Dissertation Social Media Deployment UK Construction Industry

The Impact and Effectiveness of Social Media Deployment within the UK Construction Industry

Over the past decade, social media has been at the forefront of how many individuals and organisations use the internet. This user-driven technology has provided a platform for users to publish their own content and share information through a variety of different interfaces. Often seen as industry that does not embrace change, the construction industry must ensure it understands the opportunities social media brings advertising, promotion, collaboration and communication are some of the themes considered.

Many within the industry have already adopted social media into their businesses, but there are some who have no interest. Four interviews were carried out with a variety of differing industry professionals; the findings were investigated to establish how social media was being used throughout the industry and how companies were looking to use it in the future.

The main findings showed a varying degree of social media adoption and differing views on the opportunities it presents for the industry in the future. It has been concluded that while it appears that social media has been adopted by the construction industry, it has only been bit part as most companies using the medium seem to only consider it a tool for promotion and few understand or implement it as a collaborative mechanism.

Dissertation Objectives

  • Assess the current use of social media within the construction industry
  • Compare the construction industries use of social media platforms to that of other industries
  • Investigate the reasoning construction companies choose to use or not to use social media
  • Critically appraise the effect of using social media and discover if there is a significant difference for those who have not invested in this medium
  • Consider the opportunities social media provides for a business and understand how it could affect the construction industry in the future
Social Media Construction Industry

Dissertation Contents

1 – Introduction
An introduction to social media in construction
Research rationale
Aim and objectives
Methodology
Secondary data collection
Qualitative research
Dissertation structure

2 – Literature Review
What is social media?
Types social media and the main platforms
Types of social media
Social media platforms
Uses of social media in business
Social media in construction
Social media in other industries
Social media as a collaboration tool

3 – Research Methodology
Quantitative
Qualitative
Chosen approach
Questionnaire design

4 – Data collection and Analysis
Data analysis respondents
Data analysis results
Introduction and general use of social media
How social media influences the perception of the construction industry
Organisations use of social media
The future of social media in construction

5 – Discussion
Social media in the construction industry
Implementing social media into a business
The future of social media in construction

6 – Conclusion, Limitations and Recommendations
General Conclusions
Satisfying the objectives
Analysis of objectives
Limitations
Recommendations

References

Appendix
Interview transcripts

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Digital Media Marketing Research Project

Digital Media

By definition, digital media refers to digitally compressed content that includes photos, audios and even videos, which are then encoded and shared via computer networks. The past decade has experienced a surge in new technology that affects digital media, including the continued release of new and better computers, phones and the tossing of old models. Digital media has affected how a majority of the activities in the world take place; the quality of normal day to day activities has also been highly affected by different digital media works. Learning about the different digital media works and the devices that aid them makes it easy to know how to live within the new standards that continue to be set through this platform.

The focus of this paper is the smartphone. This device was created in the year 1994 where it was only able to work in fifteen states in America. Around twenty years down the line, the smartphone has developed in ways that its inventors never thought was possible. With the numerous apps that it contains and the hundreds of functions that every basic smartphone can perform, digital media continues to thrive. Movies are a type of digital media that have had a lot of resources poured into their development and creation. In the past, it was only possible to access movies at the theater whereas today, people have all the movies that they can watch on their smartphones. The devices have affected the profits that theaters made in the past since people are capable of accessing them even before they reach the theaters. This has affected some human activities by rendering some people jobless, such as people who were previously employed in theaters (Dewdney and Ride).

The kind of advancement that is used in the creation and functioning of the smartphone has led to the users of the phone having open access to all sorts of programs and information found on the internet. People can share information, pictures, and videos with very little restrictions. This has resulted in people making all their decisions based on what the trends state, thus showing the extended influence that smartphones and the digital media accessed through them has on its users. Apps such as Snapchat, have their subscribers taking videos and sharing them with anybody willing to see them on the internet. This has led to human interactions being reduced to interactions through the internet. Smartphone users have very limited face to face interaction with others since they are constantly found on their mobile phones.

Another function of the smartphone is that it makes it easy for gamers to access their games even when they are away from their consoles. The gaming industry is a part of the digital media world that has greatly grown in the past decade. Day after day, new and more improved games come up, most having more and more realistic formats that enable the users to feel like they are in the actual game.

The game developers have gone an extra mile and ensured that a majority of the games have a version that is accessible on smartphones, such as the famous “Call of Duty.” These games have made it increasingly difficult for the gamers to leave their homes and do things that are a lot more productive. Some extreme gamers go to the extent of not leaving their houses for long periods of time simply because they cannot stand being away from their games; and when they do leave the comfort of their homes, they play on their phones. Though they are helping in the growth of the video game industry, some of their activities are affected, such as their health, their social relationships and in general their social skills.

Some smartphone companies have even decided to go into business with owners of video games, where they have the video games featured as part of the apps that are provided on the phone. This has become very advantageous to all the parties involved, and the smartphone companies make more money, the video game owners make money since people play their games and the gamers have something to do with their phones. However, it is important to note that having the games on the smartphones further promotes the anti-social behavior that is exhibited by most gamers. Another effect seen on the human activities is that most smartphone users are not able to cope with a situation in their real lives as they are used to the gaming reality (Healey).

The smartphones are the greatest aids of social media. Numerous social network forums have been created over the past few years, and they are all accessible through the mobile phones. An example of such social media is Facebook. This is a social network that has millions of subscribers who use it to voice their opinions and share parts of their everyday lives with other all over the world.

Digital Media
Digital Media

Such platforms have taken over how people work their life choices and everything that impacts their lives. Social media has transformed the world from a place where people had very high levels of privacy to a place where nothing is private. One can access information about a person by simply using their phone to go through their different social media accounts. Further proving how nothing is private any longer (Matheson). When watching the news, there is always some form of news that is related to social media, showing how much it affects our lives (Healey).

Social media has also made it possible for people to voice their opinions on the issues that affect them. Unlike the past where people could only voice their frustrations about the decisions taken by companies and governments through strikes and other forms of industrial action, today people take their opinions to social media. The most recent example of using social media as an outlet is the “black lives matter movement.” People used social media to show that they were not impressed with the number of African Americans lives that were lost in the United States in a very short span of time. This is a very good example of how social media, has been used to affect human activities (Demers).

People used their mobile phones to spread the message on the importance of black lives. Smartphones have also aided in the increase in negative activities. Schools allow students to have their smartphone even in school, and this has led to the increased cases of bullying. Some students use their phones to access very private information about their “enemies” and then spread it to the rest of the school. This leads to extreme cases of bullying being witnessed in learning institutions.

Smartphones allow people to have access to very many forms of digital media, be it games, movies and or social networks. The forms of digital media that are accessed on smartphones are very similar to those accessed using tablets. Smartphones have taken over what most people do with their time. Though governments have tried to restrict the kind of information that people can access through their smartphones, a lot of it is still accessible to them. The smartphones have a lot of influence on the direction that people take. Numerous human activities continue to be influenced by the different digital media works that are accessible on smartphones. The rate of productivity in teenagers has also reduced when compared to a decade back because the teenagers are constantly on their phones. Some parents go to the extent of buying smartphones for children as young as seven years old, thus exposing them to the many dangers that lurk on the internet. When exposed at such an age, the children have to learn how to live with the social expectations that the society imposes on them through the internet (Perse).

That aside, the digital format in smartphones has made them the most recent form of media use. Using an example of Samsung and the iPhone series, one can see the influence that the two brands have on human activities. The two companies are constantly trying to outdo each other by coming up with new phones, one after the other. Therefore, people work to obtain the latest models of the smartphones. This means that people have become more focused on working to buy the smartphones than working to achieve other goals.

Conclusion

Digital media is the world that is yet to be fully understood and developed. Those people that have managed to break into the digital market have reaped a lot of profits from their ventures. Digital media works have had a lot of influence on human beings for over a decade. People have changed how they view matters depending on how social media reacts to what they have done. Human activities have changed since they have had to evolve so as to reap the many benefits that digital media has to offer. There have been some very notable forms of digital media that have affected how people view things.

A good example is a movie, 12 years a slave that got a lot of media attention by showcasing the plight of a black slave. The movie got people talking and brought up a new form of respect for African Americans whose ancestors were slaves. All in all, people should not let digital media affect their behavior and lives in negative ways. They should make sure that they follow only the positive works that promote and improve the quality of their lives. Parents should also take it upon themselves to ensure that the digital media works that their children are exposed to are closely monitored. This will help curb bad behavior such as bullying, which may develop at an early stage. Digital media works have been thoroughly promoted through smartphones; therefore it is important to make sure that whatever one does with their smartphone does not negatively affect them in their present or future life.

Works Cited

Demers, Joanna. “Discursive Accents in Some Recent Digital Media Works.” Oxford Handbooks Online, 2013.

Dewdney, Andrew, and Peter Ride. The Digital Media Handbook. Routledge, 2014.

Healey, Justin. Social Impacts of Digital Media. Spinney P, 2011.

Matheson, Donald. Media Discourses: Analysing Media Texts. Open UP, 2005.

Perse, Elizabeth M. Media Effects and Society. L. Erlbaum Associates, 2000.

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Trend Forecasting Steps For Analysis

Trend Forecasting Steps

Fashion forecasting is generally a career that involves focusing on upcoming trends in the fashion industry. Fashion and trend forecasting is the future determination of mood, behavior and purchasing habits of consumer at a given time of season. It does not only involve determination of markets, consumers in terms of age, their locations and income but also inquire deeply to get to know what they purchase depending on their culture, beliefs, moods as well as geographical location.  Fashion and trend forecasting is more reliant on fashion cycle and plays a significant role in introductory stage of consistent fashion cycles.

Fashion and trend forecasting involves a series of activities in each of the area it is dealing with. For example it looks at the; season, target market, consumer, colors, fabrics, silhouette, texture and usage. Therefore, comprehending fashion and trend  forecast is not only crucial in determining the success of the ultimate object of the designer but also enhances the continuous repetition of sales in future seasons as well as promoting the fashion cycles.

Unlike in the past when trend forecasting was done manually, current trend forecasting is done using technological forecasting methods although they have been criticized for reducing creativity by most designers. Most trend forecasting are determined by the forecasting method applied by the ultimate user and it is therefore crucial to determine the most appropriate method of trend forecasting in any individuals business model. Generally, any trend forecasting methods involve the following steps (Hines, 2007);

The first step is Problem definition. Although this is the hardest section of forecasting, it is the most important. This step requires keen analysis of how the forecasts will be used, who needs the forecasts as well as how the forecasting technique suits within the firm needs the forecasts. A forecaster should therefore use enough time to every individual who will take part in data collection, keeping the data as well as applying the forecast for future planning. Then gathering of information follows whereby in most cases, statistical or quantitative data and qualitative data are the ones required. Therefore, the collectors of the data should be expertise who can be able to receive the qualitative information from the respondents who are usually the customers if there is no adequate quantitative information (Wong, 2010).

The third step is preliminary analysis, also called exploratory analysis. In this step, the forecaster should consider whether or not there are consistent pattern that lead to significant trend, whether or not there is evidence of business cycles, the presence of outliers in the information that need explanation as well as the extent of relationship between variables present for analysis.

The fourth step is choosing and fitting models. The best method of trend forecasting should depend on the historical data present, the application of the forecasts as well as the extent relationship between the forecasts available and explanatory variables. Some of the methods that can be arrived at includes; exponential smoothing model, ARIMA model, vector autogression, neural networks among others (Wong, 2010).

The last step involves the use and evaluation of the forecasting model. The success of the model can only be determined after the data for the forecast time has been present after which various methods are applied to assess the success of the model.

Research Methodologies

As earlier stated, the main data required in trend forecasting is qualitative, quantitative and mostly commonly, a combination of the two.

The quantitative research methodology start right from the bottom, where agencies and even the manufacturers either inquires directly from the customers on their purchasing preferences or the organization may record the consumers buying habit in a duration of a given time. The consumer’s response is recorded and used to determine preference for some specific garments, accessories or any other product on research, colors, and sizes among other factors of a product. Surveys through mail, customer response or phones are carried through publication as well as contracting market research organizations for manufacturers and as well as retailers.

The survey questions usually relate to life style, income, shopping habits as well as fashion preference. The customers who participate in these surveys are selected by the research company although they should suit with manufacturers or retailers requirements. Informal discussion with consumer enable researchers get information through asking questions to customers about what they would prefer to purchase, the types they prefer to purchase which is currently present as well as the change in products they require and are not available or they cannot reach. Most researchers use small scale retailers because of their contact and conversation with the customers.

Trend Forecasting Steps
Trend Forecasting Steps

The quantitative methodology entails the use of statistical data or information to determine the trend in customer demands and hence forecast on producing what the consumers purchase the most. Statistical data for fashion sector is easily obtainable without necessarily going to the field because it is available in manufacturers or retailers sales records (Hines, 2007).

From such records, the manufacturers can determine which garments, color of the product, size as well as the fashion preference of the consumer. After that, the manufacturer should be able to determine which fashion product should be produced more depending on sales experienced at each season of the year. It is valuable noting that a well-balanced combination of the qualitative and quantitative research methodologies is bound to boost the success of the model selected for trend forecasting.

Conclusion

This paper has attempted to show that the fashion industry has one main purpose; to offer desirable as well as appealing product to not only satisfy the customer needs, demands and aspire to have them but to also keep the product selling in the subsequent business cycles with a similar season. Every successful trend forecast must commence with the consumer through determination of the consumer’s needs to the market as well as the ability to make the consumer adjust the marketplace to his preferences and lifestyles. The paper has also expounded on the two critical methodologies used in forecast research i.e.  the qualitative and quantitative methodologies. It has also emphasized on the need to combine the two methods in order to attain the best results of the model of forecast selected.

References

Hines, T., & Bruce, M. (Eds.). (2007). Fashion marketing: contemporary issues. Routledge.

Wong, W. K., & Guo, Z. X. (2010). A hybrid intelligent model for medium-term sales forecasting in fashion retail supply chains using extreme learning machine and harmony search algorithm. International Journal of Production Economics, 128(2), 614-624.

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Dissertation BREXIT UK Construction Labour Market

Future Impact and Implication of BREXIT on the UK Construction Labour Market

Title: Future Impact and Implication of BREXIT on the UK Construction Labour Market. The construction Industry remains one of the most influential industries within the British economy. As the CBI (Confederation of British Industry) reported, for each £1 spent on construction output, a total of £2.84 in total economic activity is generated. With ambitious government plans and scheduled deadlines around the corner, it is essential for the construction industry to retain an access to the required resources.

The skills shortage remains an issue within an industry where a remedy has not been found to overcome the labour shortfall problem. The foreign workforce has been successfully used in recent years to fill the gap within the construction labour market, but the gap between the retiring workforce and the number of new entrants into the construction market remains significant. The 2016 EU Referendum resulted in a decision to leave European Union.

UK Construction Dissertation BREXIT
UK Construction Dissertation BREXIT

Although exact strategies of dealing with this decision are unknown yet uncertainty started affecting the construction industry immediately after the referendum result. At first, many foreign workers consider transferring their skills to other countries where access to the single market remains unaffected. This dissertation aims to analyse the effect of Brexit on the construction labour market and assess foreign workforce movement within the United Kingdom.

The aim of this dissertation is to analyse the current and potential future trends of foreign worker movement within the UK construction sector.

Dissertation Objectives

  • Provide a clear and precise analysis of the construction industry labour market in UK focussing on the foreign workers coming from EUA8 countries.
  • To evaluate the current tendencies within the market and make reliable assumptions towards the possible changes in trends resulting from Referendum decision.

1 – Introduction
Background
Aims and Objectives
Research Questions
Research Structure

2 – Literature Review
UK Construction – Labour Market
Foreign Workers in Construction Industry
Skills shortage and solutions
BREXIT
Effect of BREXIT on Construction Industry
BREXIT Strategies

3 – Research Methodology
Research Strategy
Quantitative Research
Qualitative Research
Primary Research
The Survey Approach
The Case Study Approach
Secondary Research
Research Ethical Practice
Limitations

4 – Data Analysis
Interviews
Interview Results
Questionnaire
Questionnaire Results
Office for National Statistics

5 – Conclusion
Research Purpose
Research Objectives
Research Limitations
Recommendations for further research

References

Appendix
Questionnaire

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Revenue Recognition Construction IAS 11

Revenue Recognition

A Summary of How Revenue is recognized within the Construction Industry under IAS 11

Title: Revenue Recognition: Construction contracts are designed to meet specifications for the negotiations on how assets are constructed or combined to meet their ultimate objectives (Buschhüter, Michael & Andreas 2011). Contract constructions may involve fixed prices where some are subjected to the cost escalation costs. On the hand, a cost plus contract involves reimbursements or allowable and percentages of costs or the fixed rates present. The changes were made to meet the standards of Financial Accounting (IFRS 15 2014). Revenue is considered to be income earned from everyday activities as it goes by different names such as royalties, dividends, interest, fee or sales.

Revenues that are to be recognized would be from the selling goods, providing services royalties and interest. However, in this case, revenue is to be recognized from the construction of contracts. Construction contracts may be either fixed or cost plus contracts or a combination of the two (IAS 11 2011).

In this regard, a contractor needs to identify and determine what contract to use to know when to recognize revenue and costs as well. When the outcome can be properly estimated, the contract revenues and costs would be recognized as revenues and expenses respectively at the end of the contract period. A loss is also recognized as an expense by the accounting standards.

In fixed price contracts, construction contracts are estimated reliably once total contract revenues are reliable. The revenues are considered as benefits since the effects will be felt positively by any business. Stages of contract completion, as well as, the contract costs have been reliable to meet the standards. All contract costs are to be measured reliably to account for the actual contract costs that would be incurred when compared.

Similarly, for cost plus contract to be enforceable, the economic benefits of the contract have to be passed to the entity. The costs have to be also clearly and easily identified for measurements to be done reliably (IFRS 15 2014). The recognized revenue at the end of a contract is considered to be the percentage of completion. This whereby the contract revenues are matched with the contract costs and then reported in the books of account.

Revenue Recognition
Revenue Recognition

Afterward, the contract revenues and costs are recognized as revenues costs in the profit and loss account. The expected excess of costs over revenues is treated as expenses. If the outcomes are not measured reliably, the revenues will not be recognized and perhaps not even recoverable in the business. An entity will then disclose the revenues recognized during the accounting period as techniques of arriving at the revenues will be recognized as well.

A Description of the Process of Developing New Standards IFRS 15

The International Financial Reporting Standard had to be formed by the Internal Accounting Standards Board; IASB to provide rules and procedures on how to account for revenues that are from customers. There were significant differences between IASB and the IFRS when it came to the definitions of revenue.

Even though they were almost similar, the different understanding of revenue resulted in different ways of treating revenue in financial accounting. The IASB thought they had not given enough revenue standards, policies and procedures on how revenue was treated (IAS 18 1993).

The IASB began working on the issues to try and formulate ways it could solve the issue from 2002.Their first review paper was released in 2008 as they further discussed it and gathered information from relevant sources. Afterward, a release on the exposure draft was done proposing the new accounting standards in 2010 and 2011. After a long process of deliberations and reviews that took several years, the IASB issued the final standard on 28th May 2014.

Changes made about the IAS 18 included recognizing and measuring financial tools revised in 2003 and the 2004 revision of insurance contracts. In 2007, the presentation of financial statements was reviewed through amendments in the different terms used. Their first issued review in 2008, involved investment costs in jointly controlled entities and subsidiaries as well as improvements on the IFRS. The same year also saw IFRIC agreements on issues relating to the constructions of the real estate.

The IFRIC 15 also dealt with issues of the non-monetary contributions by investors in entities that are jointly controlled as they evaluated all legalities in leasing or substance transactions. Barter trade and service concession agreements were also made as they issued customer loyalty programs in 2007 (IAS 18 1993). The IFRS 15 model follows procedures that begin with the; identification of the contracts as well as all individual parties involved.

Transaction prices are also determined as the prices are allocated to the different obligations in accounting. Revenues are finally recognized as the performance obligations are fulfilled. The amount of revenue to recognize and when acquiring costs are capitalized as assets are under the guidelines of the IFRS 15. Any of the expenses not capitalized as assets are considered to be expenses incurred. After all proper recognitions are reporting is done, financials are to be properly disclosed by the company.

Why the Process of Developing New Standards has proven to be difficult and Time-consuming

The new revenue recognition standards had left out key areas that bring in revenue and had not been recognized. New standards on how to recognize revenue had to be set for businesses to follow by the relevant bodies. The objective of the new set of rules and procedures is to explain how the different revenues would be treated.

Revenue recognition is recognized when it estimated to bring economic benefits that are measurable to the business in the future. Therefore, practical guidance is given on how the criteria will be met. The International Accounting Standards Board adopted previously issued the construction contracts and the new standards of recognizing revenue.

IAS 18 was put in place to replace the former methods of recognizing revenue while the IAS 11 replaced some accounting rules on the construction of contacts (Buschhüter, Michael & Andreas 2011). This is to help in knowing how to treat costs and revenues that are associated with the nature of activities undertaken.

Also, due to the then existing rules, changing to new standards had to take long processes of deliberations that were time-consuming. Steps had to be followed as described above as company’s found it hard to easily and quickly adapt to the new set of rules. The new set rules had to be then applied first to see if they would meet the specifications with no interference of other accounts that would result in imbalances in the financial statement and misappropriation and misallocation of resources.

Changing one side would have to result in changing of the other side to cancel out the effects. For instance, in ledger accounts, a debit entry has to be followed a credit entry and vice versa is also true.

What people do not know is that different firms have different accounting rules they follow. A majority however, follow the international standards while others follow the U.S. GAAP principles (Kieso, Jerry & Terry 2010). Unlike the U.S. GAAP, the International Financial Reporting Standards does not always give extensive regulation prompting the need of having some exercises in judgments in some instances. The U.S. GAAP accounting is based on standards while the IFRS focuses more on principles.

The accounting differences have made the financial comparison between different organizations difficult. For instance, actuarial gains and losses are treated differently. They are treated as off-balance sheet items by the IFRS standards unlike under the U.S GAAP. The off-balances in the balance sheets would cause volatilities and fluctuations. Therefore, the IASB is trying as much as it can to harmonize the differences in the standards. This would also take time as the harmonization would require changes in almost every aspect of accounting (IASB 2006). Adaptation by firms would take time as well making it a difficult and a long, tedious process.

A Summary of how the New Standard IFRS 15 would Deal with a Construction Contract where Construction Happened Over One Accounting Period

The important principle of IFRS is that a company would have to recognize revenue for it to be related to the transfer of the commodities and services that were promised and what the company is expected to get. Services rendered depend on the agreement of the specific time it should cover. The period might exceed one accounting period as would be expected.

An accounting period is often considered to take one year. This, therefore, means that more than one accounting period takes more than one year. The work done at construction contracts usually take more than one accounting period. Therefore, rules have to be set that best suit the situation. One of the methods is to recognized revenues or profit at the end of the contract. This would be through following the IAS 18 – Revenue (IAS 18 1993).

Recognizing profit at the end of the period does not show that profit was accrued. Under the IAS 11 all revenues and costs will be matched to the accounting period and documented at the end of each financial period (IAS 11 2011). Recognition of profit at the end of the contract would see the company reporting spikes or rises in profits that may not often be matched with the accruals. This is because the revenues would have accumulated to amounts exceeding what would have been recognized in one accounting period (Ursachi, Antonela, & Geanina 2014).

In this regard, revenues and costs are only recognized once estimations of the outcome are reliable. As stated earlier, properly estimated outcomes from contracts should be reliable for use and interpretation. An expected contract loss should be recognized immediately. The completion stage would be calculated on the basis of sales, costs, and physical proportions.

Revenue recognition done at the end of the construction contracts is known as the percentage of completion method. The reported revenue and costs would later be credited to the proportion of work that was completed (IAS 11 2011). The contract revenue is recognized as revenues while the contract costs as expenses in the profit and loss accounts. Similar to when accounting was done in one accounting period, expected amount that exceeds when contract costs are more than contract revenues are treated as expenses.

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Reference List

Buschhüter, M & Andreas S 2011, ‘IAS 11–Revenue Recognition & Construction Contracts’, Kommentar Internationale Rechnungslegung IFRS. Gabler, 374-391.

International Accounting Standards Board Revenue Recognition: (IASB) 2006, ‘International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS’s): Including International Accounting Standards (IAS’s) and Interpretations’, International Accounting Standards Board.

International Accounting Standards Committee 2010, Revenue Recognition – ‘IAS 18’ Revenue, London: IASC 1993.

Kieso, E, Jerry W, & Terry W 2010, Intermediate accounting – Revenue Recognition: IFRS edition. Vol. 1. John Wiley & Sons.

Ursachi, Antonela, & Geanina M 2014, ‘IFRS 15–revenue from contracts with customers – Revenue Recognition,’ 2nd International Conference-2014.

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