HCBE Theses and Dissertations

Campus Access Only

All rights reserved. This publication is intended for use solely by faculty, students, and staff of Nova Southeastern University. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, now known or later developed, including but not limited to photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author or the publisher.

Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship


Randall Rentrfo

Committee Member

Cynthia Ruppel

Committee Member

Paul Mihalek


U.S. GAAP and the software industry in particular, are on the verge of a major alteration in revenue-recognition accounting standards. The IASB-FASB joint revenue-recognition project is due to be finalized over the next year with the result being a shift from a rules-based set of accounting standards to a principles-based standard. The purpose of this research is to examine financial statement preparers' software revenue-recognition decisions under a principles-based accounting standard compared to a rules-based accounting standard both with and without a personal incentive to maximize revenue. The 2 X 2 between-subjects experiment examines the revenue-recognition judgments and decisions of financial statement preparers involved in applying rules-based standards (U.S. GAAP) and a principles-based standard (IASB-FASB Exposure Draft: Revenue from Contracts with Customers) with and without a personal incentive to maximize revenue. The study included 127 experienced financial statement preparers with an average of 20 years of experience and 82% at a manager/director level or above.

The results indicate financial statement preparers applying rules-based standards in a revenue-recognition scenario provide less accurate revenue decisions than when applying a principles-based standard. Moreover, the results did not show that a personal incentive influenced the financial statement preparers in their revenue-recognition decisions. Surprisingly, in the rules-based and principles-based scenarios where a personal incentive was not present, the arithmetic mean recommended revenue amounts were higher. In providing the amount of judgment required to determine the revenue to be recognized, there was not a statistically significant difference in the amount of judgment required between subjects applying rules-based standards and subjects applying principles-based standards. The arithmetic means for rules-based subjects and principles-based indicated some judgment however not significant judgment was required. This is interesting to note as so few subjects correctly answered the revenue amount and neglected to fully apply the guidance.

To access this thesis/dissertation you must have a valid nova.edu OR mynsu.nova.edu email address and create an account for NSUWorks.

Free My Thesis

If you are the author of this work and would like to grant permission to make it openly accessible to all, please click the Free My Thesis button.

  Contact Author

  Link to NovaCat