One accounting principle that is omnipresent in the accounting of all companies, be it public or private, domestic or private, billion dollar company or a startup, is the “Revenue recognition principle”.  Presently, US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) offers more than 100 pronouncements regarding when and how to book revenue, including industry specific rules for 25 different sectors.  The variations of the rules definitely leads to comparability issues among different companies, but due to the type of work different organizations do it is almost required to have variations in the rule. A construction company that uses the percentage of completion method to recognize revenue, will show a warped picture if it were to recognize the revenue only when the final sale of the property was done. If it takes 5 years to construct and sell, the company would be a loss making company for the five years as there will be costs associated with the construction but no revenue to show!
With the GAAP and IFRS convergence on full swing, the goal is to have a converged revenue recognition principle by the second quarter of next year. But consider this, under IFRS there are just two broad revenue rules augmented by four interpretations. A hundred pronouncements vs two broad rules; how do you come to a middle ground. This will be a major challenge for the standard setters and more so for all the companies that have to comply with the converged standards. Would it be more effective and show a clearer picture is something only time will tell.