IFA Successful In “RED LIGHTING” FASB’s Revenue Recognition Rule

Photo by Andy Feliciotti on Unsplash

For all our franchisor subscribers; we think this is big news especially in these trying time. Robert Cresanti- President and CEO of the International Franchise Association (IFA) have just notched a major victory in the battle regarding ASC 606 and the Franchise Revenue Recognition Rule.
Below is the Letter Mr. Cresati emailed to IFA members announcing the good news.
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Dear IFA Member:
I am writing to share an important, exciting – and non-coronavirus – piece of good news. This morning, the Federal Accounting Standards Board (FASB) delayed implementation of their ASC 606 revenue recognition rules for one year!

While addressing the economic impacts of COVID-19 has been our primary focus over the last month, we have continued to press forward with our other franchising priorities, particularly the 606 recognition rules as FDD filing deadlines loom ahead.

Over the last several weeks, IFA staff and members have had several important and direct conversations with FASB, including with the current Chair, Russell Golden, and other members of the Board and technical staff. Today’s announcement is the result of that – it’s even more impressive that this delayed implementation is exclusive to franchises!

Following this morning’s decision, FASB will begin the process of taking public comment on an alternative accounting standard for private sector businesses (an “expedient”) that will allow us to make the case that certain pre-opening costs are earned immediately and should be recognized as such. IFA will keep you abreast of developments as we prepare our public comments.

We appreciate FASB’s efforts to provide relief to the franchising sector during this unprecedented time and thank them for their unanimous decision. Understanding that many franchise brands have spent considerable time and resources on filings to date, we encourage you to discuss with your legal and auditing firms whether any amendments may be made to year-end audited financial statements.

In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Suzanne Beall with any questions. We hope this bit of good news provides you with a little hope in the midst of the crisis.

Thank You,

Robert Cresanti, CFE
President & CEO
International Franchise Association

The New Revenue Recognition rules – What is the Impact for Franchisors

Typical separate performance obligations for a franchisor include site selection, training and equipment necessary to operate the franchise The remaining portion of the franchise fee must be deferred and amortized over the life of the franchise agreement .For nonpublic companies(most franchisers) this new rule is effective with the year ending December 31,2019.

The New Revenue Recognition rules-What is the Impact for Franchisors

By Barry Knepper – The Franchise CPA

The Financial Standard Board(“FASB”), the rules setting body for the accounting industry, has issued a new comprehensive revenue recognition model for all contracts. Franchise agreements are directly impacted by this new rule.

New Rule
This new rule requires that each contract be analyzed to identity the separate performance obligations that the franchiser has assumed as part of the franchise agreement and then allocate a portion of the franchise fee to each obligation .Typical separate performance obligations for a franchisor include site selection, training and equipment necessary to operate the franchise The remaining portion of the franchise fee must be deferred and amortized over the life of the franchise agreement .For nonpublic companies(most franchisers) this new rule is effective with the year ending December 31,2019.

Why this change matters to you:
It requires restatement of prior years financial statements issued or a cumulative catchup including analysis of every franchise agreement in place as of December 31,2019
Your financial statement will likely show greater liabilities and less equity-particularly in smaller companies -thus weakening your financial position.
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There is an increased likelihood of state-imposed restrictions on use of franchise fees
There is the potential to scare off prospects based upon the weakening of franchisor’s financial position due to deferral of recognition of franchise fees.
Taxes are due on fees received but not recognized in financial statements

It is important that you begin the analysis process now so that it does not hold up the completion of your audit. We are available to help you implement this new rule.
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ABOUT THE FRANCHISE CPA

The Franchise CPA’s CEO, Barry Knepper, CPA, has had a 40-year career as a senior financial executive including the international public accounting firm, Ernst and Young. While serving as CFO of a $100 million company he managed its initial public offering (“IPO”) and raised a total of more than $100 million of equity and debt financing for expansion. Barry is a member of the Board of Directors and chairman of the audit committee of Coffee Holding Company, a publicly traded integrated wholesale coffee roaster and distributor.

At The Franchise CPA we are dedicated to the accounting needs of franchisers of any size and industry, providing financial statement audits, royalty audits and part time CFO services.

Our success and client satisfaction is due to the specialized service we provide to clients. Our fee structure is lower than others because we keep overhead to a minimum and focus on franchising.

We have a unique combination of real-world franchise experience. Our team has served as the full time CFO of multi concept franchisee and as a part time CFO for diverse concepts. We have performed financial statement and royalty audits for more than 80 franchisers. Having experience as a franchisee as well, we understand the sensitive nature of the franchisor/franchisee relationship and work hard to preserve that relationship.

Through our part-time CFO services we meet the needs of franchisers that do not need or cannot afford a full-time controller or CFO. As your part time CFO, we will assist you in improving your financial performance, maximizing cash flow and building long-term value.