Public Companies: Your Rev Rec Education Starts Here

Revenue recognition has been one of the hottest topics in the financial reporting and compliance industry for more than 2 years.

A recent survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Financial Executive Research Foundation (FERF) revealed some startling insight into how companies are – or are not – preparing.

With the implementation date for public companies just 14 months away, only 17% of public companies surveyed have actually begun implementation efforts and 75% are still assessing the new standards’ impact.

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The study’s call to action is clear: The time to act is now. So if you’re part of the 83% that hasn’t begun implementing, read on and start your basic education on rev rec here.

The conveniently abbreviated “rev rec” ASU calls for replacing the outdated and highly dissimilar US GAAP and IFRS guidance on revenue recognition with a uniform method for reporting revenue, specifically where it concerns contracts with customers.

The aim is to provide a more accurate and transparent view of how companies across industries (and the globe) treat this critical metric in financial statements. While the first official call to improve the practice of recognizing revenue was made well over a decade ago, things really started to heat up in May 2014 when the FASB and IASB tabled the final joint revenue recognition standard. This change will impact every reporting entity in varying degrees, but for most, implementation will be a major undertaking.

Thus, the past two and a half years have borne witness to an endless parade of articles from business publications, regulatory bodies and industry experts that have dissected, updated and made arguments for (or against) the advancement of this proposal. The volume of these articles is informative at best and overwhelming at worst.

That’s why Certent is presenting a three-part blog series that tells the whole rev rec story pulled from various sources in a simple, concise format. The series will cover everything you need to know about the new revenue recognition standard as the clock counts down to the date it takes effect:

  1. The 5 Ws: What, who, why, where and when
  2. The Timeline: The life cycle of the new standard from inception to today
  3. Tips and Tricks: To assist you with preparation and implementation

Stay tuned next week for the first post in the series: The 5 Ws of the New Rev Rec Standard.