Bloomberg Tax
Aug. 18, 2021, 8:46 AMUpdated: Aug. 18, 2021, 11:53 AM

Ridesharing Companies Navigate Tricky Revenue Accounting Rules (1)

Nicola M. White
Nicola M. White

The Southeast Asian ride-hailing company slated to go public via one of the biggest SPAC deals of the year announced in early August it would have to cut its 2020 full-year revenue by more than half.

The warning by Grab Holdings Inc.—which is being folded into a special purpose acquisition company—wasn’t tied to economic or pandemic-related issues, but a complex accounting rule. Grab had earlier tallied customer perks and incentives as marketing expenses instead of deducting them from its overall revenue, the Singapore-based startup said.

What may sound like a small accounting change had a big impact. The company slashed ...

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