The Financial Accounting Standards Board has determined how it wants to address questions around certain aspects of the disclosure requirements for unmet performance obligations in the new revenue recognition standard.
At its most recent regular meeting, FASB decided to add a practical expedient to the disclosure requirements around certain types of variable consideration. The board also determined it wants to make some improvements to the qualitative disclosure requirement for remaining performance obligations that is explained currently in Accounting Standards Codification Topic 606-10-50-15.
FASB determined an entity applying the practical expedient would not need to include two types of variable consideration in the disclosure of performance obligations that are recognized but not yet met on the financial statement date. They include sales-based or usage-based royalties promised in exchange for a license of intellectual property and variable consideration that is allocated entirely to a wholly unsatisfied performance obligation or to a distinct good or service that forms part of a single performance obligation and meets criteria elsewhere in the standard.
It represents the last technical correction FASB has on its agenda currently around the new revenue recognition standard, originally finalized in 2014 and taking effect in 2018. FASB previously instructed the staff to draft the proposed Accounting Standards Update containing a host of other corrections and amplifications, so this decision finalizes that proposed package to be issued for public comment soon.
FASB previously issued proposals to provide clarifications on identifying performance obligations, licensing, and recognizing revenue on a net versus gross basis. The board delayed the original effective date from 2017 to 2018 as companies said they needed more time to adopt the standard and continued to bring questions to the Transition Resource Group operated jointly by FASB and the International Accounting Standards Board.
FASB recently scheduled three new meetings for the TRG continuing into late 2016 so that the group can continue to field questions as they arise. It’s not yet clear whether the TRG might refer any such questions to FASB for future standard setting. The IASB said in January that it planned to make no further changes to its standard under International Financial Reporting Standards, so it didn’t plan to actively participate any further in the TRG discussions.