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Perspectives

Revenue recognition implementation for a private company

Insights and planning, lessons we've learned

For private companies developing a revenue recognition implementation plan, we share key lessons learned from public company implementations.

No free passes for private companies

New revenue recognition accounting guidelines are taking effect for private companies for annual reporting periods after December 15, 2018. Yes, that’s after the Financial Accounting Standard Board's (FASB's) Accounting Standard Codification (ASC) 606 and the International Accounting Standards Board's (IASB's) International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 15, take effect for public companies, but these new guidelines bring with them significant shifts and concepts that don’t exist under the current revenue recognition model.
These include:

  • Internal controls
  • Budgeting
  • Governance
  • Data and systems requirements
  • Disclosures
  • Financial close process
  • Income taxes
  • Compensation plans

Lessons to be learned

Private companies face significant changes from ASC 606 or IFRS 15. Fortunately, public companies have diagnosed many of the issues associated with implementation and private companies may benefit from their efforts. If there’s an overarching conclusion to be drawn from these lessons, it’s this: No one gets a free pass. Assemble the internal resources you need to carry out the new standard. Engage outside help, as needed, to supplement their efforts. Don’t underestimate the amount of work that’s involved, and don’t delay—2019 is just around the corner.

Are private companies ready for the new accounting standard?

In a recent webinar poll1, approximately 5,400 participants spanning multiple industries and at varying job levels responded to questions on implementation readiness, anticipated challenges, and how the standard will impact their businesses.

1Poll responses were collected from a Deloitte Dbriefs webcast: Revenue recognition standard: Lessons learned from early implementations,” which was held in March 2018.

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