It is time to revisit the discussion on changes to revenue recognition. Just to recap, the new standard requires that revenue is recognized when goods or services are transferred to a customer and for the amount the seller expects to be entitled, based on the five step process (not necessarily performed chronologically):
- Identify the contract with the customer
- Identify the separate performance obligations
- Determine the transaction price
- Allocate the transaction price to the individual performance obligations
- Recognize revenue as the performance obligations are satisfied
The new standard is effective for privately held companies for annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2018, with early adoption allowed for annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2016 (calendar year 2017!) (more…)
If you have made it this far, you noticed our refreshed website. As blog authors, we are excited to be part of this new release.
Yesterday, I was in the process of reviewing a unique equity agreement and determining the accounting treatment for the equity awards. The equity being issued was for a start-up that is “going to change the way we communicate.” From my viewpoint, it seems like all the start-ups I work with have that goal – to change the way something is done. Start-ups are determined to change everything, whether it is the way data is stored in the cloud to the way we purchase goods and services. The mindset that there is a better way to do everything is an exciting environment, and ASL is glad to be a part of the changing technology of our world, even if our part (most of the time) is just to help with compliance and reporting. (more…)
The new revenue recognition standard, or ASU 2014-09, was issued in May 2014. As we first started digesting the standard, we posted a blog on the 5-step process of revenue recognition (September 10, 2014 post). Due to the sweeping changes associated with this standard, it became clear early on that implementing the new standard was going to be a process. As a follow-up, we included an implementation update in the blog (March 18, 2015 post) but once again, there are more twists and turns for the newly issued standard.
Have you noticed there are an increasing number of articles on companies reporting non-financial data in conjunction with their annual financial data? Referred to as sustainability reporting, this is not something I see as an auditor of privately held companies. So where do you go to research a topic? Wikipedia, of course! Wikipedia provided this definition: “A sustainability report is an organizational report that gives information about economic, environmental, social and governance performance.”
The converged (FASB/IASB) revenue recognition standard was issued in May 2014, and a week later the Boards announced the formation of the “Joint Transition Resource Group for Revenue Recognition.” Given the pervasiveness of the new revenue recognition standard and, for U.S. constituents, migration to the unfamiliar and uncomfortable territory of “principles” over “rules,” it was apparent from the start that implementation issues would abound.
In June 2014, FASB issued an accounting standards update known as ASU No 2014-10 that changed financial reporting for the majority of early stage start-ups. This ASU eliminated the definition of a development stage entity and the financial reporting requirements associated with that designation. This change is effective for annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2014 but early implementation is allowed.
Intangible assets are unusual assets as by definition they are assets that lack physical substance. Despite the nebulous quality of intangible assets, financial statements for technology companies frequently include intangible assets on their balance sheets. Intangible assets present themselves in the form of patents, trademarks, licenses or even website costs. Goodwill or acquired R&D may also be intangible assets for a company, indicating that the company has acquired another company through a business combination.
Now that the new revenue recognition guidance is issued, there is nothing left to do but figure out how to implement it. The new standard identifies a five-step process for recognizing revenue. Though it may seem fairly straight forward on the surface, applying the five-step process to your revenue streams may take a significant amount of time and thoughtful considerations. Additionally, your company’s contracts may need to be modified once all the intricacies of the standard have been considered.
By Carol Wagner, ASL Principal
The new accounting standard for revenue recognition is finally here! It’s officially referred to as ASU 2014-09 – Revenue from Contracts with Customers. FASB issued the final revenue recognition standard in May 2014.