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Accounting Without Tears

August 12, 2010

Contrary to popular belief, the basic principles of accounting aren’t unduly complicated, says veteran Accounting Professor Stanley Chu. “But, like mathematics, the subject of accounting is cumulative,” he adds. “For students planning to take Accounting Principles 1 (Accounting 122) this fall, it’s essential to begin studying from the first class and stay with the instructor. ”

An even better idea is to begin before the first class by enrolling in BMCC’s summer Accounting Workshop, which Chu teaches in conjunction with BMCC’s Learning Resource Center. The purpose of the workshop, he says, “is to give first-year accounting students a head start—and, in particular, a solid grasp of the first two chapters of the textbook Principles of Accounting.” The free four-session program will be held in Room N402, 6-9 p.m., on August 17, 19, 23 and 24. All workshop materials will be provided.

Mastering the language of business

“Accounting is the language of business, and anyone who plans on a career in any aspect of business or management needs to master it,” says Chu, who has run the workshop twice a year over the past decade. “What are assets and liabilities? How do you define revenue or an expense? How do you prepare an income statement? These are the basic principles of accounting and we go over them all through a careful reading of chapters one and two of the text.” For students who master those principles early on, “the chances of getting a good grade in Accounting 122 are very high,” he says.

The workshop is broken out into the four primary areas—the Accounting Equation, the Double-Entry System, Accrual Accounting, and Preparation of Financial Statements. “I make a point of proceeding very slowly and with humor wherever possible,” says Chu. There is no homework but experienced accounting tutors will be on hand at the end of each lecture to guide students through additional accounting exercises.

While the workshop is aimed primarily at students planning to take Accounting 122 this fall, “anyone is welcome, including BMCC students who are curious about accounting, which has become one of the hottest majors” Chu says. “But to get real value from the workshop, it’s important to attend all four sessions.”

A return on their investment

Accounting majors who register for the workshop will likely meet Chu again in the fall when they take Accounting 122. “I love teaching that course because students learn so much about accounting and business,” he says. “It’s amazing to see how much they gain.”

For Chu, one of the great rewards of teaching the workshop is the feedback he gets from former participants. “They’ll come up to me in the hall with a smile on their face and say, ‘Thanks to the workshop I really knew what I was doing from day one in Accounting 122—it made a huge difference.’ I can’t tell you how gratifying that is.”

To pre-register for the Accounting Workshop, come to room S500 or e-mail Please indicate the workshop title in your e-mail.

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  • BMCC’s Accounting Workshop helps students grasp basic accounting principles
  • Instructor is Professor Stanley Chu in conjunction with the Learning Resource Center
  • Four-session program increases probability of success in first-year accounting courses

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