How Can you Make Better Judgement Calls When it Comes to Revenue Recognition?

The effective date of the new revenue recognition guidance is, at long last, here. CFO Magazine’s recent article, How Risky Are New Revenue Recognition Rules?, says “at some point after that, we’ll begin to see whether the new standard’s principles-based methodology is working as intended.”

The article points out that there are some judgment calls that must be made when it comes to the new revenue recognition rules.

Elements of judgment reside in each step of the new standard’s five-step process, according to CFO, including:

Step 1: Identify the contract(s) with customers. The collectability of consideration in a transaction is a concept that requires judgment in both the current and new guidance. Under the new guidance, collectability will be addressed in the determination of whether a contract exists, rather than whether revenue can be recognized. While the concept of collectability is not new, the judgments used to assess it will now be necessary at the outset of the revenue recognition process.

Step 2: Identify the performance obligations within the contract(s). Identification of performance obligations will be less restrictive under the new guidance and, therefore, contracts may have fewer performance obligations to be accounted for separately. The determination of these performance obligations will also require increased application of judgment.

Step 3: Determine the transaction price. The transaction price under the contract(s) involves a number of judgments, including consideration of variable and non-cash factors. Under the new guidance, entities will determine variable consideration by estimating either the “expected” value or the most likely amount in a range of possible amounts. As variable consideration will be based on an estimate, the timing of revenue recognition may be accelerated upon implementation of the new standard as compared to the more formulaic recognition of multiple elements over time, as currently required.

Step 4: Allocate the transaction price to the performance obligations in the contract. To allocate an appropriate amount of consideration to each performance obligation, an entity will now determine the stand-alone price at the outset for the goods or services. As stand-alone selling prices can be calculated or estimated in numerous ways that may require significant judgment, revenue recognition may be accelerated under the new guidance, particularly when compared to the current allocation methods.

Step 5: Recognize revenue when (or as) a performance obligation is satisfied. Under the current guidance, the percentage-of-completion method is generally used when recognizing revenue for contracts. Under the new rules, revenue is recognized when, or as, control of the asset is transferred to the customer. The determination of when control is transferred is often a matter of judgment, and will require consideration of when obligations are satisfied.

How will you make judgment calls when it comes to these new rules?

U.S. filers are expected to adopt the new accounting standards their first reporting period after December 15, 2017. For most companies, financial statements released in 2018 will be the first in compliance with ASC 606. To ease the transition, the Boards allow filers to use practical expedients in their application of the new accounting standards and choose between two adoption methods (full- and modified-retrospective).

To learn more about the new standards, check out our ebook: Revenue Recognition Do’s and Don’ts.

Best regards,

Robbie Morrison
Chief Solution Strategist, SBS Group

About Robbie
Robbie Morrison has spent nearly 20 years helping customers build and deploy elegant technology and business solutions. From start-ups to enterprise-class organizations worldwide, his knowledge of the Microsoft Dynamics ecosystem and Robbie-2017products helps SBS Group customers maximize ROI on technology investments.

Today, Robbie serves SBS Group customers in his role as Chief Solution Strategist where he provides thought leadership and manages the development of B2B solutions. Robbie received his MBA from the University of Georgia, Terry College of Business.

Are you at Risk of an Epic Digital Fail? 3 Ways to Avoid it.

You want to get the most out of your business technology investments. But are you at risk of an epic fail? A recent CFO Magazine article focused on just that. The biggest reason for a digital fail: companies neglect the very parts of their business that have the greatest impact on revenue generation — namely value creation and monetizing for that value. Instead, they focus on reducing costs, improving operations, or aggressive pricing to keep up with the competition.

Instead, CFO Magazine says, companies must focus on these three areas:

  1. Unlocking new value
  2. Building pricing power
  3. Improving customer segmentation and sales tactics

Let’s break it down and talk about how Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales can help in these three key areas:

1. Unlocking New Value to Reach More Consumers and Open New Markets

The CFO Magazine article says digitalization is not just an upgrade to maintain competitiveness or improve efficiency. Most companies overlook how digital technologies can be applied to reach more consumers and open new markets.

In a previous BLOG we talked about how LinkedIn Sales Navigator for Microsoft Dynamics 365 can be used to further relationship sales. Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn has brought new and exciting integration and opportunities for the sales users within Dynamics 365 via Sales Navigator.  Finding the people/firms that you want to do business with and effectively managing those opportunities within Dynamics 365 is within reach. You can utilize common contacts within LinkedIn to build better relationships with your prospects, and reach more potential prospects. Not only will Dynamics 365 allow you to build relationships, but you can manage relationships at scale without dropping the ball.

2. Building Pricing Power

Digitalization is often accompanied by more intense pricing pressure due to increased competition, price transparency, and customers’ power to negotiate. Companies must have the discipline to refrain from engaging in price wars, which has a detrimental effect on margins.

Don’t get into a price war with your competitors. Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales helps you competitively price your products with advanced algorithms, artificial and predictive intelligence, and bots. You can also increase sales by adding related products as suggestions for up-sell, cross-sell, accessories, or substitutes. You can define related products within Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales to help your sales agents with their recommendations to customers.

The related products are displayed as suggestions to your sales agents during opportunity or order management. These suggestions help your sales agents recommend related products and bundles/kits to the customers, and increase product sales.

3. Improving Segmentation and Sales Tactics

To stay competitive, companies must become customer-centric organizations and develop a multi-dimensional and sophisticated understanding of their customers’ needs, behaviors, and most importantly, their willingness-to-pay. More effort is needed to harness digital technologies and behavioral science to support advanced customer segmentation, personalization, and customer experiences that resonate.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales helps you segment customers and prospects to ensure that they receive the right communication from you at the right time. You can better understand the customer journey by composing role-specific visualizations that bring together customer profiles, interactions, metrics, inferences, and predictions.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 customer segmentation

Segment customers and anticipate customer needs with Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales.

Digitalization can free up the sales force and help them engage better with the right customers.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales lets you manage all your customers and deals right in Outlook. You can prioritize your daily activities and take the right steps to close more sales. Your team can follow up on leads and opportunities from anywhere using mobile apps.

Don’t let your technology projects become a big digital fail at the end of the day. Do you have more ideas about how to avoid an epic fail? Drop me a line on LinkedIn and let me know.


Joe Gulino
Director of Corporate Account Sales, SBS Group

About Joe
Joe Gulino has spent 30 years growing and running mid-sized ERP and CRM consulting organizations. Recently, he has focused his career on helping large and mid-sized services companies select, procure and implement ERP and CRM solutions. He has experience in several industries including manufacturing, distribution and professional services.
Today, Joe serves SBS Group customers in his role as Director of Corporate Account Sales where he helps customers solve business problems using Microsoft Dynamics 365 technology. Joe holds a B.A. in Business Administration and Computer Science from Rosary College, and is based in Naperville, Illinois.

SBS Group Guest Blog: The 4 P’s to Profitability


Guest Blogger Bio:

Brad Bonomo has served within the CEO, CFO and COO capacities for several high growth Technology, Network Security and Mobility organizations throughout the past 15 years. In addition, he has resided on multiple boards of directors, founded both corporations and non-profits, and offers periodic executive coaching and business consulting through his company, Logic LLC based out of Scottsdale, Arizona.

People, processes, platforms and perfection generate profits. These basic concepts can provide sustainable value to business leaders facing the constantly shifting challenges of today’s market places. Throughout my various tenures as an executive, consultant, coach and board member I’ve been constantly asked, “What makes a sustainable growth model?  An organization that continually generates incremental profits time and time again”. As with many dynamic equations in life, if we strip away the fluid complexities we can discover simple yet effective core concepts that are tried and true.

Many of our organizations’ most valuable assets are people; human capital. Their skill-sets, innovation, consistency, strengths, weaknesses, motivations, ethics, drive, personalities and communication practices often encompass the largest impacts on our bottom lines. However, a considerable amount of companies, both small and large, lack effective modern strategies to recruit, develop and retain these resources where their highest untapped ROI could reside. Conducting multiple interviews with several stakeholders, mandating in depth personality tests and comparing them to top performer’s results, investing in comprehensive new hire training programs, true team integration and establishing residual development programs are no longer an option; they are a necessity.

An old business adage recites, “Can you create a better hamburger than McDonald’s? Yes! Can you create a better system than McDonald’s? No.” Once the process of getting the correct teams in place exists, we must ensure that these teams are provided with the correct arsenal of processes and platforms. Roadmaps targeting desired outcomes, benchmarking, situational protocols along with the correct CRM, ERP, and other mission critical applications are the lanes in which we drive our business within.  Take a look at most of the leading teams out there and you’ll see that they have systems and plans in place to manage everything from managing cash flow to setting up a new hire’s email signature; these are what differentiate how one organization conducts business from the other and it is apparent that the cream surely rises to the top tier proficiency achieving precise equilibrium between adaptability and bureaucracy.

The final concept is perfection or the formation of a sustainable culture never to be satisfied or accepting of the “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” theory; companies that point dedicated resources to proactively seeking innovative approaches to improve or retain “A commitment to excellence” often seem to magically reinvent themselves more times than Bob Dylan himself. There’s a reason why the Nokias (Paper Mill to Mobile), Apples (Apple I to i-Series) and 3Ms (Too many to list) have sustained while the Blockbusters and RIMs have struggled and this could be a fatal origin. While these concepts certainly don’t guarantee the secret recipe of success and hold all of the answers to cyber security, “Obamacare” and access to capital they can provide the proven framework to look at those obstacles through.  Here’s hoping your people, processes, platforms and perfection generate the incremental profits you’re aiming for.

Simplifying Compliance Regulations for Discrete Manufacturers

Manufacturing companies today face a myriad of challenges to remain successful. Advancements in technology and shipping resources have enabled global sales expansion, but also worldwide competition from industrial countries that don’t necessarily have to comply with the environmental and material regulations imposed on American and European producers.

Discovering and incorporating new supply chain management tools that offer your business a better means of meeting regulatory guidelines while streamlining the administrative efficiency of your staff, provides security from expensive fines and lowers your labor expense. This will help you improve profits while also start to level the playing field with your global competitors.

Parts and Materials Compliance

For production companies that fabricate goods using restricted materials, either in the purchasing requirements, or the parts themselves, managing the compliance paperwork and tracking parts can be time-consuming and tedious. Even accidental errors can result in hefty governmental fines that can diminish your cash flow and interrupt your production process.

Innovations in supply chain management and reporting software have enabled manufacturing companies to achieve better compliance performance through enhanced certification and specification tracking procedures. Working with your suppliers, the crucial information can be transmitted electronically, and then sorted, organized, and filed according to shipment dates and parts numbers.

Administrative Advantages

In addition to the tracking improvements, your administrators will spend less time entering data, and if audits are performed, retrieving the necessary documentation on regulated parts is simple and effortless. These compliance solutions allow your staff members to focus their energies on other, profit centric operations, such as new marketing strategies and better client services.

By introducing new supply chain management and reporting software, your discrete manufacturing business can discover ways to ease compliance burdens, which perpetuate growth and ensure your production success. To learn more about SBS Group’s Discrete Manufacturing solutions, contact us today or visit our Media Center with free seminars and resources.

Mastering Project Costs Through Software Innovations

With volatile fluctuations in the price of building materials, contractors and builders in the construction industry must pay close attention to current costs on lumber, ready-mix concrete, and steel to create accurate bids. Even small discrepancies in materials estimates can contribute to additional expense over the length of the project, which not only decreases your margin of profit, but can actually generate substantial losses on the job.

Moreover, the administrative time consumed in hunting down and negotiating prices can lengthen project lead times. Therefore, to ensure profitable and efficient job success, businesses that operate in the construction industry must implement productive solutions for controlling, managing, and tracking materials costs.

Instead of simply hiring more employees to perform these tasks, and subsequently adding to your operational expenses, a better response involves incorporating new software systems that combine today’s real-time technology and instant processing procedures, offering the ability to generate procurement and billing management solutions for your business.

Web-Based Applications

Your project managers need access to up-to-date information on vendor pricing to generate accurate estimates, throughout the length of the project. With innovative cloud based systems, purchase orders, requisitions, and emergency item requests are updated automatically, and routed to the appropriate job file for a streamlined approval process, simplifying project forecasts and estimates to completion.

Billing Solutions

These programs also generate billing solutions for the construction industry in the form of integrated financial tracking. Managers can instantly view the budgeted versus actual costs, by accessing at a glance any in-process or billed invoices that pertain to the job.

Innovative software give you the tools to constantly monitor every transaction on the contract, maintain close communication with your vendors, and establish automatic invoicing, allowing you to effectively control your construction material costs and optimize your business cash flow. Click here to view a free 30 minute on-demand training around Project Costing for Construction Companies.

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