Revenue is the largest post in the financial statements but is often least described. They are an important element when different companies are compared with each other. Revenue is often associated with assessment which Enron and Prosolvia is two examples of. Enron reported their incomes and assets while their costs and debts were not reported. Thus were a positive image maintained of the company when the financial position in reality were otherwise. Also Prosolvia´s way of reporting revenues were questioned. The part that was mostly questioned was why Prosolvia chose to report revenues while the customer still had the right to return it. Two central questions when it comes to revenue recognition are:
- When the revenue is recognized?
- To which value the revenue is being recognized?
To be able to answer these questions the companies use the accounting frameworks, IFRS, the Swedish Annual Accounts Act and the supplementary normative.
The purpose of this study is to gain an understanding of how companies report their revenues and which difficulties they encounter and how they solve these. We want to analyze to see if there are any differences or similarities between the companies who reports according to IFRS and the Swedish Annual Accounts Act. The question we have emanated from is: How do companies report their revenues?
Our study was carried out with a hermeneutical perspective and that is why we used a abductive strategy with a qualitative approach. This strategy suited our study because we wanted to see how the companies report their revenues in reality. The material was collected through open individual interviews and a telephone interview. The choice of companies was made based on which accounting framework they use and what kind of business they have.
The result of our study shows that companies whose business consist of selling goods has a better support from the accounting frameworks in the question when an income becomes revenue. Companies that sell goods must do a deposition to handle the costs concerning the return of goods. When the deposited amount was compared with companies that have service assignments we saw that these companies handle the deposit for warranty likewise. However the companies with service assignments made their assessments more carefully than the companies who sell goods. The companies that had service assignments both used the percentage of completion method, even though they did not work with large projects. The reason was that they thought that this method gives the truest and fairest view of the company. Which value, nominal or fair, the company should report is not clear and simple, no matter which branch they are in. This showed in the interviews where only a few of the companies know what the values meant or what separated them.
2012. , 39 p.