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Sage Intacct Partner of the Quarter

Sage Intacct Names rinehimerbaker, llc Partner of the Quarter Q4 2017

Some big news from the team at rinehimerbaker. Earlier this month, we were named the Sage Intacct Partner of the Quarter for our strong sales performance and high levels of ongoing customer satisfaction. Learn what this means for our prospects and customers below. Read more

Lure the right talent with cloud ERP

Meet the Expectations of Top Financial Talent with Cloud-Based Software

The benefits of cloud-based software are usually cited as lower costs, process and workflow optimization, and scalability. But the attraction and retention of key finance and accounting department personnel is another benefit of implementing the best-in-class technology—one that’s not included in the “top 5 benefits” lists, but should be. The reality is that today’s top financial talent—and tomorrow’s leaders—operate in a digital world, where 24/7 access, insight, and productivity reign. Read more

strategizing Accounts Payable Automation

Overnight Success? Let Strategy Guide Your AP Automation Expectations

Every day, more finance leaders at growing companies buy into the value prop of best-in-class, cloud-based financial management and accounting software. But that doesn’t mean they’re ready to put their money where their mouth is—not yet, anyway. What they have is a chicken-and egg situation: They want to “get strategic” and know they need to make the investment to get there, but they’re afraid the implementation of new technology won’t yield game-changing results fast enough.

They’re probably right, especially if they go into the endeavor with such lofty expectations. Overnight ROI isn’t realistic, but the ROI will appear—and, at some point, it will “take off” to the delight of all stakeholders, thanks largely to the strategic insights it affords finance leaders. When introducing game-changing technology that will eventually live up to its name, success is often dependent on a well-considered plan of attack.

It Takes A Strategy to “Get Strategic”

As we’ve discussed, The Biggest Benefit of Accounts Payable Automation is the strategic value it delivers to your finance and accounting organization—and to the business at large. This value is achieved by improving AP processes, reducing manual workloads, attaining operational efficiencies, enhancing data collection and reporting, and more. The quality of work goes up along with the volume of actionable insight. With more to bring to the table, CFOs and their teams are able to contribute to the strategic conversation and impact the company’s growth in new ways.

Strategic prowess is key—it’s where technology is taking finance leaders. But before they can get down to the business of strategizing they need to take care of other business first. It’s business that can be taken care of, however, by implementing the right technology. Yet consider these findings from Grant Thornton’s 2017 CFO Survey:

  • CFOs’ biggest priorities are increasing cash flow (45%), reducing costs (41%), and strategic planning (40%).
  • 46% believe that their IT platforms lack the ability to operate effectively and require future investment.
  • The barriers standing in the way of future technology growth include managing costs (51%), maintenance of legacy systems (41%) and seamless business integration (40%).

If upgrading their IT environments and adopting technologies like cloud computing and advanced analytics is what it takes to increase cash flow, reduce costs, and “get strategic,” then what’s the hold-up? Decision-makers might need some additional guidance on the matter. 

Get Help Pressing “Go” on the Investment

Recognize that increasing cash flow and reducing costs requires a new approach to accounting processes—it requires technology-driven automation. Deloitte’s assertion, presented in their Strategies for Optimizing Your Accounts Payable report, boils down to the fact that optimizing working capital requires accounts payables optimization! It takes management commitment—yes, a strategic commitment and investment in technology—to:

  • Centralize accounts payable processing and reporting
  • Move the organization toward a paperless processing environment
  • Enable more robust governance practices
  • Improve supplier relationships
  • Create management workflows
  • Strengthen purchasing approval processes

As these processes and workflows improve, your finance and accounting teams will gain the time and insights they need to focus on strategic initiatives. But how long will this take? When will these results be seen?

You should partner with a technology vendor who can help you customize your approach—so you can start seeing results.

  • Set up your software to to work with your existing systems and processes
  • Show you how to use the technology and tools in the effectively way
  • Grow with the technology as gain efficiencies, and growth into future.

Get in contact with us to learn more.

Financial Services and Cloud Accounting

Focus on Customers Drives Cloud Computing Adoption in Financial Services

Remember the “no-internet policy?” It wasn’t so long ago that companies were keeping their employees from exploring the world wide web on company machines. But as all-things-internet have become ubiquitous, including mobile devices and, yes, cloud computing in the workplace, hopping online to get things done—to perform essential professional tasks, let alone browse favorite website—is commonplace. No wonder Gartner reports that by 2020, a corporate “no-cloud” policy will become as rare as a “no-internet” policy is today. Read more

Choosing an accounting basis at your nonprofit organization

How to Choose the Right Basis of Accounting for Nonprofits

Being successful as a nonprofit means that everything needs to fall into place when and where it needs to fall into place. Knowing this, there are many different considerations and moving parts that you can control in order to gain additional visibility, save time, and improve outcomes.

While we discussed some of these factors, including the shift to outcome metrics and things to understand before selecting or changing from a calendar year to a fiscal one, today, we would like to turn our attention to another important consideration: How to choose a basis of accounting.

A recent AICPA article explored the basics on selecting a basis, and how to decide on whether a cash basis, accrual basis, modified cash basis, or tax basis is the proper way to look at the numbers, comparing these options and offering tips on how to select the one that makes the most sense to your nonprofit.

Different Bases of Accounting for Nonprofit Organizations

Whether cash, accrual, modified, or tax year, each basis of accounting listed below poses opportunities and challenges in measurement, disclosure, and reporting.

Cash Basis

If a nonprofit organization uses the cash method of preparing its accounting records and statements, it recognizes income and expenses when they occur. In other words, the nonprofit would record income when it received the funds and not when it is actually earned. It would also record expenses at the time it paid the bill rather than when it incurred the expense.

Example

This is a common approach for smaller nonprofits, as it mirrors a personal “checkbook accounting,” entering debits or credits as they are completed. For example, under a cash basis, if you receive a $10,000 pledge today, you do not record the $10,000 until the money is in the bank.

Pros and Cons

Pros and cons of the cash basis are as follows:

  • Pro: Easier to use on a day-to-day basis as it only requires one entry per transaction.
  • Pro: Due to its straightforward nature, cash basis requires less work and less stress when working with slow-paying funding sources (as opposed to accrual accounting, where money would be booked but the bank accounts could be barren)
  • Con: Must put a disclaimer on year-end reports that you use a cash basis.
  • Con: Presents challenges in visibility, especially for larger nonprofits.

Accrual Basis

Using the accrual method of accounting, a nonprofit recognizes income when they earn it, rather than when they receive it. It would also recognize expenses when they were incurred instead of when the organization paid the bill. For example, using the accrual method a nonprofit would recognize a pledge as income. That would hold true even if it had not yet received all the money, or even any amount of the donation pledged.

Example

Under the accrual method, nonprofits would record revenue and expenses when the transaction takes place, regardless of whether the cash has changed hands. For example, a $10,000 pledge would be recorded immediately and would create a receivables account for outstanding cash.

Pros and Cons

  • Pro: Offers a more complete view for monthly and quarterly financial statements, allowing you to get a more complete picture of your organization’s financial condition.
  • Con: More work—two entries per transaction and necessary cash flow statements.
  • Con: Requires more time and effort to keep books on a pure accrual basis.

Fund Accounting

Funds accounting is a form of accrual accounting that is specific to nonprofits. As a nonprofit grows, its funding sources can become more diversified. It may receive multiple grants, a government contract, personal donations of cash and goods and donations of time. With the funds basis of accrual accounting, each income stream is given its own accounting code. For example, your Department of Education grant would have its own code. Beyond that, you would be able to assign codes within a category so that you could break up DOE funds between general revenue, service revenue and administrative.

Modified Cash Basis

Modified cash basis statements combine elements of cash basis and accrual accounting. Certain transactions are reported on an accrual basis and others on a cash basis (for example, liabilities may be presented, but fixed assets may not).

The modified cash basis establishes a position part way between the cash and accrual methods. The modified basis has the following features:

  • Records short-term items when cash levels change (the cash basis). This means that nearly all elements of the income statement are recorded using the cash basis, and that accounts receivable and inventory are not recorded in the balance sheet.
  • Records longer-term balance sheet items with accruals (the accrual basis). This means that fixed assets and long-term debt are recorded on the balance sheet, and depreciation and amortization in the income statement.

Pros and Cons

  • Pro: Makes accounting for small transactions easier while allowing for a more accurate position when looking at fixed assets or large transactions.
  • Pro: Does not need disclaimer on year-end forms.
  • Pro/Con: Very conservative method of recording income and expenses. In this method, you only report cash which has been received, but include expenses whether or not they have been paid.

Tax Basis

While rare in the nonprofit world, there may be some cases for a tax basis for accounting. The tax method of accounting would ensure the financial statements match the organization’s Form 990.

Factors to Consider When Deciding on an Accounting Basis

AICPA author Marc Kotsonas, CPA, Officer- Mahoney Ulbrich Christiansen Russ shared the following six factors in choosing a basis of accounting.

  • Simplicity. The cash method may be the easiest to maintain and understand. Either the money came in or it went out. There are no accruals or allocations to compute. Cash basis financial statements are most common with very small not-for-profits.
  • Savings. Cash basis financial statements may provide administrative savings. With no accruals or allocations to consider, less time is required for accounting. In addition, if the organization has a financial statement audit, there are fewer statements for an auditor to test and issue an opinion on. This would generally reduce the cost of an audit.
  • Regulatory Requirements. Do you have to use a particular basis of accounting? For example, in Minnesota, the Attorney General’s office requires not-for-profits with more than $750,000 in revenue to have audited financial statements under GAAP. The IRS also addresses accounting method in its Form 990 Instructions, so be sure to consider the tax compliance implications of your choice.
  • Organizational Documents. Like regulatory requirements, a not-for-profit’s by-laws may specify the basis of accounting the organization must use. Consider reviewing your organization’s by-laws before undergoing extensive research to make sure you have the flexibility to choose a basis of accounting.
  • Understanding of Financial Position. Financial statements prepared under GAAP typically give readers a better understanding of the financial position of the organization at year-end. GAAP-based financial statements will show payables and other outstanding obligations, as well as any committed receivables or pledges. Cash basis statements often provide limited information. For instance, a not-for-profit that receives donated supplies and materials used in its programs would not capture their value or impact to the organization using cash basis statements.
  • Established Framework. Financial statements prepared using GAAP are based on a familiar framework. Since GAAP is commonly used, it also allows for financial statement comparability. Modified cash basis financials can be presented in any format management chooses, so they may not be comparable with the statements of other organizations.

Learn More: Nonprofit Success with rinehimerbaker

At rinehimerbaker, we are committed to helping you succeed. This is why we have written a series of helpful articles on running the finances at a nonprofit organization. We invite you to learn more by reading our articles on Outcome measures,  improving reporting, and increasing efficiency. Learn even more by reading these two nonprofit success stories from our friends at Sage Intacct, and contact us for more details.

QuickBooks has stopped working and must shut down

QuickBooks Has Crashed… Again: What it Means and What You Can Do about It

Contrary to popular belief, the nine most terrifying words in the English language are not always “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” For small business finance and accounting professionals, there is another phrase that strikes even more fear, anger and disdain: “QuickBooks has stopped working and must be shut down.”

“QuickBooks has stopped working and must be shut down.”

So how do you go about trying to tackle the problem? You run a clean reinstall. You download the diagnostic tool. You run a second clean reinstall. You attempt to run it without antivirus. You rename the .tlg file. You update it, you repair it, you download every tool in the book, and you still see those nine terrifying words: “QuickBooks has stopped working and must be shut down.”

It’s infuriating. It’s painful. It happens over and over and over. Those nine terrifying words are etched in your memory. Yet it’s all too common. You search the knowledge base for answers, and you see that you’re not alone. A quick Google search for the exact phrase “QuickBooks has Stopped Working” yields 959 results on the Intuit Community alone, and over 16,000 results across the web.

8 Common QuickBooks Crashes

So when is QuickBooks most likely to crash? As a company that has helped many companies outgrowing QuickBooks to make the move, we have heard many complaints about the platform.

  • On Startup
  • When Attaching a File
  • When Opening a File
  • When Clicking “Send Forms”
  • When Opening Check Register
  • When Opening a Company File/Changing from One Company to Another
  • When Emailing an Invoice
  • When Saving

However, it’s not only the crashes that present a problem. QuickBooks might run slowly in multi-user mode. It might run slowly if your audit trail gets too long. It might run slowly when your data file gets too big.

Reasons QuickBooks Crashes

There are many reasons for this. Some of the most commonly referenced ones on the Intuit Community:

  • Your computer is too old.
  • Your computer is too new.
  • Your data file is too big.
  • You like to protect your computer with anti-virus.
  • Your hard drive is corrupted.
  • Your data file is damaged/corrupt.
  • Your company name is too long.
  • Damaged program files or QuickBooks Desktop installation.

For a software that’s been around as long as QuickBooks has, there’s certainly a lot that can go wrong.

Two Reasons the Problem Isn’t Going Away

QuickBooks users around the world face the same struggles—especially as it pertains to the software crashing. Unfortunately, there are two reasons that you will continue to face problems.

QuickBooks was Built to be a Desktop Application

QuickBooks was built as a desktop application, which is why most of the reasons above revolve around computer and file-based issues. This is something that isn’t going to change. Anything from a change in operating system to the use of an anti-virus software can derail the entire QuickBooks desktop experience, causing crashes and other poor experiences.

It was initially thought that QuickBooks would address this when it introduced QuickBooks Online, but customers quickly found that it didn’t hold up to customer expectations. QuickBooks wasn’t built to be an online application, so when Intuit tried to rebuild QuickBooks for the web, it ended up putting up a web application that is lacking, according to G2Crowd reviews.

You’ve Outgrown QuickBooks

QuickBooks’ other fatal flaw—at least as it pertains to growing businesses, is that you’re asking it to do too much. Just as QuickBooks was designed to be a desktop software (i.e. run on a personal computer), QuickBooks was designed to make life easier for the small business owner. Again, we’ve said it on our blog before—QuickBooks is great for small businesses. It’s the larger businesses that push the software to (and past) its limitations.

While not always why the software crashes, a large file size is one of the main reasons that the software runs slowly. Also, as the file size grows, so does the risk and impact of the file being corrupted.

Barring an unfortunate turn of events, the latter of these two isn’t going to change—once you’ve outgrown QuickBooks, there’s no looking back.

Looking Forward: Moving Past QuickBooks

When your business was just starting up, adopting QuickBooks was almost a rite of passage. It was a welcome sign of your company’s growth and the accounting system met your needs for a time. But your business has kept growing, and now you’re seeing the limitations of the system you once depended on. QuickBooks simply doesn’t offer all the capabilities you need today—or tomorrow. The time has come, once again, for a change.

We invite you to learn more about additional warning signs, pain points, and opportunities for improvement from downloading our guide for companies outgrowing QuickBooks, which you can preview below.

Questions to Ask Cloud Accounting Vendor

6 Questions to Ask to Narrow Down Cloud Accounting Vendors

If you’re outgrowing QuickBooks or simply looking to simplify and automate your processes by moving accounting to the cloud, the process for building a long list and then narrowing it down to a short list can be a challenge. As part of the narrowing-down process, you will spend a lot of time demoing the software and discussing it with the sales team for each vendor.

As you narrow down your options, it’s important to understand what you’re looking for and how the solution will fit into the equation. This is why we have developed a non-exhaustive list of important questions to ask—and what you should expect in terms of an answer.

Question 1: How Much Uptime Can You Promise?

The uptime discussion is one of the main things that can separate vendors, and should be one of the first things you look for. Uptime is generally discussed in terms of “nines,” as in “how many nines can you promise,” and shouldn’t be taken lightly, as each nine promised is a testament to the company’s commitment to the customer:

  • Two Nines (99%): 3.65 days per year, 7.2 hours per month, 1.68 hours per week
  • Three Nines (99.9%): 8.76 hours per year, 43.8 minutes per month, 10.1 minutes per week
  • Four Nines (99.99%): 52.56 minutes per year, 4.32 minutes per month, 1.01 minutes per week
  • Five Nines (99.999%): 5.26 minutes per year, 25.9 seconds per month, 6.05 seconds per week

While five or more nines is often reserved (and priced) for mission critical applications like telecommunications, utilities, and more, your cloud provider should be able to promise and deliver more than two nines. Often, the sweet spot for SaaS applications is right around three nines, meaning you will see no more than ten minutes of unplanned downtime per month.

However, the real way to judge a vendor is not by promises made, but promises kept. For instance, a leading vendor in the cloud space promises 99.8% uptime, but delivers a 12-month rolling average of 99.987%—nearing the five nines “promised land.”

Question 2: Have You Worked in Our Industry Before?

While the answer is probably yes (the cloud accounting and ERP market is relatively mature), the real question you should be asking is “have you had success with our industry?” It’s common for a vendor to have product or service pages for many different industries, but few case studies pertaining to the industries. It’s important to look at these case studies and success stories for companies like yours in size, needs, and industry.

Question 3: How Much Will It Cost to Get Up and Running?

Another of the natural advantages of a cloud-based accounting software, there are still differences in start-up pricing and implementation. This is an example in which time is quite literally money, as you will be charged for each hour of migration, training, and other necessary services.

The biggest differentiator in this equation is the scope of the implementation—how deep will the software reach into your organization? Suites will naturally take longer to implement, but it will be a one-time project. Single-focus best-of-breed applications can be done quickly and easily, but you may have to complete multiple, less disruptive projects. We discuss the Implementation process in our blog series, Eight Things to Look for in Accounting Software, Part 2.

Question 4: How Will Ongoing Pricing Work?

Pricing is one of the key advantages of SaaS-based applications, generally allowing a move away from licenses, which in turn helps to offer more transparency and ease decision-making. With this in mind, as you compare vendors, one of the most common structures you will see is the per-user, per-module pricing.

In this, it’s important to know what you’re getting, how much it will cost, and how much it will cost for additional users—some users will need additional access, functionality, and modules. Know what you’re getting, how much you’ll be paying, and how much it will cost to add users, modules, or more as your business expands.

Question 5: Is There a Process for Requesting New Features?

At some point, you’ll be using a software, and think, “wow, wouldn’t it be nice if I can do [this]” or “how much easier would my job be if the software could do [this]?” One of the advantages of the cloud is that updates are much more flexible and frequent. Rather than having to wait a year for new patches, cloud accounting applications offer much more frequent updates—up to four times a year.

Knowing this, it’s important to understand the process for requesting new features. Is it easy to ask? Will you be given the same opportunity to request as a large business? How does the vendor narrow down what will be added in the release?

Question 6: How Often Will These Updates Come Through?

As we said, cloud software updates more frequently and easily than an on-premises offering (updates are hands-off; often you walk in to an update the next day or on a Monday). However, the more moving parts that a software has, the less frequent or focused an update will be. This is a main difference between suites and best of breed offerings—suites add a lot of complexity to the equation, so R&D money is spread across multiple products.

Conclusion

When you look to change accounting software, it’s just as important to plan as it is to find the right software. If you know what you want, you will be able to narrow down vendors with minimal stress. Stay tuned for an upcoming blog in which we discuss some of the internal discussions you will need to have before you even start looking at new cloud solutions, coming early next month. If you’re ready to learn more about the power of Sage Intacct for your growing business, contact us today.

Step 4 ASC 606

ASC 606 Step-by-Step Step 4: Allocate Transaction Price

With just over a year to go for private companies to have their ASC 606 plans in place, many organizations are yet to have done much to get the ball rolling. This is why we began this series, to introduce you to the various steps involved in recognizing revenue under the new standard.

Background

As part of an ongoing series, we are breaking down the 156-page standard and providing key takeaways, including who ASC 606 affects, a brief overview on the five steps, and a look at how ASC 606 will affect different industries, but today we would like to introduce a deeper look at each step:

  1. Identify Contract(s) with a Customer
  2. Identify Performance Obligations in the Contract
  3. Determine the Transaction Price
  4. Allocate the Transaction Price to the Performance Obligations in a Contract (August)
  5. Recognize the Revenue When (or as) the Entity Satisfies a Performance Obligation (September)

ASC 606 Deep Dive Step 4: Allocating Transaction Price to the Performance Obligations

Biggest Impacts: Software, Telecommunications

With considerations including standalone selling price, allocating discounts and variable consideration, and changes in the transaction price, there are certain pitfalls in allocating price to each obligation.

Determine/Estimate Standalone Selling Prices

After Step 3, determining the transaction price as a whole, you will need to determine the standalone selling price of each good and/or service promised in step 4. As is often the case, the way to do this is to determine the price based on standalone sales of the good or service to similarly situated customers.

However, this is not often observable. When this is the case, a seller is to determine standalone prices in one of three ways:

  • Adjusted Market Assessment Approach: Evaluate the market in which goods or services are sold and estimate the price that customers are willing to pay.
  • Expected Cost Plus Margin Approach: Forecast the expected costs of satisfying a performance obligation and add an appropriate margin for that good or service.
  • Residual Approach (rare): Subtract the sum of observable stand-alone selling prices of other goods or services promised from the transaction price. This is only usable if the following two criteria are met:
    • The entity sells the same good or service to different customers (at or near the same time) for a broad range of amounts (that is, the selling price is highly variable because a representative standalone selling price is not discernible from past transactions or other observable evidence).
    • The entity has not yet established a price for that good or service, and the good or service has not previously been sold on a standalone basis (that is, the selling price is uncertain).

Oddly, for US-based businesses, the new standard will provide more flexibility for organizations than the previous standard, a rare occurrence within ASC 606 according to the KPMG Revenue Issues in Depth Article. Under the current standard, standalone selling prices are often established by determining vendor-specific objective evidence (VSOE).

Developing a Standalone Price Determining Framework

Notably, determining standalone prices will require a fair amount of judgement from the selling entity, as many organizations do not have robust processes in place for determining prices. To reasonably establish controls, KPMG recommends organizations follow this five-step process.

  1. Gather all reasonably available data points (cost to manufacture, profit margins, third-party pricing, etc.)
  2. Consider adjustments based on market conditions (demand, competition, awareness) and entity-specific factors (market share, pricing, bundled pricing)
  3. Consider organizing selling prices into meaningful groups.
  4. Weigh available information and make the best estimate.
  5. Establish ongoing processes for monitoring and evaluating prices.

Allocating a Discount

A discount should be allocated entirely to one or more, but not all, performance obligations in the contract if all of the following criteria are met:

  • The entity regularly sells each distinct good or service (or each bundle of distinct goods or services) in the contract on a standalone basis.
  • The entity also regularly sells on a standalone basis a bundle (or bundles) of some of those distinct goods or services at a discount to the standalone selling prices of the goods or services in each bundle.
  • The discount attributable to each bundle of goods or services described in (b) is substantially the same as the discount in the contract, and an analysis of the goods or services in each bundle provides observable evidence of the performance obligation (or performance obligations) to which the entire discount in the contract belongs.

If a discount is allocated entirely to one or more performance obligations in the contract, an entity should allocate the discount before using the residual approach to estimate the standalone selling price of a good or service.

KPMG brings up a few observations, most notably that entities should take a different approach when a large amount of goods and services are bundled in various ways, and to establish a policy for determining what ‘regularly sells’ together.

Allocating Variable Consideration

Variable consideration that is promised in a contract may be attributable to the entire contract or to a specific part of the contract, such as either of the following:

  • One or more, but not all, performance obligations in the contract (for example, a bonus may be contingent on an entity transferring a promised good or service within a specified period of time)
  • One or more, but not all, distinct goods or services promised in a series of distinct goods or services that forms part of a single performance obligation (in accordance with FASB ASC 606-10-25-14(b)) (for example, the consideration promised for the second year of a two-year cleaning service contract will increase on the basis of movements in a specified inflation index)

While discussed after the application of discounts in the standard, variable consideration allocation needs to be completed before allocating a discount. For more information, see our discussion on the differences between variable consideration and discounting in our analysis of step 2.

Changes in Transaction Price

Prices change, and for that, there are certain paths to follow and pitfalls to watch. If and when this does happen, an entity should allocate to the performance obligations in the contract any subsequent changes in the transaction price on the same basis as at contract inception.

Consequently, the transaction price should not be reallocated to reflect changes in standalone selling prices after contract inception. Amounts allocated to a satisfied performance obligation should be recognized as revenue, or as a reduction of revenue, in the period in which the transaction price changes.

Allocating Price Changes to Performance Obligations

A change in the transaction price should be allocated entirely to one or more, but not all, performance obligations or distinct goods or services promised in a series that forms part of a single performance obligation, but only if both of the following criteria are met:

  • The terms of the change in transaction price relate specifically to the entity’s efforts to satisfy the performance obligation or transfer the distinct good or service (or to a specific outcome from satisfying the performance obligation or transferring the distinct good or service).
  • Allocating the change in transaction price entirely to the performance obligation or the distinct good or service is consistent with the overall objective for allocating the transaction price to performance obligations, when considering all of the performance obligations and payment terms in the contract.

A change in the transaction price that arises as a result of a contract modification should be accounted for in accordance with the guidance on contract modifications. However, for a change in the transaction price that occurs after a contract modification, an entity should apply the guidance in whichever of the following ways is applicable:

  • Allocate the change in the transaction price to the performance obligations identified in the contract before the modification if, and to the extent that, the change in the transaction price is attributable to an amount of variable consideration promised before the modification and the modification is accounted for as if it were a termination of the existing contract and the creation of a new contract (in accordance with FASB ASC 606-10-25-13(a)).
  • In all other cases in which the modification was not accounted for as a separate contract (in accordance with FASB ASC 606-10-25-12), allocate the change in the transaction price to the performance obligations in the modified contract (that is, the performance obligations that were unsatisfied or partially unsatisfied immediately after the modification).

Conclusion: Time to Get Moving

16 months may seem like a long time (it’s only five if you’re a public entity), but many organizations are seeing challenges in making the move to implement new processes and systems to meet the requirements of the new standard.

Even if we’re posting monthly blogs leading up to the effective date, you should already be looking at transition methods and other industry-specific considerations that you need to make. To address this, we’ve compiled a list of resources for companies looking to prepare for the upcoming standard:

On Demand Webcasts: ASC 606/IFRS 15

Sage Intacct recently presented a three-part series on the new standards, which you can view on-demand.

We welcome you to peer through the full text, the AICPA guidance, and to get in contact with us to learn more about preparing for ASC 606 with outsourced accounting services and/or a new accounting software designed with new RevRec Standards in mind.

ASC 606 Determining the Transaction Price

ASC 606 Step-by-Step Part 3: Determine the Transaction Price

A lot to cover, and not a lot of time to make it happen. ASC 606 is bearing down, and public organizations are in the final countdown. For private organizations, 17 months is not that long of a time, because you will need to get your accounting, legal, sales, and others on board, decide how you intend to transition, and make the move. Simply put, it’s not easy.

This is why we are breaking down the 156-page standard and providing key takeaways, including who ASC 606 affects, a brief overview on the five steps, and a look at how ASC 606 will affect different industries, but today we would like to introduce a deeper look at each step:

  1. Identify Contract(s) with a Customer
  2. Identify Performance Obligations in the Contract
  3. Determine the Transaction Price (Today)
  4. Allocate the Transaction Price to the Performance Obligations in a Contract (August)
  5. Recognize the Revenue When (or as) the Entity Satisfies a Performance Obligation (September)

ASC 606 Deep Dive Step 3: Determining the Transaction Price

Biggest Impacts: Aerospace and Defense, Asset Managers, Construction, Building, Engineering, Healthcare, Licensors, Software

From variable consideration to financing components to noncash considerations, there are many pitfalls that occur in determining the transaction price that make step three a complicated one.

In simple terms, the transaction price is the amount of consideration to which an entity expects to be entitled in exchange for transferring goods and/or services to a customer. ASC 606 gives attention to the following factors in transaction price:

  • Variable Consideration
  • Constraining Estimates of Variable Consideration
  • The Existence of a Significant Financing Component
  • Noncash Consideration
  • Consideration Payable to the Customer

Variable Consideration (and the Constraint)

An entity estimates the amount of variable consideration to which it expects to be entitle, taking into account the risk of revenue reversal in making the estimate. 602-10-32-5 through 606-10-32-9 look into some of the determinations of variable consideration, which we look into below.

Fixed vs. Variable Consideration

The first, most obvious determination that needs to be made in this is whether the consideration is fixed or variable.  If the consideration is fixed, include the consideration in the transaction price. However, if the contract includes discounts, rebates, refunds, credits, price concessions, incentives, performance bonuses, penalties, or other similar items, there are different steps to determining the price.

Expected Value vs. Most Likely Amount

There are two methods in estimating the amount of variable consideration, depending on whichever one better predicts the amount of consideration to which it is entitled.

  • The expected value—The expected value is the sum of probability weighted amounts in a range of possible consideration amounts. This method is best used when an entity has a large number of contracts with similar characteristics.
  • The most likely amount—The most likely amount is the single most likely amount in a range of possible consideration amounts. This method is best used when the amount of variable consideration has only two possible outcomes.

Additional Determinations in Variable Consideration

In this, there are some additional observations made by KPMG that can impact the variability of the transaction price:

Consideration Could be Variable Even if Price Stated in the Contract is Fixed

Promised consideration could be determined to be variable if an entity’s customary business practices indicate that the entity may accept a price lower than stated in the contract (for example, an implicit price concession). To address this, the entity needs to determine whether it has offered an implicit price concession or has chosen to accept the risk of default from the customer.

Variability of Consideration in the Event of an Undefined Quantity of Output

In the event that a contract is for an undefined quantity at a fixed contractual rate, consideration may be variable. In this, it’s important for the entity to determine how to treat the consideration under the new standard (distinct series of goods and/or services, stand-ready obligation, or an obligation to provide specified goods and services)

Is it a Customer Option or Variable Consideration?

This is an important note, as an entity needs to determine whether purchases of additional goods and services are variable consideration or customer options.

Customer options exist when the customer is not contractually obligated to pay consideration and the entity is not obligated to transfer goods or services. In this event, an entity needs to evaluate the options to determine whether they include a material right.

Comparatively, if the terms of the contract require a vendor to stand ready to transfer the goods and/or services, and the customer does not make a separate decision to purchase, the future event results in additional consideration.

Volume Discounts and Rebates May Convey a Material Right

Different structures and rebates may have different effects on the transaction price. In the event that a vendor offers discounts or rebates, pricing, variability, and the existence of material right is determined on when the discount is applied (retroactively upon customer meeting threshold vs. discount beginning after customer meets threahold)

KPMG provides additional looks at exchange rates and whether liquidated damages represent variable consideration or warranty in their Revenue Issues In Depth Article.

Reassessment of Variable Consideration

At the end of each reporting period, an entity shall update the estimated transaction price (including updating its assessment of whether an estimate of variable consideration is constrained) to represent faithfully the circumstances present at the end of the reporting period and the changes in circumstances during the reporting period. The entity shall account for changes in the transaction price.

Constraining Estimates of Variable Consideration

An entity shall include in the transaction price some or all of an amount of variable consideration estimated in accordance with paragraph 606- 10-32-8 only to the extent that it is probable that a significant reversal in the amount of cumulative revenue recognized will not occur when the uncertainty associated with the variable consideration is subsequently resolved.

To determine the impacts of the estimates, an entity needs to determine how likely and how impactful a revenue reversal would be. Factors in determining this probability include:

  • Factors outside the entity’s influence (market factors, third-party factors, weather)
  • Time period surrounding the uncertainty
  • Entity’s experience with similar contracts
  • Entity business practices (i.e. entity has a history of offering concessions or changing terms)
  • A broad range of consideration amounts

Examples of possible constraints are discussed in the KPMG Revenue Issues in Depth Guide.

The Existence of a Financing Component

If a significant financing component exists, the entity will need to adjust the promised amount of consideration based on the time value of money. To make this assessment, the entity must consider relevant factors, including:

  • Difference between promised consideration and the cash selling price
  • Combined effect of the expected length of time between the transfer of goods or services and the customer paying for those goods or services.
  • Interest rates in relevant markets

Observations Pertaining to Significant Financing Components

Some important implications exist in determining whether significant financing components exist and should be accounted for, as discussed below:

Assessment Taken at Individual Contract Level

When looking at whether or not a financing component is significant, the entity determines the significance of the financing component at the individual contract level as opposed to the portfolio level.

No Significance if Transfer of Goods or Services is at Customer’s Discretion

In the event the customer pays for goods or services in advance (e.g. prepaid phone cards, gift cards), it is at the customer’s discretion on when he or she purchases said goods or services. In this event, there is no significant financing component.

Long Term or Multiple-Element Arrangements

In long-term or multiple arrangement contracts (transfers at various points in time, cash payments throughout the contract, changes in estimated timing), an entity faces complexity in determining the time value of money.

There are many additional observations discussed, including the fact that contracts with interest rates of zero may contain in one way or another a financing component, the presentation of income interest as revenue, and determinations on whether it is important to use an interest rate explicitly stated in the contract.

Noncash Consideration

To determine the transaction price for contracts in which a customer promises consideration in a form other than cash, an entity shall measure this, depending on whether the noncash consideration can be measured:

  • If it can be reasonable estimated, noncash consideration is measured at fair value.
  • If it cannot be reasonably estimated, an entity is to use the stand-alone of selling price of the good or service that was promised in exchange for noncash consideration.

Consideration Payable to a Customer

In the event there is consideration paid back to the customer, an entity needs to determine if the consideration payable back to the customer should be accounted for as a reduction in transaction price, a payment for a distinct good or service, or a combination of the two.

The following table shows how an entity needs to look at consideration payable to the customer, and whether the consideration payable is a reduction in the transaction price or a purchase from suppliers:

Q1. Does the consideration payable to a customer (or the customer’s customer) represent a payment for a distinct good or service? (Yes/No)

Yes (Move to Q2)

No (Move to Conclusion 3)

Q2. Can the entity reasonably estimate the fair value of the good or service received? (Yes/No)

Yes (Move to Q3)

No (Move to Conclusion 3)

Q3. Does the consideration payable exceed the fair value of the distinct good or service? (Yes/No)

Yes (Q3): Excess of consideration payable is accounted for as a reduction in the transaction price, remainder is accounted for as a purchase from suppliers.

No (Q3): Consideration payable is accounted for as a purchase from suppliers.

Conclusion 3: Consideration payable is accounted for as a reduction in the transaction price and recognized at the later of when

  • The entity recognizes revenue for the transfer of related goods or services
  • The entity pays or promises to pay the consideration.

 

Additional Observations

In addition to the relative complexity of the above flowchart, there are additional situations that need to be analyzed by legal and accounting teams.

Payments to Distributors and Retailers

A common practice in the CPG industry, payments from brands to distributors or retailers are sometimes accounted for as identifiable goods or services. In these cases, the goods and services provided by the customer may be distinct from the customer’s purchase of the seller’s products. Refer to questions 2 and 3 on the flowchart above.

Scope of Consideration Payable to the Customer is Wider than Payments Made under the Contract

In the event that an entity pays a customer consideration, and the scope of the consideration payable is wider than the payments made under the contract, the entity will need to develop a process for evaluating whether any other payments made to a customer are consideration payable to a customer.

This adds more complexity if payments are made to a customer’s customer and if the amounts paid are outside the direct distribution chain (client/agency relationships, etc.).

Conclusion: Time to Get Moving

17 months may seem like a long time (it’s only five if you’re a public entity), but many organizations are seeing challenges in making the move to implement new processes and systems to meet the requirements of the new standard.

Even if we’re posting monthly blogs leading up to the effective date, you should already be looking at transition methods and other industry-specific considerations that you need to make. To address this, we’ve compiled a list of resources for companies looking to prepare for the upcoming standard:

On Demand Webcasts: ASC 606/IFRS 15

Intacct recently presented a three-part series on the new standards, which you can view on-demand.

We welcome you to peer through the full text, the AICPA guidance, and to get in contact with us to learn more about preparing for ASC 606 with outsourced accounting services and/or a new accounting software designed with new RevRec Standards in mind.

Cloud Accounting Diocesan Organizations

How Diocesan Organizations Can Unleash the Power of Cloud Accounting

If running the finances at a religious organization is a challenge, running the finances at a diocesan organization takes that challenge and multiplies it. Not only do you have to lead financial decision making for multiple funds within one organization, you have to oversee the financial decision making for multiple funds in multiple locations.

The Diocesan CFO Oversees Dozens, if not Hundreds of Separate Entities

While each parish, school, or charitable entity may have its own finance manager and board to whom he or she must answer, the financial team at the diocesan level has to be able to roll up all of the information into a single source of truth. For example, the financial team at our local Catholic dioceses receives reports from:

  • 50 Parishes (some dioceses have over 100)
  • 3 High Schools
  • 13 Elementary Schools (often intertwined with parishes), 2 Private Elementary Schools, 3 Pre-Schools
  • A regional Seminary
  • 3 Missions
  • A Diocesan Cemetery (not including parish cemeteries)
  • A Newspaper, a Television Program, and more.

Simply put, managing a diocese is not only vast, it is complex—with different levels of control and autonomy for each entity, different financial structures and reporting needs. In addition to this, the diocesan CFO may have partial or complete financial oversight for one or more Catholic Charities, which in turn have multiple funds and programs.

Managing Multiple Entities is a Challenge in Itself, Doing So on the Strict Budget of a Faith-Based Organization Makes it Tougher

Not only are you managing all of this, you are managing all of this on a much stricter budget, with stricter oversight, and more stakeholders. You need to report quickly and accurately, address problem areas immediately, and find a balance between unity and granularity.

What makes this harder is that you often don’t have the massive budget for an upgrade and implementation project with huge upfront costs. This leaves you with two options:

  • Keep on with the status quo:
    • Put faith into your ability to roll up all of the numbers with outdated, manual technology
    • Try to push forward with disparate systems and processes across multiple entities
    • Attempt to get a unified, single source of truth each month.
  • Leverage the Power of the Cloud:
    • Take advantage of an accounting and ERP software designed to provide low upfront costs and transparent monthly pricing.
    • Get real insight into the numbers with configurable, easy, point-and-click filtering of real time data.
    • Drill down into the numbers of each parish, school, cemetery, or program.
    • Unify processes across every entity to save time each month.
    • Track the performance of multiple entities, gaining real insight into the metrics and performance of each on your schedule.

Intacct: Accounting Software for Diocesan Organizations

Intacct has provided accounting software for both faith-based and multi-entity organizations for nearly two decades, and has handled everything from single-location churches to multinational, multi-entity companies. Consider this: Intacct is built for growth, able to handle the needs of organizations with:

  • 100s of entities: Intacct automates multi-entity management and financial consolidations for customers with hundreds of locations in their organization
  • 1,000s of users: Our biggest customers are improving productivity with up to thousands of users on Intacct
  • 100,000s of transactions: Customers are quickly and securely processing hundreds of thousands of daily transactions with Intacct

The only cloud financial management system endorsed by the American Institute of CPAs, Intacct can help you to strengthen stewardship, gain efficiency, and grow funding.  The video below shares with you just how effective Intacct is at managing the finances at your diocesan organization:

Leverage the Cloud: Webcast for Diocesan Organizations

As a reseller of Intacct for religious and multi-entity organizations, we are well positioned to help you leverage the power of cloud accounting. We invite you to learn more about the software and its functionality by registering for an upcoming Intacct webcast, How Diocesan Organizations are Improving Stewardship with Modern Technology, in which experts will present challenges and opportunities for diocesan organizations, sharing:

  • How to reduce manual processes
  • How to automate financial, compliance, and operational reporting
  • How to gain real time insight for outcomes, performance, and impact
  • How to remain GAAP compliant under old and upcoming rules

Running the finances at a diocesan organization is complex, but by leveraging the power of the cloud, you can take control of diocesan fiscal management. Register here for the webcast, learn more about Intacct for diocesan organizations, and contact rinehimerbaker for more information.