Wednesday Oct 01, 2014

Deferred Revenue Replaced by Revenue Performance Obligations

I was talking to Seamus Moran again the other day.

He was saying he had some sympathy for the existing US GAAP folk who had so much to unlearn in respect of the new revenue recognition standard.

He told me that with deferred revenue, you took a sales invoice, and predicted when you’d put that into revenue in the P&L.  You’d add carve-ins and deduct carve-outs and deduct releases to the P&L.

But the new standard takes all of that away.  Instead of accounting for deferred revenue, sales invoices you had to postpone on the sale side, you now have to account for performance obligations, what you owe customers.

It is a big change.  It is not sales invoice-based. The FASB & IASB spelled out the four steps to get a performance obligation value, and they did it so you would get to a performance obligation value, not a delta to a sales invoice.  He said he can recite them: Step 1, ID the contract.  Step 2, ID your promises (assign ID numbers), explicit and implicit, to customers as performance obligations.  Step 3, value the transaction in total, what are you going to get in total.  Step 4, using standalone selling prices (SSP) or estimated selling prices (ESP), allocate the total to the performance obligations. 

At this stage, you now have valued your performance obligations.  No need to go looking at invoices, carvings, or releases. Sure, you may not have all the necessary data, or the quantities aren’t known yet, etc., but this is data you are supposed to book keep, at which you should value revenue, contract liabilities, and contract assets.  Quantity times performance obligation times SSP or ESP.

He says that, actually, embracing the performance obligation idea makes this whole standard much more easy to digest.

Stay tuned for the next in our series of blog posts about the new revenue recognition standard. 

Monday Sep 22, 2014

The New Revenue Recognition Standard: Performance Matters

Last week I was talking to Seamus Moran, our resident accountant and we chatted about the new Revenue recognition Standard, Topic 606 and IFRS 15.

He’d just been speaking at a couple of conferences, and noted that the fundamentals of the standard are beginning to click with people.

A few months ago, he said, it wasn’t obvious to people that the core principle, “you should recognize revenue as you transfer goods and services to customers” was a mandate to recognize revenue as you performed.  That is, as you delivered, executed and serviced.  But now, that mandate was being more widely understood: you must recognize revenue as you perform.

One example is a software company that ships a game with some missions or episodes missing.  Under today’s GAAP, they would have to defer all the revenue until the missing episodes were published. Under the new standard, they would have to – not just “could” – recognize the revenue that related to the delivery they had performed, and postpone recognizing the rest of the revenue until they delivered the delayed missions.  A key question is how to identify and value a performance obligation of this nature, especially since this company doesn’t sell missions separately.

But that’s a blog for another day.

Wednesday Jun 11, 2014

Oracle Delivers New Generation Revenue Recognition Solution


Revenue is a fundamental yardstick of a company's performance, and one of the most important metrics for investors in the capital markets. So it’s no surprise that the accounting standard boards have devoted significant resources to this topic, with a key goal of ensuring that companies use a consistent method of recognizing revenue.

Due to the myriad of revenue-generating transactions, and the divergent ways organizations recognize revenue today, the IFRS and FASB have been working for 12 years on a common set of accounting standards that apply to all industries in virtually all countries. Through their joint efforts on May 28, 2014 the FASB and IFRS released the IFRS 15 / ASU 2014-9 (Revenue from Contracts with Customers) converged accounting standard.

This standard applies to revenue in all public companies, but heavily impacts organizations in any industry that might have complex sales contracts with multiple distinct deliverables (obligations). For example, an auto dealer who bundles free service with the sale of a car can only recognize the service revenue once the owner of the car brings it in for work. Similarly, high-tech companies that bundle software licenses, consulting, and support services on a sales contract will recognize bundled service revenue once the services are delivered. Now all companies need to review their revenue for hidden bundling and implicit obligations.

Numerous time-consuming and judgmental activities must be performed to properly recognize revenue for complex sales contracts. To illustrate, after the contract is identified, organizations must identify and examine the distinct deliverables, determine the estimated selling price (ESP) for each deliverable, then allocate the total contract price to each deliverable based on the ESPs.

In terms of accounting, organizations must determine whether the goods or services have been delivered or performed to the customer’s satisfaction, then either book revenue in the current period or record a liability for the obligation if revenue will be recognized in a future accounting period.

Oracle Revenue Management Cloud was architected and developed so organizations can simplify and streamline revenue recognition. Among other capabilities, the solution uses business rules to efficiently identify and examine contracts, intelligently calculate and allocate deliverable prices based on prescribed inputs, and accurately recognize revenue for each deliverable based on customer satisfaction.

"Oracle works very closely with our customers, the Big 4 accounting firms, and the accounting standard boards to deliver an adaptive, comprehensive, new generation revenue recognition solution,” said Rondy Ng, Senior Vice President, Applications Development. “With the recently announced IFRS 15 / ASU 2014-9, Oracle is ready to support customer adoption of the new standard with our Revenue Management Cloud,” said Rondy.

Oracle Revenue Management Cloud, an integral part of Oracle Financials Cloud, helps organizations comply with accounting standards, provides them with confidence that reported revenue is materially accurate, and simplifies the accounting process for revenue recognition.

Stay tuned to this blog for regular updates on Oracle Revenue Management Cloud. We also invite you to review our new ERP pages @ We will be updating these pages very soon with more information about Oracle Revenue Management Cloud.

Friday Mar 01, 2013

FASB and IASB Set Effective Date for New Revenue Recognition Standard: January 1, 2017

An update from our resident IFRS expert, Seamus.....The FASB and IASB met on February 20th and put the finishing touches to the new US GAAP and IFRS Revenue recognition principle, Revenue from Contracts with Customers.  As they say on their websites, all that remains is for the staff to begin drafting the final standard.  They decided on the effective date of the standard for new transactions: January 1, 2017

Both the FASB and the IASB are in agreement that early adoption will not be permitted. There are now three arrangements organizations can use during the transitional period, between now and 2017:

1)  Retrospective reporting, where each revenue transaction is tracked under both the old and the new in full
2)  Retrospective reporting exploiting the permitted optional practical expedients previously published
3)  Apply the standard to new post January 2017 initial revenue items, recognize the impact of the change as an adjustment to opening 2017 balance, and disclose the changes

It will be interesting to see how these options are explored by practitioners and professionals.  They have substantially updated the disclosure requirements, introducing some qualitative elements, eliminating the onerous obligation disclosure, and adding some assumptions and methods disclosure.


Focusing on solutions for the Office of Finance, this blog will highlight key financial management market trends, events and other news of interest.


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