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Recognizing Income and Budgeting for Counter Cyclical Payments

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The counter cyclical (CC) program authorized under the 2002 Farm Bill can make payments for a program year across two calendar years. For example, payments for the 2003 program year can occur in 2003 and 2004. Many farmers prepare financial statements at the end of the year. At year-end 2003, income from the 2003 program year that will be received in 2004 should be recognized on the 2003 income statement, thereby causing a matching of revenue to expenses. At year-end 2003, however, the amount of CC payments that will occur in 2004 will not be known. Not knowing the amount of future CC payments presents difficult in 1) determining how much revenue to recognize on the 2003 income statement and 2) determining the amount of CC payments to include on 2004 cash flow budgets. This newsletter addresses these two issues. Before discussing these issues, the mechanics and timing of CC payments are described because they have direct impacts on revenue recognition and cash flow budgeting.

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