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Does this SEC Staff Accounting Bulletin add clarity to revenue recognition determination? Why, or why not?

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Access the SEC Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 104.

What does it discuss?

How does it vary from the revenue recognition      principles issued by the FASB?

Does this SEC Staff Accounting Bulletin add clarity      to revenue recognition determination? Why, or why not?

Explain your answers.

Posted 1 

Staff Accounting Bulletin (SAB) No. 104 discusses revisions to Topic 13 of the codification of staff accounting bulletins and the conjoining Revenue Recognition in Financial Statements FAQ&As (SAB 104, 2003). These revisions are in relation to material no longer necessary due to private sector developments in US GAAP (SAB 104, 2003). 

The revenue recognition principles issued by the SEC via SABs are general guidelines applicable to all companies. They also use examples to show how to recognize revenue given certain examples. Under topic 605 (revenue recognition) of the FASB codification, “there is no revenue revenue recognition guidance located in this Topic” (Fasb.org, 2022). The revenue guidelines are divided by industry Subtopics (FASB.org, 2022). Meaning, there aren’t general revenue recognition principles like the one’s in SAB 104.

In my opinion, SAB 104 does add clarity to revenue recognition determination. The bulletin poses questions that help an accountant see how the revenue recognition principles are to be applied in a given scenario (SAB 104, 2003). 

References

FASB.org. “Welcome.” FASB Accounting Standards Codification®, 2022, https://asc.fasb.org/glossary.

United States Securities and Exchange Commission. (2003, December 17). Staff accounting bulletin no. 104. https://www.sec.gov/interps/account/sab104.pdf

Posted 2 

Access the SEC Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 104.

What does it discuss?

“This staff accounting bulletin revises or rescinds portions of the interpretative guidance included in Topic 13 of the codification of staff accounting bulletins in order to make this interpretive guidance consistent with current authoritative accounting and auditing guidance and SEC rules and regulations.  The principal revisions relate to the rescission of material no longer necessary because of private sector developments in U.S. generally accepted accounting principles” (SEC, 2022, p1).    

How does it vary from the      revenue recognition principles issued by the FASB?

Bulletin No 104 did not create anything new to Top 605, however, it does simplify views on applying the existing revenue recognition guidance.  It requires persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists, delivery has occurred, or services have been performed, and the collectability is reasonably assured.

Does this SEC Staff      Accounting Bulletin add clarity to revenue recognition determination? Why,      or why not?

I feel that the bulletin does provide clarity to revenue recognition determination.  I felt that the examples towards the end of the bulletin provided exact detail on data needed to recognize revenue.  I believe that this bulletin provides additional guidance for accounting staff and allows there to be no confusion on this topic.    

Resources:

Agency: Securities and Exchange Commission. (2022). Retrieved January 27, 2022, from https://www.sec.gov/interps/account/sab104.pdf

Posted 3 

        The SEC Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 104 details sections of the interpretative guidance in Topic 13 of the codification of staff accounting bulletins that are revised or rescinded in order to bring it into compliance with current authoritative accounting and auditing guidance, as well as SEC laws and regulations. The most significant changes are the removal of content that is no longer required due to private sector improvements in US generally accepted accounting standards. The Revenue Recognition in Financial Statements Frequently Asked Questions and Answers paper released in connection with Topic 13 is likewise revoked by this staff accounting bulletin.

How does it vary from the revenue recognition principles issued by the FASB?

If a transaction falls within the area of authoritative literature that gives guidance on revenue recognition, such material should be used. In the lack of mention of authoritative literature surrounding a specific arrangement or industry, the staff will rely on existing authoritative accounting principles as well as the broad revenue recognition criteria specified in the FASB’s conceptual framework, which provide basic revenue recognition guidelines.

Does this SEC Staff Accounting Bulletin add clarity to revenue recognition determination? Why, or why not?

Yes it does. It specifically states that revenue should not be recognized until it is realized or realizable and earned, according to these standards. “An entity’s revenue-earning activities include delivering or producing goods, rendering services, or other activities that constitute its ongoing major or central operations, and revenues are considered earned when the entity has substantially accomplished what it must do to be entitled to the benefits represented by the revenues,” according to Concepts Statement 5, paragraph 83(b) (SEC, 2003). The bulletin then outlines thinks that income is realized or earnable when all of the following requirements are met, there is convincing proof of an agreement, deliveries or services have been provided, the seller’s price to the buyer is set or determinable, and collectability is fairly assured.

         The bulletin was very clear as it provided numerous examples of scenarios of revenue recognition and provided facts to support their guidance.

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