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What Executives Need to Know About the New Revenue Recognition Standards, Part 1

What Executives Need to Know About the New Revenue Recognition Standards, Part 1

March 02, 2017 Dave Fravel

Is your team ready for the new international revenue recognition standards? Chances are you’ve got a small army working on this problem, but how will your business be affected? Are you on track or behind? Is there risk that your policies, procedures, and systems are not going to be ready in time for compliance? Even the most forward thinking businesses acknowledge that they’re on a journey to find the best methods and systems for institutionalizing best practice into their accounting departments.

We’re sprinting towards compliance, yet recognizing your company's revenue is a crucial and complex, and the spotlight is on your team to get it right. If you’re interested in a refresher on the standards and a high-level survey of what your team needs to be working on, we’ve prepared an e-Book on what every Executive needs to know about these standards.

The current requirements for recognizing revenue in the United States are the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and are viewed as overly complex and fragmented. The International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) have also been criticized for not providing enough guidance. For these reasons, the new International Revenue Recognition Standards were created to standardize the way revenue is recognized across all organizations globally.

With a 2018 effective date, the clock is ticking for companies to begin to wrap their head around what it means for them, and what they need to do to begin preparing. Although it will take time to evaluate the most efficient way to transition to these new standards, in the long-run it will make it much easier for companies and industries to compare financial statements- if widespread adoption unfolds. This new standard will actually help companies gain deeper insight into their contract data. Some data, in fact, that is buried within complex contractual agreements that could cause major risk unless you uncover them with a contract management platform.

What is contract Management? Go to our Contract Management 101 page to learn more.

Companies must understand how these standards will impact them, what needs to be done to prepare for a new process, and finally, how to evaluate, implement and adopt an enterprise-wide solution.

In this three-part blog series, we will walk through what Executives need to do in order to prepare as soon as possible. There are three steps to success for this process.

Step 1: Assessment
When first understanding the new guidelines and how they will specifically apply to your transactions, you're likely going to run into some challenges along the way. Having an initial assessment of your business will help you understand exactly what information needs to be captured and reported on, and where that may require certain modifications to your current process, system, and/or controls.

What to consider during your initial assessment:

  • Look at how the new standards will affect your operational and performance metrics
  • Perform a technical assessment of revenue transactions
  • Determine the impact on miscellaneous aspects of your business
  • Form a team from different departments to identify any ripple effects
  • Analyze how existing contracts would be recorded under the new standard

2018 is less than a year away, and this isn't something that can be transitioned overnight, or even over a month. Start the process today by downloading your free e-book now to help you get started.

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