FASB has released an exposure draft which slightly redefines the distinction between revenues and contributions for the nonprofit world.
On 9/11/17 I watched FASB’s one hour webcast on the exposure draft. This is only the second time I’ve seen a presentation on the issue and I haven’t yet dived into the 51 page document. That means I’m just starting to understand the changes.
What I’m going to do here is give a high level introduction. Keep in mind this is just an overview without all the details. Furthermore it is my preliminary understanding after having only heard the presentation twice and looking at the slide deck once. Please don’t cite this in your workpapers!
This exposure draft does not call for any change in how transactions are presented in the statement of activities. Organizations can present particular transactions as either revenue or contributions as they wish. The point was made several times in the presentation that the rules spelled out here determine which model is used for recognizing a transaction, not what presentation is used on the statement of activity.
There is a fantastic graph in the slide deck that provides a good visualization of the current and proposed accounting. It is copyrighted and thus I won’t be presenting it here. I’m sure you’ll be seeing the graphic before you get very far into your study.
Here’s a breakout of how exchange transactions are currently handled. These are also called reciprocal transactions. Currently we think of these as revenue, although the verbal comments in the presentation indicate that is no longer necessarily how exchange transactions must be presented.