Non-GAAP Measures Help Provide Full Performance Picture

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The FINANCIAL — Most corporate financial reporting executives say they use non-GAAP financial measures to supplement GAAP information and help stakeholders better understand their financial performance, according to a new survey by KPMG LLP, the audit, tax, and advisory firm.

The respondents say that the use of non-GAAP measures tends to be consistent across their industries.

The survey of more than 475 attendees at KPMG’s 26th Annual Accounting and Financial Reporting Symposium found that a vast majority of organizations remain in the early stages of implementing the new revenue recognition accounting requirements, which may forecast a last-minute dash for some to the finish line in 2017.

Non-GAAP Measures

Some 89 percent of the survey respondents said their companies use non-GAAP financial measures to help their stakeholders better understand their financial performance, 74 percent said the usage of non-GAAP measures was generally consistent across their industries, and 75 percent said the current financial reporting requirements can result in disclosures that are not sufficiently focused on their companies’ key performance information.

“These KPMG findings show organizations are willing to provide incremental information that supplements the information required by generally accepted accounting principles [GAAP],” said John Ebner, KPMG’s national managing partner – Audit. “Non-GAAP financial measures can highlight unusual activity as well as emerging trends. Clearly, investors are interested in and demanding these supplemental disclosures from companies.”

Revenue Recognition

Revenue recognition remains one of the most significant, looming changes in accounting standards. Public companies must implement the new standard to report 2018 calendar-year financials. Yet just 1 percent of survey respondents say they’ve completed implementation, and only 13 percent have implementation in progress. Moreover, 19 percent have not begun considering its ramifications, and nearly two-thirds said they continue to assess the accounting impact.

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“It’s becoming a critical issue, and emphasis should be on moving beyond assessment to systems and internal control development and full implementation,” said Ebner.

Other Findings

Among other items that keep financial reporting executives up at night:

Twenty-four percent said they worry about future regulatory mandates, such as changes to lease accounting standards,

Twenty-two percent have concerns about staying ahead of investor reporting demands, such as corporate social responsibility and non-financial information, and

Maintaining effective internal control over financial reporting was a close third, cited by 21 percent of the respondents.


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