Theres Riverstorm; Hang Vu , pp. 59. MAM/Sektionen för Management, 2012.
Laws, regulations and generally accepted accounting principles hold options on how companies should recognize revenue. Generally accepted accounting principles are determined by standard-setting bodies as the Accounting Standards Board and the Financial Supervisory Authority, which is influenced by international standard-setting bodies as the IASB. Service revenue is generally recognized when performance is completed, but there are variations in when a performance is considered complete. The different accounting options available create difficulties in comparing companies over time and between companies, which in turn creates difficulties to achieve a true and fair view.
By clarifying what methods and principles in accounting for service income the unlisted companies in Sweden are using and why these differences exist, we have been able to study how the comparability and the true and fair view is affected by these differences. The aim was to study the underlying factors that companies do their financial report differently. The empirical material has been collected by the central accounting policies related to the court case RÅ 1999 ref 32, where new practices in Swedish accounting was established, which allowed accrual of service revenue. The method has been through qualitative interviews with four unlisted service companies supplemented with secondary data in the form of corporate annual reports, as well as regulations and guidelines of the standard-setting bodies.
The results have shown that companies that have chosen to defer their income, do it from the view that the agreed performance is not performed until the end of the contract and also because they under the regulations shall defer or defers because the parent company in accordance with international rules should defer. The companies reporting under other methods and principles have justified their choice with ease and less expense, which seems to be based in self-interest on their part. The study has shown that it is problematic to compare companies which not defer with the companies which defer. Revenue tends to vary more strongly in non-accrual business, and it becomes difficult for the reader of the financial statements to determine what revenue development depended on. Underlying factors that have been shown to be important for the true and fair view is changes in accounting policies based in self-interest on their part and not for it to reflect the company's business better as well as the consequence of not disclose their accounting policies in the financial statements, as the study shows that it is more difficult to get a true and fair view of the companies at these events.