Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Corporate disclosures about the new accounting standard for revenue recognition are coming more often these days. Let’s take a look at the latest.

As you might already know, the new standard (ASC 606, Contracts With Customers) goes into effect for reporting periods beginning on or after Dec. 15, 2017. A solid majority of U.S. filers begin their fiscal years on Jan. 1, which means they are now mere months away from their first reports under ASC 606.

What’s more, some companies— Microsoft, Raytheon, Ford, General Dynamics, and Google, among others— have adopted ASC 606 early. Their financial statements now already reflect the changes ASC 606 requires, and for at least a few (Microsoft, for example) it has led to material changes in the timing and nature of their revenue recognition.

So what’s going on now?

A few companies have reported line-items tagged “DifferenceBetweenRevenueGuidanceinEffectBeforeAndAfterTopic606Member.” They then report that difference for revenue and earnings per share. Take a look at this filing from General Dynamics on July 26:

In other words, adopting ASC 606 increased revenue by $90 million for second-quarter 2017, and by $55 million for second-quarter 2016. It also goosed EPS upward by $0.26 and $0.12, respectively.

An even better example comes from Enernoc. In its second-quarter report, filed Aug. 9, the company published tables that had ASC 606 adjustments for both the balance sheet and the income statement. The new standard increased total assets from $312.3 million to $350.8 million, and total revenue from $46.6 million to $66.7 million. EPS went from a loss of $0.77 to $0.61.

Enernoc’s table presentations are too long and detailed to publish here. Suffice to say, if you want to geek out over the implications of ASC 606, Enernoc is an excellent place to look.

Some of you may wonder, “Wait a minute— is reporting an adjusted EPS metric street legal? Hasn’t the SEC frowned on non-GAAP liquidity metrics like EPS?”

You win points for raising the question. The SEC has indeed frowned on non-GAAP metrics, and published guidance in 2016 that specifically barred non-GAAP liquidity metrics, including non-GAAP EPS.

This, however, is not a non-GAAP metric. In essence, General Dynamics and Enernoc are reconciling one GAAP metric to another (because both standards are valid at this moment). So the disclosures don’t seem to violate any SEC guidance.

And how can the Calcbench subscriber find these filings? Easy. First go to our Data Query Page. At the “Choose Companies” button in the upper left, click the “Whole Universe” box immediately to left of that button. On the upper right side, set your time parameters for… well, whatever you want, but we didn’t notice any of these filings until second quarter 2017.

Then in the pull-down menu titled “Choose Footnote Disclosure Type,” select “Revenue From Contract With Customer.” (It’s near the bottom of the menu options.)

That’s all there is to it; the Calcbench databases will return the list of companies we have, and you can study them to your heart’s content. We found 13 in second-quarter 2017, and will probably find many more in the quarters to come.

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