Contract Asset Asc 606

Contract Asset ASC 606: Everything You Need to Know

ASC 606, or the Accounting Standards Codification 606, is a set of guidelines issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) that outlines the new revenue recognition rules for businesses. These rules were set to streamline financial reporting and create a more consistent and transparent system for recognizing revenue.

One of the significant changes introduced by ASC 606 is the concept of contract assets. In this article, we will discuss what contract assets are and how they impact a company`s financial statements.

What is a Contract Asset?

A contract asset is an amount recorded on a company`s balance sheet that represents the right to receive payment from a customer for goods or services that have been provided but not yet billed. In simpler terms, it is a receivable that has not yet been invoiced.

Under the previous revenue recognition guidelines, companies would recognize revenue when specific milestones were reached, such as when a product was shipped or when services were rendered. However, under ASC 606, companies must recognize revenue when they satisfy their performance obligations to their customers, which may not necessarily coincide with the invoicing of those customers.

When a company satisfies its performance obligations and creates a right to payment, it records a contract asset. This asset represents the company`s right to receive payment, and it is expected to be converted to cash within a year.

How Contract Assets Impact a Company`s Financial Statements

Contract assets are recorded on a company`s balance sheet and are classified as current assets, meaning they are expected to be realized within one year. They are also subject to impairment, and companies must estimate the collectability of these assets regularly.

When a contract asset is realized, it is converted into accounts receivable, which is then recorded as revenue on the company`s income statement.

Contract assets are particularly relevant in industries where companies offer long-term contracts or subscriptions, such as software companies and telecommunications providers. These companies typically provide services over an extended period, and under ASC 606, they must recognize revenue over that period.


ASC 606 has introduced a host of changes to the way companies recognize revenue, and contract assets are one of the most significant. By requiring companies to recognize revenue when they satisfy their performance obligations, ASC 606 has created a more transparent and consistent system for revenue recognition.

For companies that offer long-term contracts or subscriptions, contract assets are particularly relevant, and they must be carefully managed and evaluated regularly to ensure they are collectible. By understanding the concept of contract assets and how they impact a company`s financial statements, businesses can ensure compliance with ASC 606 and maintain accurate and transparent financial reporting.