Note 2: Our Significant Accounting Policies
We recognize revenue upon shipment or delivery to our customers based on written sales terms that do not allow for a right of return. However, our policy for DSD and certain chilled products is to remove and replace damaged and out-of-date products from store shelves to ensure that our consumers receive the product quality and freshness that they expect. Similarly, our policy for certain warehouse-distributed products is to replace damaged and out-of-date products. Based on our experience with this practice, we have reserved for anticipated damaged and out-of-date products. For additional unaudited information on our revenue recognition and related policies, including our policy on bad debts, see "Our Critical Accounting Policies" in Management's Discussion and Analysis. We are exposed to concentration of credit risk by our customers, including Wal-Mart. In 2011, Wal-Mart (including Sam's) represented approximately 11% of our total net revenue, including concentrate sales to our independent bottlers which are used in finished goods sold by them to Wal-Mart. We have not experienced credit issues with these customers.
Sales Incentives and Other Marketplace Spending
We offer sales incentives and discounts through various programs to our customers and consumers. Sales incentives and discounts are accounted for as a reduction of revenue and totaled $34.6 billion in 2011, $29.1 billion in 2010 and $12.9 billion in 2009. While most of these incentive arrangements have terms of no more than one year, certain arrangements, such as fountain pouring rights, may extend beyond one year. Costs incurred to obtain these arrangements are recognized over the shorter of the economic or contractual life, as a reduction of revenue, and the remaining balances of $288 million as of December 31, 2011 and $296 million as of December 25, 2010, are included in current assets and other assets on our balance sheet. For additional unaudited information on our sales incentives, see "Our Critical Accounting Policies" in Management's Discussion and Analysis.
Other marketplace spending, which includes the costs of advertising and other marketing activities, totaled $3.5 billion in 2011, $3.4 billion in 2010 and $2.8 billion in 2009 and is reported as selling, general and administrative expenses. Included in these amounts were advertising expenses of $1.9 billion in 2011 and 2010 and $1.7 billion in 2009. Deferred advertising costs are not expensed until the year first used and consist of:
- media and personal service prepayments;
- promotional materials in inventory; and
- production costs of future media advertising.
Deferred advertising costs of $163 million and $158 million at year-end 2011 and 2010, respectively, are classified as prepaid expenses on our balance sheet.
Distribution costs, including the costs of shipping and handling activities, are reported as selling, general and administrative expenses. Shipping and handling expenses were $9.2 billion in 2011, $7.7 billion in 2010 and $5.6 billion in 2009.
Cash equivalents are investments with original maturities of three months or less.
We capitalize certain computer software and software development costs incurred in connection with developing or obtaining computer software for internal use when both the preliminary project stage is completed and it is probable that the software will be used as intended. Capitalized software costs include only (i) external direct costs of materials and services utilized in developing or obtaining computer software, (ii) compensation and related benefits for employees who are directly associated with the software project and (iii) interest costs incurred while developing internal-use computer software. Capitalized software costs are included in property, plant and equipment on our balance sheet and amortized on a straight-line basis when placed into service over the estimated useful lives of the software, which approximate five to 10 years. Software amortization totaled $156 million in 2011, $137 million in 2010 and $119 million in 2009. Net capitalized software and development costs were $1.3 billion as of December 31, 2011 and $1.1 billion as of December 25, 2010.
Commitments and Contingencies
We are subject to various claims and contingencies related to lawsuits, certain taxes and environmental matters, as well as commitments under contractual and other commercial obligations. We recognize liabilities for contingencies and commitments when a loss is probable and estimable. For additional information on our commitments, see Note 9.
Research and Development
We engage in a variety of research and development activities and continue to invest to accelerate growth in these activities and to drive innovation globally. These activities principally involve the development of new products, improvement in the quality of existing products, improvement and modernization of production processes, and the development and implementation of new technologies to enhance the quality and value of both current and proposed product lines. Consumer research is excluded from research and development costs and included in other marketing costs. Research and development costs were $525 million in 2011, $488 million in 2010 and $414 million in 2009 and are reported within selling, general and administrative expenses.
Other Significant Accounting Policies
Our other significant accounting policies are disclosed as follows:
- Property, Plant and Equipment and Intangible Assets — Note 4, and for additional unaudited information on goodwill and other intangible assets, see "Our Critical Accounting Policies" in Management's Discussion and Analysis.
- Income Taxes — Note 5, and for additional unaudited information, see "Our Critical Accounting Policies" in Management's Discussion and Analysis.
- Stock-Based Compensation — Note 6.
- Pension, Retiree Medical and Savings Plans — Note 7, and for additional unaudited information, see "Our Critical Accounting Policies" in Management's Discussion and Analysis.
- Financial Instruments — Note 10, and for additional unaudited information, see "Our Business Risks" in Management's Discussion and Analysis.
Recent Accounting Pronouncements
In June 2009, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) amended its accounting guidance on the consolidation of variable interest entities (VIE). Among other things, the new guidance requires a qualitative rather than a quantitative assessment to determine the primary beneficiary of a VIE based on whether the entity (1) has the power to direct matters that most significantly impact the activities of the VIE and (2) has the obligation to absorb losses or the right to receive benefits of the VIE that could potentially be significant to the VIE. In addition, the amended guidance requires an ongoing reconsideration of the primary beneficiary. The provisions of this guidance were effective as of the beginning of our 2010 fiscal year, and the adoption did not have a material impact on our financial statements.
In the second quarter of 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was signed into law. The PPACA changes the tax treatment related to an existing retiree drug subsidy (RDS) available to sponsors of retiree health benefit plans that provide a benefit that is at least actuarially equivalent to the benefits under Medicare Part D. As a result of the PPACA, RDS payments will effectively become taxable in tax years beginning in 2013, by requiring the amount of the subsidy received to be offset against our deduction for health care expenses. The provisions of the PPACA required us to record the effect of this tax law change beginning in our second quarter of 2010, and consequently we recorded a one-time related tax charge of $41 million in the second quarter of 2010. We continue to evaluate the longer-term impacts of this legislation.
In June 2011, the FASB amended its accounting guidance on the presentation of comprehensive income in financial statements to improve the comparability, consistency and transparency of financial reporting and to increase the prominence of items that are recorded in other comprehensive income. The new accounting guidance requires entities to report components of comprehensive income in either (1) a continuous statement of comprehensive income or (2) two separate but consecutive statements. In December 2011, the FASB approved a deferral of the effective date of certain requirements related to the presentation and disclosure of reclassification adjustments from other comprehensive income to net income. The provisions of the retained guidance are effective as of the beginning of our 2012 fiscal year. We do not expect the adoption of this guidance to have a material impact on our financial statements.
In September 2011, the FASB issued new accounting guidance that permits an entity to first assess qualitative factors of whether it is more likely than not that a reporting unit's fair value is less than its carrying amount before applying the two-step goodwill impairment test. An entity would continue to perform the historical first step of the impairment test if it fails the qualitative assessment, while no further analysis would be required if it passes. The provisions of the new guidance are effective for our 2012 goodwill impairment test. We are currently evaluating the impact of the new guidance on our financial statements.
In September 2011, the FASB amended its guidance regarding the disclosure requirements for employers participating in multiemployer pension and other postretirement benefit plans (multiemployer plans) to improve transparency and increase awareness of the commitments and risks involved with participation in multiemployer plans. The new accounting guidance requires employers participating in multiemployer plans to provide additional quantitative and qualitative disclosures to provide users with more detailed information regarding an employer's involvement in multiemployer plans. The provisions of this new guidance were effective as of the beginning of our 2011 fiscal year. We have reviewed our level of participation in multiemployer plans and determined that the impact of adopting this new guidance did not have a material impact on our financial statements.
In December 2011, the FASB issued new disclosure requirements that are intended to enhance current disclosures on offsetting financial assets and liabilities. The new disclosures require an entity to disclose both gross and net information about financial instruments eligible for offset on the balance sheet and instruments and transactions subject to an agreement similar to a master netting arrangement. The provisions of the new disclosure requirements are effective as of the beginning of our 2014 fiscal year. We are currently evaluating the impact of the new guidance on our financial statements.Back Next