Virtual Course

Advanced Public Utility Accounting

This practical course examines the more complicated aspects of accounting theory and practice to inform planning and decision-making and help execute your day-to-day responsibilities.
September 23 - October 14, 2020
12:00pm EDT - 3:00pm EDT

Virtual Training

Unable to attend an in-person class but interested in pursuing Advanced Public Utility Accounting training? Join us on Wednesdays from Sept. 23 – Oct. 14 for four interactive online classes. It’s a convenient way to 'attend' the course, while still having the opportunity to interact with the instructors, your industry peers, and earn continuing education credits.


Participate in four, real-time sessions from Noon – 3 p.m. Eastern (Sept. 23, 30; Oct. 7, 14).

Course Overview

Most of the crucial decisions that electric utilities make require financial information. Utility accounting staff must understand how accounting principles and practices impact financial reporting to internal and external stakeholders. This practical course examines the more complicated aspects of accounting theory and practice to inform planning and decision-making and help execute your day-to-day work more efficiently and effectively. Discuss how accounting principles and practices impact financial reporting to internal and external stakeholders. Learn about industry trends, new accounting standards, and strategies for ensuring future financial success.

Course Topics

You’ll receive electronic materials in advance of each session and will participate in group discussions, Q&A sessions, and work through real-world examples. 

September 23: Part 1
  • How generally accepted accounting principles impact your financial statements
  • Sustainability accounting standards explained
  • Setting up your utility’s bond rating for success
  • The utility of tomorrow: trends and the knowledge needed to be an effective finance professional

Instructor: Russ Hissom

September 30: Part 2
  • Introduction to GASB and financial reporting
  • GASB standards update

Instructor: Bethany Ryers

October 7: Part 3
  • Industry methods for allocating costs in a multi-service utility
  • Regulatory accounting – the cure for matching rate relief to reality
  • Financing utility infrastructure projects
  • The role of finance in establishing controls to guard against fraud

Instructor: Russ Hissom

October 14: Part 4
  • Accounting for pensions and other post-employment benefits
  • Accounting for impairment of capital assets
  • Accounting for asset retirement obligations
  • Analyzing financial statements
  • Utility metrics and impact on your business strategy

Instructor: Bethany Ryers

Recommended for

Utility accounting and finance personnel with a basic knowledge of utility accounting theory and practice.


The following continuing education credits will be provided, after successfully completing all four sessions. Completion certificates will be emailed out on October 19.

Recommended CEUs 1.2/PDHs 12/CPEs 12.8
Field of Study: Accounting

Course Level

Intermediate/Advanced: No prerequisites; no advance preparation. Recommended as a follow up to APPA’s Public Utility Accounting course. Participants may also be interested in the online Work Order & Asset Management course.

Training Materials

Attendees will receive electronic copies of the course materials in advance of each session, as well a copy of the class recording, in case you miss a live event or want to review the content.

Instructors Hissom, CPA, CIA, CISA, CRMA is a partner emeritus in Baker Tilly's energy practice with a focus on assurance and advisory services for power and utility organizations. Russ has extensive experience in providing risk advisory and internal audit services, implementing and improving work order asset management systems, software selection and implementation projects, financial and compliance audits, management audits, business process and controls reviews, establishing succession planning programs, and operational and financial training for utilities. Russ is a co-author of recent publications on Information Technology Governance, Advanced Public Utility Accounting, Sustainability Accounting Standards for Utilities and Enterprise Resource Planning System Selection Best Practices.

Bethany Ryers photoBethany Ryers, CPA, MAS is a Firm Director in Baker Tilly's energy practice with a focus on assurance and advisory services for power and utility organizations. Bethany has helped some of the country’s largest public power systems implement the latest governmental accounting standards. She is involved with a number of state electric, water and wastewater organizations and is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and several state accounting associations. Bethany is co-author of the recent publication Advanced Public Utility Accounting.


Register Now

Registration fees: $995 for members; $1,990 for nonmembers

Not a member? Join today and save on your course registration. Call Member Services at 202-467-2926 to learn more.


Registrants who cancel in writing on or before September 16, 2020, are entitled to a refund of their registration fee, minus a $50 cancellation fee. Registrants who cancel after September 16 will not receive a refund, but attendee substitutions will be allowed for this event only. Registrants and no-shows who do not cancel by September 16 are responsible for the full registration fee and are not entitled to a refund.

Group Pricing

Save $50 on each registration when registering a group of 5 or more people. Contact [email protected] for details.


Contact us at [email protected].

Earn While You Learn!

Participate in the online program to earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs), Professional Development Hours (PDHs) and Continuing Professional Education credits (CPEs).

Recommended CEUs 1.2/PDHs 12/CPEs 12.8
Field of Study: Accounting

Attendees are required to attend and participate in all four learning events and complete an online evaluation at the end of each class. Partial credit is not given. Attendance and participation will be monitored by an APPA staff member and completion certificates will be emailed out on October 19.

Sessions are recorded (in case you miss the live version), though credits can only be given for attending live events.

What educational credits are available?

You can earn the following kinds of educational credits for attending live sessions during the conference:

  • Continuing Education Units (CEUs) from the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET)
  • Professional Development Hours (PDHs) as established by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES)
  • Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Credits from the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA)
  • Human resources credits from the Human Resources Certification Institute (qualifying HR sessions only)

Please note that you will only be able to earn educational credits if you attend both live sessions. We are not able to offer educational credits for watching recordings.

Format and Log-In Information

Presented in four, 3-hour sessions, this engaging and practical online workshop features real-time presentations, Q&A, online polling, and group discussions.

These live sessions will be hosted through Zoom. Instructors will combine lecture style teaching with interactive features to stimulate dialogue and participation. Instructions on how to join and participate in these events will be sent out in advance of each session. 

Technology Platform

Zoom was chosen for its ease of use, great handling of video, and accessibility. Attending a Zoom meeting doesn’t require any additional software installed on the attendee’s computer—it can run completely out of a web browser. We know that many organizations limit the installation of desktop clients, so using a service that can run using a web browser makes the meeting more accessible to our members. Zoom’s ability to support multiple video feeds will also enable online networking beyond the capabilities of many other platforms.

To ensure the best experience for attendees, it is also important that our staff have experience using the platform. APPA staff have such experience with Zoom, both as attendees and administrators. Zoom has been successfully deployed for Public Power Connect Virtual Summit & Business Meeting (our largest event of the year); in addition to several other summits, classes and meetings.  Staff have also participated in a number of other virtual conferences using Zoom, including events held by the American Society for Association Executives (ASAE); Dragos; the Energy Bar Association; among others.

We are aware some organizations have cybersecurity concerns regarding this platform. Zoom had several high-profile problems at the start of its recent rise to prominence. The company was responsive to these issues and addressed many of them. While it still may not be appropriate for hosting sensitive discussions, we do not feel Zoom presents any problems for hosting general interest discussions, like the sessions we have planned for the virtual summit.

APPA has implemented all the recommended precautions and best practices recommended to minimize the possibility of security issues, such as authenticating all participants are registered for the event, utilizing virtual waiting rooms, requiring meeting passwords, and creating unique URLs for all attendees to participate in the meeting.

Technology Requirements

Zoom can be used on laptops, desktops, tablets, and smartphones. Participation is required during class, though using a webcam is optional. The current technical requirements for Zoom, along with recommendations for various devices, are available on the Zoom website:

  • Desktop Computers (Windows and Macintosh)
    See the Zoom Help Center documentation for system requirements for Windows and Macintosh desktop computers
  • Mobile Devices (Smartphones and Tablets)
    See the Zoom Help Center documentation for system requirements for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets running either the iOS or Android operating system.