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To quickly identify key areas, open each link and search for “606” or “2014-09” in the text.
This week’s blog focuses on recent examples where companies made revenue recognition errors leading to restatements.
Bridgepoint Education, Inc: Form 8-K dated March 6, 2019
- The company identified revenue errors in 2018 and is now potentially going back to 2016 to adjust and restate.
- The company identified that its processes to record revenue for certain performance obligations in its contracts were incorrect. Additionally, it identified issues with the “precision” of its judgments and estimates.
- Additionally, the company stated, “The Company has subsequently identified two material weaknesses in internal control over financial reporting related to 1) control design in the accounting for revenue related to the Full Tuition Grant program and 2) operation of review controls over unusual or non-recurring and significant transactions.”
- SOFTRAX created its flagship Revenue Manager application to prevent these types of situations as it takes the revenue recognition policies and procedures from manual, spreadsheet-driven, environments into a purpose-built application. This application automates these revenue recognition policies and procedures to prevent these situations.
- Additionally, for a company in this position, the Revenue Manager can be the tool to quickly get them out of trouble as it will allow them to quickly reprocess data from prior years, compare the results to previously stated results, and clearly restate with differences explained in an auditable format.
- As a side note, a number of shareholder lawsuits are being filed as a result of this situation.
USA Technologies, Inc: Form 8-K dated February 1, 2019
- The company prematurely recognized revenues going back to 2017. There’s not a lot of color on what led to the issue. With that said, the impact is material.
- This is leading to a back-and-forth with its former auditor. Additionally, the company has shareholder lawsuits filed against it.
- As mentioned above, SOFTRAX Revenue Manager is a purpose-built application that would have kept the company out of this situation. Additionally, it can get the company out of this situation as well quickly with a fully automated and auditable tool.
- Overall, the timing of revenue recognition is controlled by a fully audited, easy-to-use, secured policy set up by Revenue Manager. So even if a policy is set up incorrectly, thus leading to an issue, it’s easy to identify when and who set it up. Additionally, it allows for easy identification of the affected records and easy bulk processing capabilities to reprocess and correct the numbers.