Recognition of revenue as principal or agent
That is a big question under IFRS 15. Recognise a large amount of revenue as a principal or only a fraction of that turnover as an agent. So the stakes are high!!
Entity A has agreed to pay a royalty to Entity B for the use of intellectual property rights that Entity A requires to make sales to its customers. The royalty is specified as a percentage of gross proceeds from Entity A’s sales to its customers less contractually defined costs. Entity A is the principal in the sales transactions with its customers (i.e. it must provide the goods and services itself and does not act as an agent for Entity B).
Because Entity A is the principal in respect of the sales to its customers, it should recognise its revenue on a gross basis and the royalty as a cost of fulfilling the contract. Guidance on the appropriate accounting for the costs of fulfilling a contract, including whether such costs should be capitalised or expensed, is provided in IFRS 15 95 – 104.