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IFRS 15, Revenue from Contracts with Customers [Completed]

Effective date:  Reporting periods beginning on or after January 1, 2018.  Earlier adoption permitted.

Transitional provisions:

The new Standard is effective for annual reporting periods beginning on or after January 1, 2018 with earlier adoption permitted. [Note: The January 1, 2018 effective date is the result of the IASB subsequently approving a one-year deferral of the original effective date of January 1, 2017.  See separate Completed project.] For comparative amounts, entities have the option of using either retrospective application (with certain practical expedients) or a modified retrospective approach that is set out in the new Standard.

Last updated:

October 2017


The new Standard outlines a single comprehensive model for entities to use in accounting for revenue arising from contracts with customers.  It supersedes the IASB’s current revenue recognition guidance including IAS 18, Revenue, IAS 11, Construction Contracts, and related Interpretations.

The core principle is that an entity recognizes revenue to depict the transfer of promised goods or services to customers in an amount that reflects the consideration to which the entity expects to be entitled in exchange for those goods or services.

The new Standard introduces far more prescriptive guidance than was included in IAS 18IAS 11 and the related Interpretations and the majority of entities are likely to be affected by this, at least to some extent.  Furthermore, the new Standard may result in substantial changes to the timing of revenue recognition for some entities.

Entities will need to consider the extent to which changes, in some cases substantial, may be required to processes, IT systems and internal controls as a result both of the new model and of the increased disclosure requirements.

The American Institute of CPAs’ (AICPA) Revenue Recognition Task Force has formed sixteen industry task forces to help develop a new Accounting Guide on Revenue Recognition that will provide illustrative examples for how to apply the new Revenue Recognition Standard. They also released for public comment working drafts on accounting issues associated with the implementation of the new revenue standard for several industries.

The industries involved with this project are:


Other developments

July 2015

On July 22, 2015, the IASB approved its proposal to defer the mandatory effective date of IFRS 15Revenue From Contracts With Customers to January 1, 2018. Earlier application of IFRS 15 continues to be permitted. Earlier this month, the FASB also affirmed its proposal to defer for one year the effective date of its new revenue standard ASU 2014-09, Revenue From Contracts With Customers.

January 2015

On January 30, 2015, Highlight Summary I.29 dated February 2015, was issued adding IFRS 15 to the “IFRSs Issued but Not Yet Effective” section of the CPA Canada Handbook, Part 1. Of note, new IFRSs only become part of Canadian GAAP once they have been issued in the CPA Canada Handbook. 

May 2014

On May 28, 2014, the IASB and the FASB jointly issued a converged Standard on the recognition of revenue from contracts with customers.


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