June 23, 2017

Revenue Recognition: Learn From Early Adopters

Last week, John blogged about evolving MD&A disclosures under the new revenue recognition standard. Check out this SEC Institute blog for more examples of early adopters – Alphabet, Ford, Raytheon & others. Here’s an excerpt from First Solar’s Form 10-Q:

We adopted ASU 2014-09 in the first quarter of 2017 using the full retrospective method. This adoption primarily affected our systems business sales arrangements previously accounted for under ASC 360-20, which had required us to evaluate whether such arrangements had any forms of continuing involvement that may have affected the revenue or profit recognition of the transactions, including arrangements with prohibited forms of continuing involvement. When such forms of continuing involvement were present, we reduced the potential profit on the applicable project sale by our maximum exposure to loss.

As you forge ahead with your disclosures, remember that our “Revenue Recognition” Practice Area has lots of resources…

Revenue Recognition: Most Plan to Adopt On Time

With 6 months till the new revenue recognition standard is required, only about 20 companies in the Russell 3000 have adopted it. This blog from Audit Analytics shows as-reported progress towards adoption & provides industry-specific examples of revenue streams that are likely to be materially affected. It also cautions that the SEC is commenting on transition disclosure that’s too generic. Here’s an excerpt from a recent letter:

You state that you are in the process of evaluating the impact that the amended revenue recognition guidance in Topic 606 will have on your consolidated financial statements. Please revise to provide qualitative financial statement disclosures of the potential impact that this standard will have on your financial statements when adopted. In this regard in your next filing, include a description of the effects of the accounting policies that you expect to apply, if determined, and a comparison to your current revenue recognition policies. Describe the status of your process to implement the new standard and the significant implementation matters yet to be addressed. In addition, to the extent that you determine the quantitative impact that adoption of Topic 606 is expected to have on your financial statements, please also disclose such amounts. Please refer to ASC 250-10-S99-6 and SAB Topic 11.M.

Canada Tries for Single-Regulator Framework: Now Doomed?

This Blakes memo notes that the Quebec Court of Appeal ruled against Canada’s proposed nationwide framework for securities regulation – finding part of it unconstitutional because it infringes on provincial sovereignty. This ruling might delay implementation, which was planned for next June. Here’s some thoughts on next steps:

One option is to push ahead with implementing the Cooperative System in a form modified to address the Council’s powers that the Court of Appeal identified as incompatible with parliamentary sovereignty and the division of powers between the federal and provincial governments.

Another, and more likely, option is for the federal government to seek the Supreme Court of Canada’s (SCC) opinion on the Cooperative System. If it chooses this option, the federal government could either appeal the Quebec Court of Appeal’s decision to the SCC or direct a separate reference to the SCC. The SCC’s decision would take precedence over that of the Quebec Court of Appeal.

Liz Dunshee