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Accounting Changes Vex Investors: Microsoft, AT&T

Accounting benefits for phone companies have made some telecom investors scratch their heads, and upcoming revenue-recognition changes for software companies could be the next conundrum.

The good news for technology stock investors is that the accounting changes for software companies have been "effectively delayed until 2018," says a Citigroup report. The bad news is that there's a long list of companies that would be impacted.

They include: Adobe Systems (NASDAQ:ADBE), security firm Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), (NYSE:CRM) and Splunk (NASDAQ:SPLK).

Industry "deliberations" over the new software revenue accounting standards will heat up in Fall, 2015, says Citigroup analyst Walter Pritchard in a report. "Proposed changes are significant and make revenue treatment less conservative," he said.

Accounting standards bodies FASB and...