An analysis of third-quarter filings suggests companies are making progress implementing the new revenue recognition standard, but still have plenty of work to do in the fourth quarter to finish the job.
As it has done in earlier quarters in 2017, Deloitte took a close look at a random sample of third-quarter filings by the Fortune 1000 to get a barometer on how implementation of the new standard is likely progressing across capital markets. The analysis revealed 15 percent of companies had disclosed they were “substantially complete” with their implementation activities, which is “up slightly” from 10 percent in the second quarter, the firm reported.
All public companies are required to adopt the new, five-step method governing when and in what amounts they should recognize revenue in financial statements. The Financial Accounting Standards Board issued the new requirements in mid-2014 with an effective date of Jan. 1, 2017, then extended the effective date to Jan. 1, 2018.
With the International Accounting Standards Board, the FASB operated a transition resource group to vet any concerns that developed as companies prepared to put the new requirements into place. The FASB plans to hear an update on the overall implementation effort at an upcoming meeting, but the board has indicated the meeting will be informational only, with no new decisions being made.
Deloitte says its analysis showed more than half of the companies it studied had provided expanded or updated disclosures from the second quarter to the third quarter regarding their implementation efforts and status. More than half said the effect of the standard will be immaterial to the company’s financial statements, but only a little more than 10 percent stated the expected effect in numerical terms.
With respect to the intended method of transition, less than 20 percent said they planned to follow the full retrospective method, which means they’ll present all three years of data in financial statements under the new requirements. A little less than 80 percent said they planned to use the modified retrospective method, which relies on disclosure to provide the historic perspective. About 5 percent said they still were undecided on their transition method.
The majority of Deloitte’s sample indicated through disclosure that implementation efforts were continuing. “With a Jan. 1 effective date looming, it appears that many registrants still have some work to do before their year-end filings,” the firm reported.