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Accounting News Roundup: Revenue Recognition and Disagreeing With the Boss | 06.15.16

Revenue recognition

As important as revenue accounting is, you'd think that people would have no problem sharing their concerns about implementing the new rules. However, in a recent speech, Wesley Bricker, a deputy chief accountant at the SEC said that an upcoming FASB Transition Resource Group for Revenue Recognition meeting has no items on its agenda and "may not convene." And you can tell that he's a little annoyed by that:

To the extent that companies, industry groups or “other constituents” have identified questions “but have chosen not to raise them in hopes of preserving their current accounting, let me caution you that auditors, regulators and others will look to understand those revenue policies,” Bricker said.

"It's just a matter of timing as to when we gain that understanding, whether before or after companies implement the standard,” he added. In other words, they're not waiting for you people! But don't feel bad, even those who don't have other responsibilities other than studying the new rules are a little slow:

Bricker also sent a speed-up-please message to the leaders of an effort by the American Institute of CPAs. A number of AICPA industry task forces on revenue recognition have been laboring to craft guidance and, as warranted, send questions to FASB's Transition Resource Group.

The SEC accountant said he is optimistic that key practice issues on revenue reporting that require standard-setting have been identified through the implementation work of companies, auditors and rulemakers.

However, he added, “I am concerned that other application questions have not yet been fully resolved by the AICPA industry groups or, if needed, presented to the TRG for resolution,” Bricker said June 9.

It's practically summer now so hopefully Bricker doesn't mind waiting until after Labor Day for any meaningful progress.

Disagreeing with the boss

Not every CEO wants a straight talk committee. Most prefer yes men. However, even executives who do want healthy disagreement expect well-reasoned arguments. So while I think a Harvard Business Review article on disagreeing with senior management is useful, this particular piece of advice is just comically bad:

Prepare a presentation – no loaded words or hypotheticals; use data and charts instead. Keep it businesslike. PowerPoint can help keep your presentation brief and to the point.

Please don't do this. There's nothing more unconvincing than PowerPoint slides. And if your slides happen to be bad (not impossible!) you're really swimming upstream. 

Filing deadlines

June 15th is an important one and Joe Kristan has a rundown, most notably: US expat tax returns are due. Don't worry, you can extend to October 15th.

Previously, on Going Concern…

I wrote about the dress code revolution in accounting. Bryce Sanders discussed irrational clients. And in Open Items: someone who's getting promoted to tax manager wants to know what to expect.

In other news:

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