I have the honor to teach as an adjunct professor at the University of Redlands School of Business. Go Bulldogs!
I have had some our my friends and business acquaintances ask me why I am taking the time to be an adjunct professor. It’s certainly not for the pay compared to what I can make spending those same hours at our Redlands CPA firm. When I teach an accounting or finance class, I find that I am not just educating the students but I am getting an education myself. I did not realize at first was the benefit that our firm clients get from that additional education.
Here’s an example of how that has worked. You have to prepare to teach a class each week and be knowledgeable of the topics to be discussed. One week in my most recent class we discussed how to compute internal rate of return. We developed spreadsheets using examples from the text. While those concepts and the spreadsheets were still fresh in my mind , I had a client come in with a question on whether he should purchase and finance a solar system for his home. There can be significant tax benefits (a 30% Federal tax credit) for the purchase of solar energy systems. He asked me with the value of the credit and the cost of his down payment and financing what the internal rate of return would be on his investment. I was able to bring up a sample spreadsheet I used in class, drop his numbers in and make the computation in a couple minutes for him. Had I not taught the course I would have had to complete that project after the meeting and I know it would have taken me a ton more time to create and properly prepare the computation for the client.
I also find that I learn from my students directly as well. I learn technology tips which have spiced up my presentations. I have a better understanding of the skill sets and expectation of college graduates (our future employees). I learn from my working students how businesses operate at different levels which is great information to apply for our clients. I especially admire the working adults who come to class in the evening after a full day at their job. I am not doing my job if they leave class feeling their time was not well spent.
I firmly believe that my experience teaching is only an example of opportunities we all have in life. We raise children, we lend a hand to family and friends, we supervise staff, we support our community. Taking any of these teaching experiences as opportunities to learn will make your life more fulfilling and your Life Less Taxing.