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The Daily

Poll: Few Firms Ready for New Revenue Recognition, Lease Standards

By:
Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Jan 22, 2016
AlarmClockCroppedA survey of about 400 financial executives has found that, while still some years away, few companies have a clear plan to implement the new revenue recognition and lease standards, according to the Journal of Accountancy
 
The revenue recognition standard replaces the myriad industry-specific standards in GAAP with a single model based around the identification and completion of contract-based performance obligations, something that promises to be a major game changer for any company that has revenue (so, pretty much all of them). However, according to the survey, just 29 percent have a clear plan to actually implement this standard, with 27 percent having taken no action at all to prepare. Perhaps understanding of this, the FASB voted this past summer to push the effective date back from the end of 2016 to, now, the end of 2017. 
 
Similarly, the survey found that few are also prepared to implement the new lease accounting standard. Under the new standard, leases will be moved onto the balance sheet, with lease obligations now being listed as a liability balanced out by a "right-to-use" asset. The poll, though, found that only 13 percent of respondents said they have a clear plan for implementation, and few were confident they would be able to actually do so by 2016 or 2017, just 9 percent. Instead, 18 percent said they would probably be ready to implement the standard by 2018 (the effective date for public companies). A larger proportion, 49 percent, felt they wouldn't be ready until 2019, the effective date for private companies.