Accounting rule change approved by FASB

The change allows companies like Apple to recognize revenue much faster.

After a preliminary agreement last week the Financial Accounting Standards Board made it official Wednesday, accepting proposed changes to how companies recognize revenue.

iPhone accounting rules
With a change in accounting rules, we'll soon have a more accurate picture of the iPhone's success. James Martin/CNET

The change will be of particular interest to companies like Apple, which has stuck to a rather bewildering accounting practice of recognizing revenue from sales of the iPhone and Apple TV over a period of two years, or eight financial quarters. The practice was put in place on those two products to avoid charging a fee for every product upgrade--something Apple was told it would need to satisfy accounting regulations that require companies to establish a value for product upgrades.

The new rule won't change the amount of revenue coming into corporate coffers, but it will allow investors to have a more accurate picture of how much money companies are making every quarter. Apple is a company that many point to as benefiting from this rule change because of the enormous popularity of the iPhone.

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