ASC 606 Contract Criteria: What Every Business Needs to Know

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) introduced ASC 606 in 2014, which is a set of guidelines that standardizes the way businesses recognize revenue. The guidelines are designed to ensure that companies recognize revenue when it is earned, rather than when payment is received. As companies have shifted to a subscription-based model and away from traditional one-time sales, the rules have become more critical than ever.

One of the most important aspects of ASC 606 is the criteria for recognizing a contract. The criteria require a contract to meet five specific elements: identification of the parties involved, payment terms, product or service delivery terms, contract duration, and pricing. Let`s take a closer look at each one.

1. Identification of the Parties Involved

The first criterion is essential to ensure that the contract is legally valid. The contract must identify the parties involved, including the seller, buyer, and any other relevant parties. It should also outline the roles and responsibilities of each party.

2. Payment Terms

The second criterion outlines the payment terms of the contract, including the amount and timing of payment. The contract must include a clear payment schedule, indicating how the buyer will pay, how often, and for how long.

3. Product or Service Delivery Terms

This criterion outlines the delivery terms of the product or service, including any warranties, guarantees, or other terms of sale. It also outlines the delivery schedule, ensuring that the buyer knows when they can expect delivery.

4. Contract Duration

The fourth criterion outlines the duration of the contract, including any renewal or termination terms. It ensures that both parties involved know how long the contract will last, and under what circumstances it can be terminated.

5. Pricing

The final criterion outlines the pricing for the product or service, including any discounts or promotions. It also outlines any additional fees or charges that the buyer may incur.

Once a contract meets all five elements of the criteria, it can be recognized under ASC 606. The contract`s revenue can then be recognized over the duration of the contract, rather than all at once.

In conclusion, ASC 606 is an important set of guidelines that companies must follow to ensure accurate revenue recognition. The criteria for recognizing a contract are a crucial component of ASC 606, and companies must ensure that their contracts meet all five elements. By following these guidelines, businesses can ensure that their revenue is recorded accurately and consistently.