What is subscription revenue recognition? Total Guide for Video Games

Subscriber businesses must understand the revenue recognition principles for maximum profits. Revenue recognition follows GAAP principles and shows the accounting method of recording revenue in an accounting book. For subscriptions, revenues can only be counted if the money from a product or service, per contract was earned or if it was collected. 

What is subscription revenue? 

Subscriptions are predictable, recurring revenues for subscription periods often processed with direct debit that is easy to integrate. Subscriber revenues often lead to stronger customer retention. Clients can also forecast costs throughout their plans and budget accordingly. 

During the period the business will be able to generate revenue that reflects the company’s performance obligation, which consists primarily in providing a service the client is agreed upon in exchange for the payment.

Why is revenue recognition important for video game billing? 

Knowing revenues is integral to your business’s overall financial visibility. If you recorded revenue in advance, you might think you can invest more in the future than the available funds are available. On the contrary, not knowing revenues means you’re underestimating the resources and you missed opportunities for investment. In other words, you will also have to accurately identify the amount and time you’ll need to make revolving credit card payments. Your firm will suffer if you have no idea how accurate rev rec impacts business decision-making. According to PayPro Global, ‘the selling process is very much linked to the idea of tax management’ . It is important to focus on managing taxes on your revenue and only after calculating profits. So, consider working with a merchant of record for video games to ease up your work. 

Making SaaS Revenue Recognition Easy 

Revenue recognition is an important component of accounting for all businesses and especially the ones reporting the earnings to banks. Software companies are notoriously tough at implementing US GAAP standards and constantly modifying regulations due to the variety of products offered by them to customers. Because tech and SaaS companies offer discounts and incentives for each customer, revenue recognition becomes increasingly difficult. It provides a structure for determining and reporting the revenue of businesses. 

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Deferred revenue is key to financial health for subscription billing 

You make money every time you offer a service. Unearned income could create problems for customers requesting reimbursement or canceling. Using revenue to defer the cost is an unnecessary cost and protects your cash flow. Historically companies were not able to slash revenue. Usually, items are sold in a store or in a store. Software is simply buying and copying a disc on your computer’s hard drive or computer. Customers owned the products they bought but would wait a year to upgrade the technology. 

The revenue recognition principle 

Revenue Recognition refers to the conversion of cash to revenue using bookkeeping. Under GAAP, revenue recognition constitutes the requirement under which revenues can be reflected on financial statements and provides the necessary accounting method. Is this really a simple concept?

Is $12,000 a year worth of income? Is that possible? No. Revenues can only be recognized by ensuring that these goods and services are met. 

The accounting process 

Accumulation accounting is when revenue and expenses occur when they occur, irrespective of when the actual cash is received. Accumulation accounting is good for subscriptions since accrued revenues are tracked in a proper way to determine the MRR. This method of accounting is more widely adopted than a cash-based accounting method and recognizes revenues and expenses from cash transactions and payments.

Despite its complex nature, accrual accounting can help grow a large inventory-intensive company. A firm with a gross revenue average of over $225 million annually has to apply the accrual system, according to the IRS. 

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Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) & Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) 

Recurring profits are why SaaS attracts customers. Annual Revenue (ARR) identifies recurring revenues an organization may expect if the annual subscriptions are not used as recurring. Monthly Revenue (MRR) is recurring revenue converted into monthly terms. New MRR is the new monthly recurring income created through subscription creation over the corresponding period. Expansion MRR: A recurring income that can be earned by your existing client base. Conversion MRRs loss was caused by cancellations, downgrades to higher-cost plans, non-renewal, or removal of recurring Add-Ons. 


Booking is a forward-looking measurement that primarily shows what a contract with prospective customers represents. Booking means that a client’s commitment is that you will make payment for your products. The most common forms of booking are new booking renewals and upgraded reservations. A multi-year contract booking with at least 1% committed revenues will be treated as an annual contract value (ACV) booked booking. While ACV speaks of annual sums as the total cost of the reservation (TCVs), the calculation is based on total contractual value.


Revenue consists of money earned by providing a service to a person who uses the service. Each month a successful delivery will bring revenue to your business. According to GAAP rules, revenues may be credited only if they were earned. If you only consider bookings and invoices you could get inflated estimates of results. A better approach is to keep track of recognized revenues, the amount of money the firm actually earns for a product or service. Let’s learn the basics of the calculation of SaaS reservation and billing as well as MRR in detail. 


A billing statement is a statement billed to clients. The duration of a particular month can vary. The billing is basically money owed by the buyer. When SaaS services have low booking rates, they can indicate future cash flow problems. To keep a stable cash flow, a SaaS company must find ways to encourage clients to pay upfront as well as increase their billings. Those discounts may come from a monthly payment discount. 

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How does revenue recognition work? 

The cash was in their accounts. However, the money cannot be considered revenue since MovieWatch doesn’t offer the service. Movie Watch has notified its subscribers on Facebook that they will no longer be receiving their movies. In this way, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) accounting rule requires MovieWatch to delay the earnings. 

The importance of accounting standards

A financial reporting system is implemented under the accounting standard. Revenue recognition is a principle of the GAAP Accounting Principle (GAAP USA), which is governed by the Financial Accounting Standards Board. IFRS 15 is an alternative that is widely used across countries and is regulated by the International Accounting Standards Board. 


This guide is a comprehensive resource for subscription-based businesses to understand and apply the new revenue recognition standard ASC 606. The topics covered include identifying performance obligations, allocating transaction prices, and applying practical expedients. We hope you find this guide helpful as your business transitions to the new standard. If you have any questions or need additional assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.


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