It's the biggest item in a financial statement, and the most frequent cause of restatements. Elements of its generally accepted accounting principles appear in over 200 pronouncements from half a dozen standard-setters. It causes confusion. It shakes the market. It tempts fraud.It's the perpetual and dizzying headache called revenue recognition - and even the Conceptual Framework of the Financial Accounting Standards Board can't agree with itself on the nature of the beast.

For all of these reasons, and others, FASB is grappling with this huge issue, and though progress has been slow, it is still moving forward.

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