Edmund Skellings claims he's a scholar and a poet, not a businessman.

But the 49-year-old communications professor recently patented a computer-based color-coding system that, combined with any computer software package and a CRT screen, can keep track of inventory, accounts receivable, and accounts payable programs. For example, in an accounts receivable program, all accounts due in 30 days can be colored red, those due in 60 days green, and so on.

Skellings, who is Poet Laureate of the State of Florida, originally designed his Binemic Color-Coding System to benefit educational research -- in one application it color-codes words to illustrate rhyme schemes and alliteration. As a teacher, Skellings used colored chalks and a blackboard to make literature and poetry come alive for his students. Eventually, however, he turned his inquisitive mind to computers, and spent five years and $40,000 of his own money to create his color-coding system.

Skellings has founded a company, Millennium Corp., based in his Dania, Fla., home, to handle the business generated by his six-month-old patent. One of his first customers was Ramtek, a computer graphics equipment manufacturer.