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Accounting Standard – AS 9

((issued 1985))

Revenue Recognition

Introduction

1. This Standard deals with the bases for recognition of revenue in the statement of profit and loss of an enterprise. The Standard is concerned with the recognition of revenue arising in the course of the ordinary activities of the enterprise from
— the sale of goods,
— the rendering of services, and
— the use by others of enterprise resources yielding interest, royalties and dividends.
2. This Standard does not deal with the following aspects of revenue recognition to which special considerations apply:
(i) Revenue arising from construction contracts;
(ii) Revenue arising from hire-purchase, lease agreements;

1. It is reiterated that this Accounting Standard (as is the case of other accounting standards) assumes that the three fundamental accounting assumptions i.e., going concern, consistency and accrual have been followed in the preparation and presentation of financial statements.
2. Attention is specifically drawn to paragraph 4.3 of the Preface, according to which Accounting Standards are intended to apply only to items which are material.
3. Refer to AS 7 on ‘Construction Contracts’.

(iii) Revenue arising from government grants and other similar subsidies;
(iv) Revenue of insurance companies arising from insurance contracts.
3. Examples of items not included within the definition of “revenue” for the purpose of this Standard are:
(i) Realised gains resulting from the disposal of, and unrealised gains resulting from the holding of, non-current assets e.g. appreciation in the value of fixed assets;
(ii) Unrealised holding gains resulting from the change in value of current assets, and the natural increases in herds and agricultural and forest products;
(iii) Realised or unrealised gains resulting from changes in foreign exchange rates and adjustments arising on the translation of foreign currency financial statements;
(iv) Realised gains resulting from the discharge of an obligation at less than its carrying amount;
(v)Unrealised gains resulting from the restatement of the carrying amount of an obligation.

Definitions

4. The following terms are used in this Standard with the meanings specified:
4.1 Revenue is the gross inflow of cash, receivables or other consideration arising in the course of the ordinary activities of an enterprise4 from the sale of goods, from the rendering of services, and from the use by others of enterprise resources yielding interest, royalties and dividends. Revenue is measured by the charges made to customers or clients for goods supplied and services rendered to them and by the charges and rewards arising from the use of resources by them. In an agency relationship, the revenue is the amount of commission and not the gross inflow of cash, receivables or other consideration.
4.2 Completed service contract method is a method of accounting which recognises revenue in the statement of profit and loss only when the rendering of services under a contract is completed or substantially completed.
4.3 Proportionate completion method is a method of accounting which recognises revenue in the statement of profit and loss proportionately with the degree of completion of services under a contract.

4. The Institute has issued an Announcement in 2005 titled ‘Treatment of Inter-divsional Transfers’ (published in ‘The Chartered Accountant’ May 2005, pp. 1531). As per the Announcement, the recognition of inter-divisional transfers as sales is an inappropriate accounting treatment and is inconsistent with Accounting Standard 9. [For full text of the Announcement reference may be made to the section titled ‘Announcements of the Council regarding status of various documents issued by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India’ appearing at the beginning of this Compendium.]

Explanation

5. Revenue recognition is mainly concerned with the timing of recognition of revenue in the statement of profit and loss of an enterprise. The amount of revenue arising on a transaction is usually determined by agreement between the parties involved in the transaction. When uncertainties exist regarding the determination of the amount, or its associated costs, these uncertainties may influence the timing of revenue recognition.

6.Sale of Goods

6.1 A key criterion for determining when to recognise revenue from a transaction involving the sale of goods is that the seller has transferred the property in the goods to the buyer for a consideration. The transfer of property in goods, in most cases, results in or coincides with the transfer of significant risks and rewards of ownership to the buyer. However, there may be situations where transfer of property in goods does not coincide with the transfer of significant risks and rewards of ownership. Revenue in such situations is recognised at the time of transfer of significant risks and rewards of ownership to the buyer. Such cases may arise where delivery has been delayed through the fault of either the buyer or the seller and the goods are at the risk of the party at fault as regards any loss which might not have occurred but for such fault. Further, sometimes the parties may agree that the risk will pass at a time different from the time when ownership passes.
6.2 At certain stages in specific industries, such as when agricultural crops have been harvested or mineral ores have been extracted, performance may be substantially complete prior to the execution of the transaction generating revenue. In such cases when sale is assured under a forward contract or a government guarantee or where market exists and there is a negligible risk of failure to sell, the goods involved are often valued at net realisable value. Such amounts, while not revenue as defined in this Standard, are sometimes recognised in the statement of profit and loss and appropriately described.
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7.1 Revenue from service transactions is usually recognised as the service is performed, either by the proportionate completion method or by the completed service contract method.
(i) Proportionate completion method — Performance consists of the execution of more than one act. Revenue is recognised proportionately by reference to the performance of each act. The revenue recognised under this method would be determined on the basis of contract value, associated costs, number of acts or other suitable basis. For practical purposes, when services are provided by an indeterminate number of acts over a specific period of time, revenue is recognised on a straight line basis over the specific period unless there is evidence that some other method better represents the pattern of performance.
(ii) Completed service contract method — Performance consists of the execution of a single act. Alternatively, services are performed in more than a single act, and the services yet to be performed are so significant in relation to the transaction taken as a whole that performance cannot be deemed to have been completed until the execution of those acts. The completed service contract method is relevant to these patterns of performance and accordingly revenue is recognised when the sole or final act takes place and the service becomes chargeable.

8. The Use by Others of Enterprise Resources Yielding Interest, Royalties and Dividends

8.1 The use by others of such enterprise resources gives rise to:
(i) interest—charges for the use of cash resources or amounts due to the enterprise;
(ii) royalties—charges for the use of such assets as know-how, patents, trade marks and copyrights;
(iii) dividends—rewards from the holding of investments in shares.
8.2 Interest accrues, in most circumstances, on the time basis determined by the amount outstanding and the rate applicable. Usually, discount or premium on debt securities held is treated as though it were accruing over the period to maturity.
8.3 Royalties accrue in accordance with the terms of the relevant agreement and are usually recognised on that basis unless, having regard to the substance of the transactions, it is more appropriate to recognise revenue on some other systematic and rational basis.
8.4 Dividends from investments in shares are not recognised in the statement of profit and loss until a right to receive payment is established.
8.5 When interest, royalties and dividends from foreign countries require exchange permission and uncertainty in remittance is anticipated, revenue recognition may need to be postponed.

9. Effect of Uncertainties on Revenue Recognition

9.1 Recognition of revenue requires that revenue is measurable and that at the time of sale or the rendering of the service it would not be unreasonable to expect ultimate collection.
9.2 Where the ability to assess the ultimate collection with reasonable certainty is lacking at the time of raising any claim, e.g., for escalation of price, export incentives, interest etc., revenue recognition is postponed to the extent of uncertainty involved. In such cases, it may be appropriate to recognise revenue only when it is reasonably certain that the ultimate collection will be made. Where there is no uncertainty as to ultimate collection, revenue is recognised at the time of sale or rendering of service even though payments are made by instalments.
9.3 When the uncertainty relating to collectability arises subsequent to the time of sale or the rendering of the service, it is more appropriate to make a separate provision to reflect the uncertainty rather than to adjust the amount of revenue originally recorded.
9.4 An essential criterion for the recognition of revenue is that the consideration receivable for the sale of goods, the rendering of services or from the use by others of enterprise resources is reasonably determinable. When such consideration is not determinable within reasonable limits, the recognition of revenue is postponed.
9.5 When recognition of revenue is postponed due to the effect of uncertainties, it is considered as revenue of the period in which it is properly recognised.

Main Principles

10. Revenue from sales or service transactions should be recognised when the requirements as to performance set out in paragraphs 11 and 12 are satisfied, provided that at the time of performance it is not unreasonable to expect ultimate collection. If at the time of raising of any claim it is unreasonable to expect ultimate collection, revenue recognition should be postponed.

Explanation :

The amount of revenue from sales transactions (turnover) should be disclosed in the following manner on the face of the statement of profit or loss :
Turnover (Gross):      XX
Less: Excise Duty:      XX
Turnover (Net):          XX

The amount of excise duty to be deducted from the turnover should be the total excise duty for the year except the excise duty related to the difference between the closing start and opening stock. The excise duty related to the difference between the closing stock and opening stock should be recognised separately in the statement of profit or loss, with an explanatory note in the notes to accounts to explain the nature of the two amounts of excise duty.
11. In a transaction involving the sale of goods, performance should be regarded as being achieved when the following conditions have been fulfilled:
(i) the seller of goods has transferred to the buyer the property in the goods for a price or all significant risks and rewards of ownership have been transferred to the buyer and the seller retains no effective control of the goods transferred to a degree usually associated with ownership; and
(ii) no significant uncertainty exists regarding the amount of the consideration that will be derived from the sale of the goods.
12. In a transaction involving the rendering of services, performance should be measured either under the completed service contract method or under the proportionate completion method, whichever relates the revenue to the work accomplished. Such performance should be regarded as being achieved when no significant uncertainty exists regarding the amount of the consideration that will be derived from rendering the service.
13. Revenue arising from the use by others of enterprise resources yielding interest, royalties and dividends should only be recognised when no significant uncertainty as to measurability or collectability exists. These revenues are recognised on the following bases:
(i)Interest: on a time proportion basis taking into account the amount outstanding and the rate applicable.
(ii)Royalties: on an accrual basis in accordance with the terms of the relevant agreement.
(iii) Dividends from investments in shares: when the owner’s right to receive payment is established.

Disclosure

14. In addition to the disclosures required by Accounting Standard 1 on ‘Disclosure of Accounting Policies’ (AS 1), an enterprise should also disclose the circumstances in which revenue recognition has been postponed pending the resolution of significant uncertainties.

Illustrations

These illustrations do not form part of the Accounting Standard. Their purpose is to illustrate the application of the Standard to a number of commercial situations in an endeavour to assist in clarifying application of the Standard.

A. Sale of Goods

1. Delivery is delayed at buyer’s request and buyer takes title and accepts billing
Revenue should be recognised notwithstanding that physical delivery has not been completed so long as there is every expectation that delivery will be made. However, the item must be on hand, identified and ready for delivery to the buyer at the time the sale is recognised rather than there being simply an intention to acquire or manufacture the goods in time for delivery.
2. Delivered subject to conditions
(a) installation and inspection i.e. goods are sold subject to installation, inspection etc.
Revenue should normally not be recognised until the customer accepts delivery and installation and inspection are complete. In some cases, however, the installation process may be so simple in nature that it may be appropriate to recognise the sale notwithstanding that installation is not yet completed (e.g. installation of a factory-tested television receiver normally only requires unpacking and connecting of power and antennae).
(b) on approval
Revenue should not be recognised until the goods have been formally accepted by the buyer or the buyer has done an act adopting the transaction or the time period for rejection has elapsed or where no time has been fixed, a reasonable time has elapsed.
(c) guaranteed sales i.e. delivery is made giving the buyer an unlimited right of return
Recognition of revenue in such circumstances will depend on the substance of the agreement. In the case of retail sales offering a guarantee of “money back if not completely satisfied” it may be appropriate to recognise the sale but to make a suitable provision for returns based on previous experience. In other cases, the substance of the agreement may amount to a sale on consignment, in which case it should be treated as indicated below.
(d) consignment sales i.e. a delivery is made whereby the recipient undertakes to sell the goods on behalf of the consignor
Revenue should not be recognised until the goods are sold to a third party.
(e) cash on delivery sales
Revenue should not be recognised until cash is received by the seller or his agent.
3. Sales where the purchaser makes a series of instalment payments to the seller, and the seller delivers the goods only when the final payment is received
Revenue from such sales should not be recognised until goods are delivered. However, when experience indicates that most such sales have been consummated, revenue may be recognised when a significant deposit is received.
4. Special order and shipments i.e. where payment (or partial payment) is received for goods not presently held in stock e.g. the stock is still to be manufactured or is to be delivered directly to the customer from a third party
Revenue from such sales should not be recognised until goods are manufactured, identified and ready for delivery to the buyer by the third party.
5. Sale/repurchase agreements i.e. where seller concurrently agrees to repurchase the same goods at a later date
For such transactions that are in substance a financing agreement, the resulting cash inflow is not revenue as defined and should not be recognised as revenue.
6. Sales to intermediate parties i.e. where goods are sold to distributors, dealers or others for resale
Revenue from such sales can generally be recognised if significant risks of ownership have passed; however in some situations the buyer may in substance be an agent and in such cases the sale should be treated as a consignment sale.
7. Subscriptions for publications
Revenue received or billed should be deferred and recognised either on a straight line basis over time or, where the items delivered vary in value from period to period, revenue should be based on the sales value of the item delivered in relation to the total sales value of all items covered by the subscription.
8. Instalment sales
When the consideration is receivable in instalments, revenue attributable to the sales price exclusive of interest should be recognised at the date of sale. The interest element should be recognised as revenue, proportionately to the unpaid balance due to the seller.
9. Trade discounts and volume rebates
Trade discounts and volume rebates received are not encompassed within the definition of revenue, since they represent a reduction of cost. Trade discounts and volume rebates given should be deducted in determining revenue.

B. Rendering of Services

1. Installation Fees
In cases where installation fees are other than incidental to the sale of a product, they should be recognised as revenue only when the equipment is installed and accepted by the customer.
2. Advertising and insurance agency commissions
Revenue should be recognised when the service is completed. For advertising agencies, media commissions will normally be recognised when the related advertisement or commercial appears before the public and the necessary intimation is received by the agency, as opposed to production commission, which will be recognised when the project is completed. Insurance agency commissions should be recognised on the effective commencement or renewal dates of the related policies.
3. Financial service commissions
A financial service may be rendered as a single act or may be provided over a period of time. Similarly, charges for such services may be made as a single amount or in stages over the period of the service or the life of the transaction to which it relates. Such charges may be settled in full when made or added to a loan or other account and settled in stages. The recognition of such revenue should therefore have regard to:
(a) whether the service has been provided “once and for all” or is on a “continuing” basis;
(b) the incidence of the costs relating to the service;
(c) when the payment for the service will be received. In general, commissions charged for arranging or granting loan or other facilities should be recognised when a binding obligation has been entered into. Commitment, facility or loan management fees which relate to continuing obligations or services should normally be recognised over the life of the loan or facility having regard to the amount of the obligation outstanding, the nature of the services provided and the timing of the costs relating thereto.
4. Admission fees
Revenue from artistic performances, banquets and other special events should be recognised when the event takes place. When a subscription to a number of events is sold, the fee should be allocated to each event on a systematic and rational basis.
5. Tuition fees
Revenue should be recognised over the period of instruction.
6. Entrance and membership fees
Revenue recognition from these sources will depend on the nature of the services being provided. Entrance fee received is generally capitalised. If the membership fee permits only membership and all other services or products are paid for separately, or if there is a separate annual subscription, the fee should be recognised when received. If the membership fee entitles the member to services or publications to be provided during the year, it should be recognised on a systematic and rational basis having regard to the timing and nature of all services provided.

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