On 19 December 2008, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) published for public comment a discussion paper Preliminary Views on Revenue Recognition in Contracts with Customers, setting out a joint approach for the recognition of revenue.
Revenue is an important number to users of financial statements in assessing a company’s performance and prospects. However, revenue recognition requirements in US generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) differ from those in International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs) and both are considered in need of improvement.
The requirements in US GAAP comprise numerous standards—many are industry‑specific and some can produce conflicting results for economically similar transactions. Although IFRSs contain fewer standards on revenue recognition, its two main standards have different principles and can be difficult to understand and apply beyond simple transactions.