The Financial Accounting Standards Board has issued the last of its planned amendments to the revenue recognition standard to clarify certain aspects that led to questions for companies as they began to prepare for adoption.
Accounting Standards Update No. 2016-12 is an amendment to Topic 606 of the Accounting Standards Codification to provide for some narrow scope improvements and practical expedients after discussions at the Revenue Recognition Transition Resource Group failed to arrive at a clear consensus on how companies should proceed.
The amendment addresses questions on how to assess certain collectibility criteria, how to present sales tax and other similar taxes collected from customers, how to reflect noncash consideration, and how to present contract modifications and completed contracts at transition. The amendment also includes a technical correction to the guidance on presentation of prior periods.
FASB earlier issued three amendments to the new revenue recognition standard, the first to delay the effective date of the standard from 2017 to 2018. Subsequent amendments addressed how to apply the principal versus agent guidance to determine whether to recognize revenue on a gross or net basis, how to identify performance obligations under the new standard, and how to handle certain revenue issues that arise from license arrangements.
At a recent regional accounting conference, EY partner Alison Spivey said she expected FASB’s TRG to continue meeting and working through questions that might continue to arise as companies move through implementation plans, but she’s not expecting any significant standard setting to result from those discussions. “FASB is helping but is not intending to take any further action,” she said. “If that were to happen, we would never be done. And we all need to be done. We all need to just get along with implementing the standard.”