This excerpt taken from the BFSB 10-K filed Dec 31, 2007.
Critical Accounting Policies
We consider accounting policies that require management to exercise significant judgment or discretion or make significant assumptions that have, or could have, a material impact on the carrying value of certain assets or on income, to be critical accounting policies. We consider the following to be our critical accounting policies:
Allowance for Loan Losses. The allowance for loan losses is the estimated amount considered necessary to cover credit losses inherent in the loan portfolio at the balance sheet date. The allowance is established through the provision for loan losses which is charged against income. In determining the allowance for loan losses, management makes significant estimates and has identified this policy as one of the most critical for the Bank. The methodology for determining the allowance for loan losses is considered a critical accounting policy by management due to the high degree of judgment involved, the subjectivity of the assumptions utilized and the potential for changes in the economic environment that could result in changes to the amount of the recorded allowance for loan losses.
As a substantial amount of our loan portfolio is collateralized by real estate, appraisals of the underlying value of property securing loans and discounted cash flow valuations of properties are critical in determining the amount of the allowance required for specific loans. Assumptions for appraisals and discounted cash flow valuations are instrumental in determining the value of properties. Overly optimistic assumptions or negative changes to assumptions could significantly impact the valuation of a property securing a loan and the related allowance determined. The assumptions supporting such appraisals and discounted cash flow valuations are carefully reviewed by management to determine that the resulting values reasonably reflect amounts realizable on the related loans.
Management performs a quarterly evaluation of the adequacy of the allowance for loan losses. Consideration is given to a variety of factors in establishing this estimate including, but not limited to, current economic conditions, delinquency statistics, geographic and industry concentrations, the adequacy of the underlying collateral, the financial strength of the borrower, results of internal and external loan reviews and other relevant factors. This evaluation is inherently subjective as it requires material estimates that may be susceptible to significant revision based on changes in economic and real estate market conditions.
The analysis of the allowance for loan losses has two components: specific and general allocations. Specific allocations are made for loans that are determined to be impaired. Impairment is measured by determining the present value of expected future cash flows or, for collateral-dependent loans, the fair value of the collateral adjusted for market conditions and selling expenses. The general allocation is determined by segregating the remaining loans by type of loan, risk weighting (if applicable) and payment history. We also analyze historical loss experience, delinquency trends, general economic conditions and geographic and industry concentrations. This analysis establishes factors that are applied to the loan groups to determine the amount of the general allocations. Actual loan losses may be significantly more than the allowance for loan losses we have established which could have a material negative effect on our financial results.
Deferred Income Taxes. We use the asset and liability method of accounting for income taxes. Under this method, deferred tax assets and liabilities are recognized for the future tax consequences attributable to differences between the financial statement carrying amounts of existing assets and liabilities and their respective tax bases. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are measured using enacted tax rates expected to apply to taxable income in the years in which those temporary differences are expected to be recovered or settled. If current available information raises doubt as to the realization of the deferred tax assets, a valuation allowance is established. We consider the determination of this valuation allowance to be a critical accounting policy because of the need to exercise significant judgment in evaluating the amount and timing of recognition of deferred tax liabilities and assets, including projections of future taxable income. These judgments and estimates are reviewed on a continual basis as regulatory and business factors change. A valuation allowance for deferred tax assets may be required if the amount of taxes recoverable through loss carryback declines, or if we project lower levels of future taxable income. Such a valuation allowance would be established through a charge to income tax expense which would adversely affect our operating results.