This excerpt taken from the BA 10-K filed Feb 28, 2005.
Contract accounting Contract accounting is used for development and production activities predominately by the Aircraft and Weapons Systems (A&WS), Network Systems, Support Systems, and Launch and Orbital Systems (L&OS) segments within Integrated Defense Systems (IDS). These activities include the following products and systems: military aircraft, helicopters, missiles, space systems, missile defense systems, satellites, rocket engines, and information and battle management systems. The majority of business conducted in these segments is performed under contracts with the U.S. Government and foreign governments that extend over a number of years. Contract accounting involves a judgmental process of estimating the total sales and costs for each contract, which results in the development of estimated cost of sales percentages. For each sale contract, the amount reported as cost of sales is determined by applying the estimated cost of sales percentage to the amount of revenue recognized.
Sales related to contracts with fixed prices are recognized as deliveries are made, except for certain fixed-price contracts that require substantial performance over an extended period before deliveries begin, for which sales are recorded based on the attainment of performance milestones. Sales related to contracts in which we are reimbursed for costs incurred plus an agreed upon profit are recorded as costs are incurred. The majority of these contracts are with the U.S. Government. The Federal
Acquisition regulations provide guidance on the types of cost that will be reimbursed in establishing contract price. Contracts may contain provisions to earn incentive and award fees if targets are achieved. Incentive and award fees that can be reasonably estimated are recorded over the performance period of the contract. Incentive and award fees that cannot be reasonably estimated are recorded when awarded.
Program accounting We use program accounting to account for sales and cost of sales related to all our commercial airplane programs by the Commercial Airplanes segment. Program accounting is a method of accounting applicable to products manufactured for delivery under production-type contracts where profitability is realized over multiple contracts and years. Under program accounting, inventoriable production costs, program tooling costs and warranty costs are accumulated and charged as cost of sales by program instead of by individual units or contracts. A program consists of the estimated number of units (accounting quantity) of a product to be produced in a continuing, long-term production effort for delivery under existing and anticipated contracts. To establish the relationship of sales to cost of sales, program accounting requires estimates of (a) the number of units to be produced and sold in a program, (b) the period over which the units can reasonably be expected to be produced, and (c) the units expected sales prices, production costs, program tooling, and warranty costs for the total program.
We recognize sales for commercial airplane deliveries as each unit is completed and accepted by the customer. Sales recognized represent the price negotiated with the customer, adjusted by an escalation formula. The amount reported as cost of sales is determined by applying the estimated cost of sales percentage for the total remaining program to the amount of sales recognized for airplanes delivered and accepted by the customer.
Service revenue Service revenue is recognized when the service is performed. This method is predominately used by our Support Systems, L&OS and Commercial Airplanes segments. Service activities include the following: Delta launches, ongoing maintenance of International Space Station, Space Shuttle and explosive detection systems, support agreements associated with military aircraft and helicopter contracts and technical and flight operation services for commercial aircraft. BCC lease and financing revenue is also included in Service revenue on the Consolidated Statements of Operations. See the Lease and financing arrangements section below for a discussion of BCCs revenue recognition policies.
Lease and financing arrangements Lease and financing arrangements are used predominately by BCC, our wholly-owned subsidiary, and consist of sales-type/financing leases, operating leases and notes receivable. Revenue and interest income are recognized for our various types of leases and notes receivable as follows:
Sales-type/financing leases At lease inception, we record an asset (net investment) representing the aggregate future minimum lease payments, estimated residual value of the leased equipment and unearned income. Income is recognized over the life of the lease to approximate a level rate of return on the net investment. Residual values, which are reviewed periodically, represent the estimated amount we expect to receive at lease termination from the disposition of leased equipment. Actual residual values realized could differ from these estimates.
Operating leases Revenue on the leased aircraft and equipment representing rental fees and financing charges is recorded on a straight-line basis over the term of the lease.
Notes receivable At commencement of a note receivable issued for the purchase of aircraft or equipment, we record the note and any unamortized discounts. Interest income and amortization of any discounts are recorded ratably over the related term of the note.