FARE Framework Course 2: Principles of Accounting

This week I saw firsthand the topic of accounting come alive for the participants in the FARE Framework Course Series. It’s not every day that exciting conversations and humor arise when talking about fundamental ideas of both financial and management accounting.

This second course expanded upon the ideas of Finance & Risk discussed in the first course while changing the perspective to look through the lens of the accounting profession. The outline for this course was developed with the following learning objectives in mind:

  1. Participants will be able to differentiate between Financial (GAAP) and Managerial (Cost) Accounting
  2. Participants will understand the components of the Balance Sheet and Income Statement and how these documents impact each other and the Cash Flow Statement
  3. Participants will understand the concept of the matching principle and the importance of matching expenses with revenues via depreciation and amortization
  4. Participants will comprehend the idea of using budgets and forecasts as tools for proper financial management and the role that cost accounting plays in looking beyond GAAP based accounting to determine product, business line, or member profitability

The discussions we had in this session were amazing. I could really see interest in topics which most people dismiss, myself included at times, as being the driest piece of financial management. The highlight for me was when one of the leaders asked about how the provision expense is calculated today and what it would be moving to under the new FASB guidelines (CECL – Current Expected Credit Losses) which are to be implemented in just a few years. I’m sure she, and everyone else in the room, saw my face light up with the joy that an accountant gets from walking someone through a slightly complicated calculation. She came away from the course thanking me for taking the time and helping her understand what could impact the financial performance of our loans over the lifetime of the loan.


I have been overwhelmed with the support, comments, and connections I have made so far in this process. I have heard from accounting and finance professionals, executive team members, and board members from credit unions all over the country asking about the course content and inquiring about the possibility of assisting in delivering this course to their teams. While that overwhelmed me, it hit a new chord this week when a credit union consultant from Trinidad and Tobago reached out to me to discuss how to build this course into training for board members in his home country. He stated he regularly gets inquiries for board training on the topic of financial management.

While I understood that this kind of project could have a fairly sizable impact if adopted nationwide, I had not considered the possibility of this course reaching beyond the United States. With this in mind, I plan on revisiting the course material to help create a training based on these core concepts which would be ideal for board members both in the United States and abroad where the Credit Union movement is touching lives.

Just last week, I learned that I have been selected as a Finalist for the 2017 NTCUE competition. There were so many great projects and I am honored to have been selected.  I hope my fellow Top 15 candidates will keep pushing their projects and the movement forward. It is so exciting to see bright millennial talent displaying the ingenuity and social awareness our generation can contribute to keep the mission of mutual cooperative financial services alive and booming.

Learn more about the FARE Framework and my project.

Derek Fuzzell