Denizens of the world of corporate finance can be forgiven for seeming even more frazzled than usual. We are on the cusp of a landscape-altering change in how revenue is recognized, in the form of the soon-to-be-effective governing guidelines embodied in ASC 606, "Revenue from Contracts with Customers." And most companies are nowhere near ready.

This new accounting law of the land, issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) in conjunction with IFRS 15 from the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), replaces all current industry-specific guidance on revenue recognition with a single, converged model built upon one core principle: Companies must recognize revenue when goods or services are transferred to the customer.

These changes must be adopted by public companies for all annual reporting for periods that begin December 16, 2017, or later. Private companies have an additional year. Still, all businesses should be well under way with their preparations. Unfortunately, that does not seem to be the case.

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