I'm getting ready to graduate with my Bachelors in Accounting.
There are plenty of opportunities out there for Accountants right now. I've been taking special interest into a couple of software development companies, mainly video games, and I've been studying some of their financial reports.
All of which are following GAAP to the best of my knowledge. However, many if not all, also do a side-by-side separate set of books which don't follow GAAP which are supposed (at least I assume) to give investors a better picture of when revenue comes in along with long periods of expenses without revenue during actual development times.
Now some companies revenue stream functions very differently. Since this is MMO-Champion which first and foremost a WoW fan site, lets take blizzard for example. Their revenue stream is pretty constant with subscriptions. However, warcraft is not their only franchise, so you have spikes in the revenue stream around the release of new games or expansions. In some cases (in years when there is no scheduled release) it will appear like the company is not growing, which to investors would be a bad sign. Which is why (I think) they would want separate set of books following a different standard.
(1) My question is what standard (if any) are they following? Is this a standard that is common for similar industries where they have long periods of development and almost no revenue, and then HUGE influxes of revenue?
(2) Do they have separate accountants for GAAP and for the unorthodox standard? Or do their accountants do twice as much work to provide financial statements in the special standard?
(3) When it comes time to be audited, how is the other standard treated? If an auditors job is to provide assurance to investors that the financial statements are accurately stated and in accordance with GAAP, but the GAAP standards do not accurately reflect the position of the company where as the other standards do how would an Auditor provide an accurate opinion.