What is IFRS 15?

IFRS 15, or International Financial Reporting Standard 15, is a set of guidelines and regulations issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) that applies to companies’ accounting practices involving revenue from contracts with customers. This new standard replaces nearly all the existing standards related to revenue recognition, including IAS 18, IAS 11, and IFRIC 13. The primary aim of IFRS 15 is to create a single source of guidance for public, private, and non-profit entities to follow when reporting their income from customer contracts. It also provides a framework for consistent reporting between companies in different countries.

IFRS 15 addressed some important concepts for recognizing revenue from customer contracts, namely:

  • recognizing revenue when control passes from one party to another
  • defining what constitutes a contract
  • identifying the performance obligations within a contract
  • determining when performance obligations have been satisfied
  • ascertaining the transaction prices for each element in a contract
  • determining any variable consideration applicable to performance obligations
  • estimating any warranties or guarantees applicable to performance obligations
  • allocating transaction prices across multiple goods or services contained within a contract

In addition, organizations must understand how these standards will impact their systems, processes, and disclosures related to revenue recognition. They must also assess how changes may affect internal control over financial reporting procedures as well as contractual terms related to customer relationships. 


  • International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) on Revenue from Contracts with Customers

Revenue from Contracts with Customers: IFRS 15 Compliance

Under IFRS 15, companies are required to recognize revenue only when their contractual obligations have been met, known as the ‘transfer of control’ model. Accordingly, companies have to fulfill five criteria to identify and report their revenue properly:

1. Identifying Contracts: Entities must identify contracts with customers by assessing whether legally enforceable agreements exist between themselves and their customers. This includes determining if goods or services have been exchanged, as well as any consideration due from either party under such agreements.

2. Determining Performance Obligations: After identifying contracts with customers, entities must determine what performance obligations are included in those contracts. This includes goods and services an entity provides in exchange for consideration received from a customer, such as separate performance obligations within a single contract or bundled performance obligations under multiple contracts between parties.

3. Allocating Transaction Price: Once performance obligations have been identified in a contract, entities must allocate transaction prices among them according to their relative fair values. If a customer receives discounts on goods or services purchased together in a single contract, those discounts must also be allocated appropriately among the performance obligations included in the contract.

4. Recognizing Revenue: After allocating transaction prices among performance obligations identified in a contract, entities can recognize revenue only when they satisfy their performance obligation by transferring control of goods or services to customers – this is referred to as the ‘transferring control’ criterion. This criterion is met when an entity has transferred all significant risks and rewards related to its performance obligation so that it no longer has any responsibility for significant future events associated with it.

5. Disclosing Revenue Information: To comply with IFRS 15’s disclosure requirements, entities need to provide information about the nature of their contracts with customers (including expected duration), transaction prices allocated among identified performance obligations and status of satisfaction of those performance obligations (e.g., whether they have been satisfied yet). Entities should also inform investors about all changes made during each reporting period regarding estimates used when recognizing revenue under IFRS 15 (such as estimates related to discount rates applied in calculating transaction prices).

While these criteria may seem straightforward, there are often more complexities than initially anticipated. For example, an entity has to determine what constitutes control under various conditions, such as delivery delays or other mitigating factors. Moreover, it may be difficult for an entity to understand how much of a particular product or service they need to deliver before it can recognize any associated revenues.

Apart from the five-step framework for recognizing revenue, companies must meet disclosure requirements to be IFRS 15 compliant.

These include:

  • disclosing information about decisions made by management related to IFRS 15 implementation
  • disclosing major geographical areas where sales were made
  • breaking down revenues into different types, such as product sales or services fees
  • providing insight into any remaining performance obligations (e.g., how much of a customer’s total transaction price has not yet been recognized by an entity).

Furthermore, IFRS 15 also requires organizations to disclose information about contracts that have a significant financing component (i.e., contracts where a customer pays over an extended period of time rather than paying upfront for the entire purchase price upon delivery of products/services) and certain guarantees used in transactions involving asset purchases such as warranties or servicing agreements. This further demonstrates IFRS 15’s emphasis on ensuring accurate reporting of financial performance throughout an organization’s operations.

IFRS 15 vs. ASC 606

IFRS 15 and ASC 606 are both revenue recognition standards. While IFRS 15 is set by the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), ASC 606 is set by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). The IFRS 15 and ASC 606 standards have some similarities, but there are also significant differences between them.

The IFRS 15 standard replaces IFRS 9, IAS 18, and IAS 11, while the ASC 606 replaces FASB Topic 605, Revenue Recognition. Both IFRS 15 and ASC 606 focus on how companies should recognize the revenue they receive in their financial statements. This means that the standards dictate when companies can report income or losses related to a sale or exchange of goods or services.

Regarding recognizing revenue, IFRS 15 focuses more heavily on control-based models, while ASC 606 focuses more heavily on performance-based models. IFRS 15 focuses more on the transfer of control of goods or services rather than the satisfaction of performance obligations over time. This means IFRS 15 emphasizes determining when an entity has transferred control of goods or services rather than satisfying all performance obligations associated with a contract before recognizing revenue. On the other hand, ASC 606 requires entities to fulfill all performance obligations associated with a contract before recognizing any revenue from it.

Another difference between IFRS 15 and ASC 606 lies in how each standard deals with contracts that span multiple years. IFRS 15 requires companies to allocate any revenues related to such contracts across all applicable years based on the amount of work performed in each period. On the other hand, ASC 606 allows companies to recognize revenues from these contracts in one lump sum as long as certain conditions are met.

In addition, IFRS 15 provides guidance on whether contract costs should be expensed or capitalized while ASC 606 does not provide any specific guidance in this area. Lastly, IFRS 15 requires companies to disclose significant judgments made under IFRS 15, which is not required under ASC 606.

Technology to Comply with IFRS 15

Software to comply with IFRS 15 is becoming increasingly crucial for entities as the standard becomes more widely adopted around the world. By complying with IFRS 15, businesses can ensure that their financial statements are accurate and up-to-date. Software solutions that automate revenue recognition enable entities to meet this requirement and make it easier for businesses to remain compliant with the standard.

Software designed to help companies comply with IFRS 15 covers all aspects of the accounting process, from initial data capture to analysis and reporting. It also provides insights into complex transactions, allowing companies to understand their financial position better and accurately report on their performance. This software can address current and future regulations, helping companies remain compliant even as new or revised rules come into effect.

Revenue recognition software can be used in various environments, including on-premises and the cloud. With cloud software, companies can access data anytime, anywhere – an invaluable resource for staying ahead of changing regulations. In addition to providing access to real-time data, cloud software also enables faster compliance processes since updates can be carried out quickly.

When selecting software for compliance with IFRS 15, businesses should look for solutions that offer comprehensive support capabilities, including training sessions and technical support staff who can assist with any general queries related to the software or IFRS regulations. Automation is another important feature as it helps reduce errors associated with manual processes such as journal entries or reconciliations. Finally, scalability is critical; software should be able to grow along with a business’s financial needs without requiring major investments in additional infrastructure or resources.

Many organizations are implementing software designed for IFRS 15 and ASC 606 compliance because it helps them maintain their financial records accurately and consistently across multiple jurisdictions while adjusting to changes in regulations over time. Data accuracy is critical when meeting statutory requirements so software solutions are essential for staying on top of ever-changing standards like those set by IFRS 15.

Businesses Most Impacted by IFRS 15

IFRS 15 requires companies of all sizes to follow a uniform framework when recognizing revenue from customer contracts. This standard affects many industries, but some depend more on customer contracts than others, such as subscription-based businesses and those selling licenses.

The industries most impacted by this new standard include software and technology companies, media and entertainment firms, transportation businesses, and professional services organizations. Software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies typically generate revenue through customer contracts for services, such as subscription services, cloud hosting, or software maintenance agreements. Media and entertainment companies rely heavily on customer contracts to provide streaming services or subscription-based content. Transportation organizations provide customer contracts for freight forwarding or overnight delivery services. Professional services organizations may have clients contract for specific projects such as consulting engagements and other activities that require compensation once completed.

IFRS 15 provides several advantages for businesses that comply with its requirements, including better transparency in financial reporting which can boost investor confidence, improved comparability between different companies, more reliable financial data, and overall better accountability which helps increase trust among stakeholders.

People Also Ask

Is IFRS 15 mandatory?

Yes, IFRS 15 is mandatory for private, public, and non-profit companies. In May 2014, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) issued IFRS 15, which was effective January 1, 2018. All companies must comply with the new standard when preparing their financial statements from 2018 onwards. The purpose of IFRS 15 is to increase transparency in revenue reporting by providing users of financial statements with greater insight into how entities recognize and measure the amounts reported for revenue-related transactions, both at contract inception and over its term.

What is the difference between IFRS 15 and IFRS 16?

The main difference between IFRS 15 and IFRS 16 is that IFRS 15 governs how entities should recognize revenue from customer contracts, while IFRS 16 relates to how entities should record lease payments made by them.

They both impose more stringent disclosure requirements than those set forth in their respective predecessors – IAS 18 Revenue Recognition for IFRS 15; IAS 17 Leases for IFRS 16 – reflecting an effort by international regulatory bodies to provide investors with more transparent financial statements showing accurate representations of accounts receivable/payable amounts as well as increased visibility into off-balance sheet items such as operating leases.

Ultimately, these standards aim to improve comparability between entities so that investors can make more informed decisions when evaluating potential investments in different companies across global markets.

What are the key points of IFRS 15?

The key points of IFRS 15 are:

1. Identify the contract with the customer.
2. Identify the performance obligations in the contract.
3. Determine the transaction price and whether the transaction price is variable or fixed.
4. Allocate transaction prices to performance obligations.
5. Recognize revenue when each obligation is fulfilled.