d be a couple hundred thousand pushing a million a year. No thank you! If I had a million a year, I wouldn’t be juggling everything I do!

Anyway, signing off for tonight, I am totally off to bed to cough, splutter, and keep my cats and the Manasaurus Rex up all night. Thank you weekend, I can rest and recover.