Accounting and finance are dynamic and ever-changing industries. The International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) -15 accounting standard, focusing on revenue recognition, will be discussed in this blog.  Professionals and students alike must understand IFRS 15 because it has fundamentally turned out the way, how firms record revenue.  

We will now discuss the complexities of IFRS 15 below, to highlight the twists and turns of revenue recognition. IFRS 15 - revenue from contracts with customers - financial reporting

The Development of Revenue Recognition 

Before getting into the specifics of IFRS 15, let’s briefly review how revenue has moderated overtime standards for recognition. Various accounting standards were used historically throughout the world, which caused financial reporting to be inconsistent and confusing. A new modified, converged standard on revenue recognition was created because of collaboration between the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) to address this problem.  

The Inception of IFRS 15  

The IASB and FASB released “Revenue from Contracts with Customers,” or IFRS 15, in May 2014. It replaced numerous prior rules regulating, including IAS 18 and IAS 11. This standard was created to provide a uniform, comparable framework for revenue recognition across all sectors and nations.  

The Fundamentals of IFRS 15  

For all client contracts, IFRS 15 proposes a five-step methodology for revenue recognition:  

Determine the Customer Contract:  

A business must ascertain if it has a contract with a customer before recognizing revenue. The basis for the following steps is laid in this phase.  

Determine the Performance Obligations: 

Companies are required to identify the specific goods or services that the client was promised under IFRS 15. Every different performance obligation is handled separately and carefully.  

 Determine the transaction price: 

The transaction price is the sum of money to which the business anticipates being entitled in return for providing the client with the promised goods or services. Discounts, variable consideration, and time value for money adjustments can be necessary.  

Distribute the Transaction Price: 

If a contract involves more than one performance obligation, the transaction price is allocated to each one depending on how much it would sell for on its own.  

Upon satisfaction of the performance obligation, recognize revenue: 

When a corporation fulfills a performance commitment, usually when control of the goods or services is transferred to the client, revenue is recorded.  

Key Ideas and Challenges  

Several crucial ideas and difficulties for revenue recognition are introduced by IFRS 15:  

  •  Performance Requirements:  

The idea of performance responsibilities is one of the key changes made by IFRS 15. In complex contracts, businesses must identify and properly account for each different obligation. 

  •  Factors to Consider:  

The determination of the transaction price is difficult and complicated by variable factors like discounts, rebates, and bonuses. These uncertainties must be estimated and taken into consideration by businesses.  

  • Contract amendments:  

A contract may be modified because of changes Consideration one must assess these changes and modify their revenue recognition strategies accordingly.  

  •   Contract expenses: 

The timing of expense recognition is impacted by the need in IFRS 15 that businesses to capitalize on incremental costs incurred to secure or complete a contract.  

  • Efficiencies in daily life:  

The standard provides workable workarounds for some typical situations, such as warranties and licensing, which can make implementation easier.  

  •  Considering the Industry 

Although IFRS 15 offers a thorough framework for revenue recognition, it recognizes that some industries have different qualities. As a result, the standard contains detailed instructions for sectors like real estate, construction, telecommunications, and software.  

Transition to IFRS 15   

It might be challenging for businesses that previously used various revenue recognition standards to make the switch to IFRS 15. The full retrospective technique and the modified retrospective method are the two transitional approaches provided by the standard, to recognize revenue. Companies must carefully evaluate which approach is best for their situation and fit for them.  

The Effect of IFRS 15 on Financial Statements: 

Financial statements are significantly impacted by IFRS 15, especially in the recognition and presentation of revenue. The standard’s modifications may cause changes in revenue recognition patterns, which could have an impact on important financial indicators and ratios.  

Disclosure Requirements: 

 A fundamental component of IFRS 15 is transparency, which means full disclosure of all the material transactions that ultimately affect the company. To give readers of financial statements a thorough knowledge of a company’s revenue recognition policies, procedures, and decisions, the standard demands stringent disclosure requirements.  

Problems with Implementation  

Companies may find it hard to implement IFRS 15, and many have had trouble correctly implementing the standard. Typical difficulties include:  -Calculating the estimated variable consideration and determining its constraint status and many more.  

Case Studies and Practical Application 

Let’s examine some ongoing applications so that you can fully comprehend the significance of IFRS 15.  

Example 1: A software firm  

Consider a software provider that offers licenses for its software solutions. According to IFRS 15, the business must identify its performance responsibilities, which could include customer assistance, software installation, and delivery. Any discounts should be considered when determining the transaction price, and income is recognized as these commitments are met. As a result, the company’s financial statements may change from recognizing all revenue upfront to spreading it out for the contract. 

Example 2: A building company  

A deal was signed by a building business to construct a housing complex. According to IFRS 15, the business must determine the performance responsibilities, which could include building individual units, landscaping, and offering communal facilities. To account for changeable considerations, such as fines for project delays, the transaction price might need to be changed. Because revenue is recognized as each performance obligation is satisfied rather than at the end of the project, revenue recognition may occur gradually over time. 

Case Study: Telecom Provider  

Think about a telecoms company that bundles internet, TV, and phone services. Following IFRS 15, the business must divide the transaction price across these several performance obligations, considering their selling prices. The supplier must also determine whether customers’ requests to change the services included in the bundle constitute contract amendments before adjusting revenue. For this company, the adoption of IFRS 15 might alter how revenue is recognized.  

Benefits and Recommendations for IFRS 15  

IFRS 15 has its share of benefits and drawbacks, just like any other accounting standard.  


  1. Consistency: To make financial statements more comparable, IFRS 15 promotes consistency in revenue recognition across industries and nations. 
  2. Transparency: The requirement for thorough disclosures, which enables stakeholders to better understand a company’s revenue recognition rules and decisions, improves transparency. 
  3. Ease of use: By offering a systematic, five-step methodology that can be applied to varied contracts, IFRS 15 eases the process of recognizing revenue. 
  4. Accurate Financial Reporting: The standard increases financial reporting’s accuracy by coordinating revenue recognition with the handover of responsibility to consumers. 

Prospects of IFRS 15: 

In this in-depth analysis of IFRS 15, we have covered its history, guiding principles, industry-specific considerations, transitional difficulties, and real-world implementations. We have also spoken about its benefits and drawbacks and emphasized the significance of continued education for ACCA students. It is crucial to understand that the accounting and financial world will continue to change as we advance in our ACCA journey. How companies disclose their financial performance will be influenced by new standards and changes to existing ones. As a result, we continue to place a significant priority on maintaining the highest levels of ethics and professionalism and staying informed and flexible. accurately identifying and recording contract amendments.  

Revenue recognition has unquestionably been significantly impacted by IFRS 15, which promotes consistency and transparency. We, as ACCA students and future finance professionals, play a critical role in making sure that these standards are applied correctly, and that financial reporting continues to be accurate and useful for all parties.  

  • Distributing the transaction price in cases where performance obligations are combined.  
  •  identifying and properly recording contract amendments.  

IFRS 15 became mandatory for accounting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2018. As entities and groups using the international accounting framework leave the old regime behind, let’s look at the more prescriptive new standard.-ACCA Global 


Hence, IFRS 15, “Revenue from Contracts with Customers,” is a revolutionary accounting standard that has modified revenue recognition across all sectors and regions around the globe.  Professionals and students found it crucial to comprehend its guiding principles, fundamental ideas, and industry-specific issues. It establishes the principles that an entity likes to apply to report useful information to users of financial statements about the nature, amount, and, timing of revenue and cash flows that arise from a contract with a customer. Our success in the field of accounting and finance depends on our ability to keep up with changes in accounting standards, such as IFRS 15, as we go along our ACCA path.  


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):  

Q1. Why was IFRS 15 established or introduced?  

The main reason is IFRS 15 was introduced to improve the compatibility of revenue recognition and remain consistent while practicing it across different industries and jurisdictions 

 Q2. How does it affect financial statements?

 IFRS 15 changes the times when revenue is recognized, resulting in different amounts of revenue in the current period in comparison to the previous period.  

Written by Alishba Adeel student of Mirchawala’s Hub Of Accountancy 

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