FERC Accounting 101

FERC Accounting 101

The Basics of the Uniform System of Accounts (USofA) for Electric and Gas Utilities

August 20-21, 2024 | Online :: Central Time

“As someone who has only been in the industry for 5 months, this experience provided a thorough overview of FERC accounting and the rate making process while using concepts and examples that can be applied to my daily duties. You will also gain a clear understanding of the difference between FERC and GAAP and why understanding both are important in this industry.” Business Performance Associate, Ameren Illinois

“Bill knows his stuff.” CFO, Energy Keepers, Inc.

“Great introduction to utility accounting.” Sr. Utilities Engineer, CPUC

“Very good introductory course.” Partner, Weaver & Tidwell, LLP

“Gives a good detail/narrative on several topics.” Auditor, Railroad Commission of Texas

“EUCI provided accountants and non-accountants alike an amazing opportunity to hear a professional in the industry and their experiences. The environment was warm and engaging, and I really enjoyed my time here.” Accountant Associate, El Paso Electric Company

“Not only for the accountants of a business. Anyone in the organization can relate and learn something new.” Business Coordinator, NV Energy

“Highly recommend for non-accountants in utility business!” Business Analyst, NV Energy

“Great learning. I have a better understanding of FERC accounting and the different FERC numbers.” Analyst, Salt River Project

The overriding purpose of the Uniform System of Accounts (USofA) is to ensure uniformity and consistency in the reporting of the accounting transactions in the books and records of electric and gas utilities. Uniformity and consistency are important not only for regulators, but also for other parties requiring accounting information, such as utility management, shareholders, creditors and other parties to rate proceedings. Therefore, it is beneficial to anyone whose work involves public utilities to have a basic understanding of the FERC USofA since it is applicable both at the federal and state level.

This training in the basics of the FERC USofA will contain several modules, each one capsulizing a key component of the USofA. The course will highlight the development of the accounting system prescribed by FERC for electric and gas utilities and will focus on:

  • The role of the USofA
  • The components of the USofA
  • The role of USofA in the ratemaking (setting utility prices) process

To provide the attendees hands-on experience with the USofA, the final module in the course will contain classroom problems for the attendees to calculate a utility’s revenue requirement from USofA account balances.

Hear from the Instructor

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to successfully:

  • Define public utilities and how their accounting systems are unique
  • Describe government agencies’ regulatory authority over public utilities and how they apply the USofA to electric and gas utilities
  • Explain the role of accounting in public utilities 
  • Demonstrate the structure and usage of the FERC Uniform System of Accounts for electric and gas utilities
  • Investigate Balance Sheet Accounts
  • Identify major categories of plant investments 
  • Examine Income Statement Accounts
  • Explain the process of accounting for utility property and associated depreciation
  • List major categories of expenses
  • Classify the concepts of capital versus expense 
  • Review USofA Financial Statements in the FERC Form No. 1 for electric utilities and the FERC Form No. 2 for gas utilities
  • Explain the work order process and project accounting
  • Examine the key concepts of Public Utility Depreciation
  • Review Construction Work in Progress (CWIP) and Allowance of Funds Used During Construction (AFUDC)
  • Discuss early retirement of utility plant and its associated accounting impacts
  • Define the impairment of utility assets 
  • List key differences between USofA accounting and Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) 
  • Define the role of the USofA in the ratemaking process 

 

Agenda

Tuesday, August 20, 2024 : Central Time

8:45 – 9:00 a.m.
Log In and Welcome

12:00 – 12:30 p.m.
Lunch Break

9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Course Timing

Short breaks will be taken during each session (30 minutes total)

Reviewing Public Utilities Regulations

  • Development of Public Utility Regulation
  • What is a Public Utility and What Makes their Accounting System Unique?
  • Regulating Public Utilities and the Impact on their Accounting Systems
    • Books and records
    • Accounting entries for requested transactions 
      • Sales
      • Acquisitions 
      • Gains
      • Losses
      • Refunds
      • Cost assignment and allocation (CAAM)
  • The Role of Accounting in Public Utilities 
    • Transparency
    • Uniformity between utilities for regulatory review

Understanding FERC Uniform System of Accounts (USofA): Electric and Gas Utilities

  • Development of the USofA
  • FERC USofA
  • Definitions
  • Instructions
    • General instructions
    • Plant instructions 
    • Operating expense instructions 

Differentiating between USofA Accounting and Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)

  • Schedule M Timing – Temporary and Permanent Differences

USofA Balance Sheet Accounts

  • What are the Balance Sheet Accounts?
  • Balance Sheet Accounts Classifications 
  • Major Categories of Utility Plant
    • Electric plant
      • Intangible plant
      • Generation
      • Transmission
      • Distribution
      • General plant
    • Gas plant
      • Intangible plant
      • Production plant
      • Natural gas storage and processing plant
      • Transmission
      • Distribution
      • General plant

USofA Income Statement Accounts

  • Creating Income Statement Accounts
    • What are the Income Statement Accounts?
    • How are revenue and expenses accounts classified?
    • Above-the-line expenses
    • Below-the-line expenses

FERC Form No. 1 and No. 2

  • Balance Sheets
  • Income Statements

Other USofA Topics

  • Classifying Capital versus Expense
  • Construction Work in Progress (CWIP)
  • Allowance of Funds Used During Construction (AFUDC)
  • Public Utility Depreciation
  • Early Retirement of Utility Plant 
  • Impairment of Utility Assets
    • Regulatory assets 
    • Regulatory liabilities

Wednesday, August 21, 2024 : Central Time

8:45 – 9:00 a.m.
Log In

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Course Timing

Short breaks will be taken during each session (15 minutes total)

Accounting for Utility Plant

  • Work Order Systems
    • What is a work order?
    • Work order content
    • Initiating the work order
    • Closing out the work order
  • Records and Progress
    • Continuing property records
      • What are Continuing Property Records (CPRs)?
      • What information is provided by a CPR system?
      • What are the uses of CPRs

The Role of the USofA and the Ratemaking Process

  • Historical Cost and Ratemaking 
  • Revenue Requirements
  • Problem-solving Using USofA 
    • Using USofA account balances, we will calculate a utility’s revenue requirements (how much should a utility earn?).

Questions and Concluding Remarks

Instructors

Bill Steele, President, Bill Steele and Associates

Mr. Steele has over 40 years of experience in public utility regulation in which he has acquired an extensive knowledge of electric, gas and telecommunications industries.  Mr. Steele has expertise in utility accounting, revenue requirements, cost allocation, class cost-of-service studies, rate design, cost-of-capital, alternative forms of regulation, mergers and acquisitions. 

Prior to forming Bill Steele and Associates LLC in May of 2012, he spent 34 years with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) as an advisor to the Commissioners. Mr. Steele served as an advisor to the three Colorado Public Utilities Commissioners and the Commission’s six Administrative Law Judges. Mr. Steele demonstrated his broad expertise in the areas of electricity and natural gas utility regulation, which included the areas of revenue requirements, cost-of-service analysis and rate design.  He also served in the role as the Commission’s subject matter expert in utility accounting and finance matters.

In addition, Mr. Steele’s advisory responsibilities included the training of new Commissioners as well as conducting in-house training courses on various utility issues, such as how to apply traditional regulatory principles to emerging issues in public utility regulation.

Prior to becoming a commission advisor, Mr. Steele supervised the Financial Analysts in the Commission’s Fixed Utilities Section for 17 years. His duties in that role included the training of new financial analysts, supervising audits of utility accounting systems, management practices, special investigations, as well as, providing expert testimony in over 50 regulatory proceedings on policy issues concerning accounting, financial, and management issues.

On January 5, 2018, Colorado Governor Hickenlooper by Executive Order (A 2008 002) appointed Mr. Steele to serve as a representative of small business on the Utility Consumers Board (UCB). Mr. Steele as a board member of UCB, provides to the Office of Consumer Counsel general policy guidance on matters that involve utility regulation and legislative matters.


Paul Schulz, Utility Rate Analyst, Montana Consumer Counsel

Since 2009, Mr. Schulz has been the Utility Rate Analyst for the Montana Consumer Counsel working in the areas of revenue requirements, cost allocation, cost of capital and rate design. Mr. Schulz helps coordinate and edit the testimonies of other expert witnesses appearing for the Consumer Counsel in Montana utility dockets and also personally testifies as an expert witness before the Montana Public Service Commission. Mr. Schulz graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. degree in Economics from Colorado State University and holds an M.S. degree in Accounting from the University of Virginia. He is the first recipient of the Graduate Certificate in Public Utility Regulation and Economics from New Mexico State University and is one of the early recipients of the Certificate of Continuing Regulatory Education, which is endorsed by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) and awarded by the Institute of Public Utilities at Michigan State University.

Currently, Mr. Schulz is a member of the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates’ (NASUCA) Accounting and Finance Committee and is a member, and the former Meeting Registrar, of the NARUC Staff Subcommittee on Accounting and Finance where he has presented as well. Mr. Schulz is also a member of the Society of Utility and Regulatory Financial Analysts (SURFA) and holds the Certified Rate of Return Analyst (CRRA) designation awarded by that organization. Since 2014, Mr. Schulz has been on faculty at the NARUC Utility Rate School. He holds a Montana CPA license and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Online Delivery

We will be using Microsoft Teams to facilitate your participation in the upcoming event. You do not need to have an existing Teams account in order to participate in the broadcast – the course will play in your browser and you will have the option of using a microphone to speak with the room and ask questions, or type any questions in via the chat window and our on-site representative will relay your question to the instructor.

  • Microsoft recommends downloading and installing the Teams app if possible. You may also use the Edge browser or Chrome.
  • You will receive a separate email with a unique link to a personalized landing page which will include links to join all sessions of this event.
  • If you are using a microphone, please ensure that it is muted until such time as you need to ask a question.
  • The remote meeting connection will be open approximately 30 minutes before the start of the course. We encourage you to connect as early as possible in case you experience any unforeseen problems.

Register

Please Note: This event is being conducted entirely online. All attendees will connect and attend from their computer, one connection per purchase. For details please see our FAQ

If you are unable to attend at the scheduled date and time, we make recordings available to all attendees for 7 days after the event

REGISTER NOW FOR THIS EVENT:

FERC Accounting 101

August 20-21, 2024 | Online
Individual attendee(s) - $ 1195.00 each

Volume pricing also available

Individual attendee tickets can be mixed with ticket packs for complete flexibility

Pack of 5 attendees - $ 4,780.00 (20% discount)
Pack of 10 attendees - $ 8,365.00 (30% discount)
Pack of 20 attendees - $ 14,340.00 (40% discount)

Your registration may be transferred to a member of your organization up to 24 hours in advance of the event. Cancellations must be received on or before July 19, 2024 in order to be refunded and will be subject to a US $195.00 processing fee per registrant. No refunds will be made after this date. Cancellations received after this date will create a credit of the tuition (less processing fee) good toward any other EUCI event. This credit will be good for six months from the cancellation date. In the event of non-attendance, all registration fees will be forfeited. In case of conference cancellation, EUCIs liability is limited to refund of the event registration fee only. For more information regarding administrative policies, such as complaints and refunds, please contact our offices at 303-770-8800

Certificates & Credits

Instructional Methods

Case studies and PowerPoint presentations will be used in this program.

Requirements for Successful Completion of Program 

Participants must log in each day and be in attendance for the entirety of the course to be eligible for continuing education credit.

Course Credits 

EUCI can provide CEU credits, CPE credits, or a simple Certificate of Course Completion (shows total course hours (PDH).  We can also assist with CLE applications.  Registrants requiring CLEs should make their request in advance of their course.

IACET Credits

AP_Logo

EUCI is authorized by IACET to offer 0.9 CEUs for this event.

EUCI is accredited by the International Accreditors for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and offers IACET CEUs for its learning events that comply with the ANSI/IACET Continuing Education and Training Standard. IACET is recognized internationally as a standard development organization and accrediting body that promotes quality of continuing education and training.


CPE Credits

Upon successful completion of this event, program participants interested in receiving CPE credits will receive a certificate of completion.

CpeCourse CPE Credits: 10.5
There is no prerequisite for this Course.
Program field of study: Specialized Knowledge
Program Level: Basic
Delivery Method: Group Internet Based
Advanced Preparation: None

EUCI is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its web site: www.nasbaregistry.org


Colorado CLE Credits

The Colorado Office of CLJE has accredited the continuing legal education program (EPC Contracts) under C.R.C.P. 250.  Colorado attorneys and judges who attend this entire seminar, i.e., who attend or complete all accredited, educational sessions, may claim the CLE Credits indicated below.  

EUCI is authorized by Colorado Office of CLJE to offer 10.0 credits for the course.

 

 

Who Should Attend

This course is designed for anyone who wishes to obtain a basic understanding of the FERC USofA prescribed for electric and gas utilities. 

  • Commissioners 
  • Economists 
  • Rate analysts
  • Accountants
  • Attorneys 
  • Engineers
  • Public information officers
  • Administrative law judges
  • Utility personnel
  • Consultants
  • Consumer advocates