Revenue Recognition

I’d like to think I’ve got the financial savvy to recognize a revenue if I saw it, but it’s not like beauty, which is in the eye of the beholder. There are pages and pages of rules promulgated by the FASB (Financial Accounting Standards Board) that tell you is it is or is it ain’t a revenue.

revenue recog

AT&T, welcome to the fraud triangle.

My phone just up and died yesterday, so I went to the store to get a new one. The good news is that I was “eligible” for an upgrade (only $25.00 plus a $2.99 pro-ration fee) and my new phone is ONLY $749.00. Which I can pay in monthly installments with NO INTEREST.

Hmmmn. AT&T collects the sales tax and I just pay my monthly installments to the company store. No interest, because this is the kindest, bestest company ever and they are rewarding me for my brand loyalty?

Ha! Probably not. It’s more likely that AT&T will engage in some trickeration aka financial wizardry and move this asset off the balance sheet, fluffing the numbers so they’re nice and plump, serving them to investors like a channel stuffed Thanksgiving Turducken.

fraud triangle

Means, motive, and opportunity. Same old, same old.

When digging for some financial info on AT&T, I noticed that they are in the midst of a merger with Time-Warner. Curious I am about how this will play out. Besides the obvious:

About Laura Alford, PhD

I'm a recent graduate of LSU (PhD in Accounting). In addition to academic research, I also write fiction on Tuesday nights with the Asilomar Writers.
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