This new revenue recognition standard has been in the works for a long time. For the FASB it represents a return to a more principles-based approach, which in some ways is a return to the past when accounting rules were more principles-based. Over time the principles gave way to ever-increasing specific rules as it was believed that the principles did not provide sufficiently specific guidance. The new rules will require accountants, financial professionals and analysts, executive and financial officers, audit committee members and perhaps board members to go back to school. In addition to the return to a more principles-based approach, the new standards will bring new and probably increased disclosure requirements. At this point the disclosure requirements appear particularly vague; however, that belief may well change after additional study. The following is a link to a Journal of Accountancy news release, which also contains additional links, FASB, IASB release historic revenue recognition standard.
Dave Tate, Esq. (San Francisco and California)