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Clarity, comparability still to come under new revenue rules

Tammy Whitehouse | March 21, 2019

With the largest companies winding down their first year of reporting under the new revenue recognition standard, evidence of the learning curve and challenges with comparability are abundant.

“Everybody’s learning,” says Chris Bolash, a partner at EY. Preparers, regulators, auditors, analysts, and investors alike are adapting to the new rules, determining how best to make sense of shifts in important financial statement metrics. “Disclosures will continue to evolve,” he says.

A recent analysis by Audit Analytics of fourth-quarter data of S&P 500 companies shows that big changes in how to compute the top-line number in financial statements produced big changes in reported figures for some companies, but not so much at others. Of...

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