June 14, 2017

Revenue Recognition: Your First Post-Adoption MD&A

We’ve already blogged quite a bit about the new revenue recognition standard, but this blog by Steve Quinlivan provides advice on preparing the first post-adoption MD&A – and it’s definitely worth a look. Here’s the intro:

The SEC has made clear its expectations regarding MD&A disclosure for periods prior to the adoption of the new revenue recognition standard. What has received less attention is the content of MD&A after the new revenue recognition standard has been adopted. Set forth below are some guidelines to be considered. While putting pen to paper to draft the first MD&A is still months away, public companies need to begin crafting disclosures controls and procedures so they will be in place when disclosures must be made.

Steve recently followed up with this blog reviewing the MD&As filed by early adopters of the new revenue recognition standard.

FASB Lease Standard: We Have An Early Adopter!

Speaking of early adopters, although companies have until 2019 to implement the new FASB lease standard, Microsoft will adopt it on July 1, 2017 (the first day of their next fiscal year). This SEC Institute blog has an excerpt of the disclosure about the impact of the new standard from the company’s most recent 10-Q.

FCPA: Kokesh Case Will Impact DOJ Pilot Program

It seems that the fallout from the Supreme Court’s recent Kokesh decision which held that SEC disgorgement claims are subject to a 5-year statute of limitations – is going to hit other regulators as well. As this McGuire Woods blog notes, the DOJ’s FCPA pilot program could feel a major impact:

The five year statute of limitations at issue in Kokesh is a general one that applies in FCPA civil enforcement actions as well as in the securities laws underlying Kokesh. Indeed, the parties’ briefing in the case referenced the large amounts of disgorgement in FCPA cases and that disgorgement in FCPA cases often goes directly to the U.S. Treasury and not to any victims as they may be difficult to ascertain in the FCPA context.

In holding that the statute of limitations applies to disgorgement, the Supreme Court affected a critical component of the DOJ’s FCPA Pilot Program. DOJ guidance expressly requires that to be eligible for the Program’s main benefit of mitigation credit, a company must disgorge all profits resulting from the FCPA violation. Accordingly, published declinations pursuant to the Program have indicated substantial disgorgements.

Potential responses to Kokesh include DOJ conditioning participation in the program on waivers of the statute of limitation, or requiring full disgorgement in order to award cooperation credit. The blog also notes that the decision may also increase the reluctance of parties whose conduct occurred primarily outside of the statute of limitations to participate in the program.

John Jenkins