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Revenue Recognition: an IFRS “Hot Spot”

Revenue Recognition processes, long considered “extreme” accounting under US GAAP, will be equally difficult under IFRS. The IFRS standard looks much simpler, but is it? What are the implications for accounting processes and systems if it’s not? The impending adoption of IFRS in the US, viewed with varying degrees of dread by those who have to do the actual adopting, carried one small potential for hope – perhaps IFRS Revenue Recognition will greatly simplify the revenue accounting process. Ironically the big difference that we can expect is that under IFRS, interpretation of the principles will be more difficult – and more subject to variation, to personal judgment and even to local culture. This article outlines the key differences between US GAAP and IFRS revenue rules and provides a step-by-step approach to managing change as the fundamentals regarding revenue recognition and reporting are reformulated.

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