Kyla Hansen

By Kyla Hansen, CPA

There’s been a lot of talk about the new revenue recognition standard and the effect it could have on the construction industry. Although the standard, known as Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2014-09, was first issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) in 2014, it goes into effect for privately held companies—for periods beginning after December 15, 2018, to be exact.

This means that if you are a privately held company with a December 31 year-end, this change will impact your 2019 financial statements. The good news is the percentage of completion isn’t going away! However, there are several nuances that will need to be considered.

Here are five changes you should be aware of:

1 – Combination and segregation of jobs will be based upon performance obligations

2 – Front-loaded costs will no longer recognize early profit

3 – The transaction price might not be the stated value on the contract

When determining a transaction price, the new standards leave room for more judgment regarding the circumstances surrounding a contract and also allow for greater reliance on historical experiences. For example, if the contract is for time and material, the transaction price will represent the amount you anticipate the job to require. In addition, contracts will need to be evaluated if there are various items such as contingent income or damage provisions. The new standards allow for several methods to evaluate the contract value. We expect the most commonly used methods to be the following:

4 – Anticipate changes to your financial statements

5 – Understand the impact on your ratios

In light of the new standard, you may need to discuss modifying metrics used to determine items such as loan covenants or bonding capacity. For example, a lending agent might not give credit for a variable consideration contract asset.

Don’t get caught off guard.

The new revenue recognition standard will go into effect in less than two months, which means now is the time to get ready for the changes I’ve listed here—and the others I haven’t. Don’t forget: Team at JAK can help you pinpoint the ways your business will be affected, so you can prepare with efficiency. If you have questions, please contact our St. Paul office today.