RVSN » Topics » Critical Accounting Policies

This excerpt taken from the RVSN 20-F filed Jun 5, 2007.

Critical Accounting Policies

        We have identified the following policies as critical to the understanding of our financial statements. The preparation of our financial statements requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of sales and expenses during the reporting periods. Areas where significant judgments are made include, but are not limited to, revenue recognition, allowance for doubtful accounts, inventory valuation, goodwill and intangible assets, warranty, income tax valuation allowance, tax contingencies and contingencies. Actual results could differ materially from these estimates.

        Revenue Recognition. We account for our revenue in accordance with the provisions of SOP 97-2, “Software Revenue Recognition,” issued by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and as amended by SOP 98-9 and related interpretations. When an arrangement does not require significant production, modification or customization of software or does not contain services considered to be essential to the functionality of the software, revenue is recognized when the following four criteria are met:

  Persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists. We require evidence of an agreement with a customer specifying the terms and conditions of the products or services to be delivered typically in the form of a signed contract, statement of work or purchase order.

  Delivery has occurred. For software licenses, delivery takes place when the customer is given access to the software programs via access to a web site or shipped medium. For sales of videoconferencing systems that are delivered physically, delivery takes place upon transfer of the videoconferencing system to the customer’s possession. For services, delivery takes place as the services are provided.

  The fee is fixed or determinable. Fees are fixed or determinable if they are not subject to a refund or cancellation and do not have payment terms that exceed our standard payment terms. Typical payment terms are between net 30 days to net 90 days.

  Collection is probable. We perform a credit review of all customers with significant transactions to determine whether a customer is credit worthy and collection is probable.

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        In general, revenues are recognized as follows: (i) revenues from license fees and sales of products are recognized when persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists, delivery has occurred, no significant obligations with regard to implementation remain, the fee is fixed or determinable and collectability is probable; (ii) maintenance, upgrade protection and technical support is deferred and recognized on a straight-line basis over the term of the maintenance and support agreement; (iii) other services are recognized as the services are performed; and (iv) revenues from royalties are recognized at the time of shipment by customers, as they are reported to us by those customers, and when collectability is probable.

        We exercise judgment and use estimates in connection with the determination of the amount of product software license and services revenues to be recognized in each accounting period. If collection is not considered probable, revenue is recognized when the fee is collected. We record provisions against revenue for estimated sales returns and allowances on product and service-related sales in the same period as the related revenue is recorded. These estimates are based on historical sales returns and analyses of credit memo data, and other known factors. If the historical data we use to calculate these estimates do not accurately reflect future returns, adjustments to these reserves may be required that would increase or decrease revenue or net income.

        Many of our arrangements include multiple elements. Such elements typically include any or all of the following: products or software licenses, software maintenance and technical support and in some cases customization and development of software. For multiple-element arrangements that do not involve significant modification or customization of the software and do not involve services that are considered essential to the functionality of the software, revenues are allocated to the different elements in the arrangement under the “residual method” since vendor-specific objective evidence, or VSOE, of fair value exists for all undelivered elements and no VSOE exists for the delivered elements. Under the residual method, at the outset of the arrangement with the customer, we defer revenue for the fair value of our undelivered elements (maintenance and support) and recognize revenue for the remainder of the arrangement fee attributable to the elements initially delivered in the arrangement (software product) when all other criteria in SOP 97-2 have been met. Any discount in the arrangement is allocated to the delivered element. If sufficient specific objective evidence does not exist for all undelivered elements, revenue is deferred for the entire arrangement until all revenue recognition criteria are met for such undelivered elements.

        The VSOE of fair value of the maintenance and support services included in multiple element arrangements is determined based on the price charged when sold separately (i.e. when renewed).

        In the case of multiple-element arrangements that involve significant modification or customization of the software or involve services that are considered essential to the functionality of the software, contract accounting is applied according to the provisions of SOP 81-1, “Accounting for Performance of Construction-Type and Certain Production-Type Contracts,” in accordance with which revenues are recognized on the percentage of completion basis, when collectability is probable. Percentage of completion is determined based on the “output method,” meaning upon completion of milestones. However, in cases where uncertainty exists subsequent to the completion of the milestone with regard to customer acceptance, revenue is not recognized until actual customer acceptance. The recognition of losses on contracts is reflected in the period in which the changes or losses become known.

        Allowances for Doubtful Accounts. We perform ongoing credit evaluations of our customers’ financial condition and we require collateral as deemed necessary. We maintain allowances for doubtful accounts for estimated losses resulting from the inability of our customers to make payments. In judging the adequacy of the allowance for doubtful accounts, we consider multiple factors including the aging of our receivables, historical bad debt experience and the general economic environment. Management applies considerable judgment in assessing the realization of receivables, including assessing the probability of collection and the current credit worthiness of each customer. If the financial condition of our customers were to deteriorate, resulting in an impairment of their ability to make payments, additional allowances may be required.

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        Inventories. Inventories are stated at the lower of cost or market. Cost is determined by the average cost method. We write down obsolete or slow moving inventory in an amount equal to the difference between the cost of inventory and the estimated market value based upon assumptions about future demand, market conditions and sale forecasts. If actual market conditions are less favorable than we anticipate, additional inventory write-downs may be required.

        Warranty Reserves. Upon shipment of products to our customers, we provide for the estimated cost to repair or replace products that may be returned under warranty. Our warranty period is typically 12 months from the date of shipment although this may vary depending on the demands of the customer. For existing products, the reserve is estimated based on actual historical experience. Factors that may impact our warranty costs in the future include our reliance on our contract manufacturer to provide quality products and the fact that our products are complex and may contain undetected defects, errors or failures in either the hardware or the software.

        Goodwill and Intangible Assets. Goodwill represents the excess of the purchase price over the fair value of identifiable net assets acquired in business combinations. The goodwill on our balance sheet is a result of our acquisitions of the assets of FVC in March 2005 and VisionNex Technologies, Inc., or VisionNex, in September 2004. The identifiable intangible assets, other than goodwill, included in our balance sheet are technology and distribution networks acquired from FVC and VisionNex. We review goodwill for potential impairment at least annually and other intangible assets when events or changes in circumstances indicate the carrying value of the other intangible assets may be impaired, in which case we may obtain an appraisal from an independent valuation firm to determine the amount of impairment, if any. In addition to the possible use of an independent valuation firm, we perform internal valuation analyses. We determine fair value using widely accepted valuation techniques, including discounted cash flow analysis. This type of analysis requires us to make assumptions and estimates regarding industry economic factors and the profitability of future business strategies. It is our policy to conduct impairment testing based on our current business strategy in light of present industry and economic conditions, as well as future expectations. As of December 31, 2006 we determined there was no impairment of the VisionNex and FVC goodwill. If actual results are not consistent with our assumptions and estimates, we may be exposed to a goodwill impairment charge.

        Tax Valuation Allowance. Estimates and judgments are required in the determination of the recoverability of certain of the deferred tax assets, which arise from net operating losses and temporary differences between the tax and financial statement bases of assets and liabilities. Statement of Financial Accounting Standards, or SFAS, No. 109, “Accounting for Income Taxes,” requires that the deferred tax assets be reduced by a valuation allowance, if based on the weight of available evidence, it is more likely than not that some portion or all of the recorded deferred tax assets will not be realized in future periods.

        In evaluating our ability to recover our deferred tax assets, in full or in part, we consider all available positive and negative evidence including our past operating results, the existence of cumulative losses in the most recent fiscal years and our forecast of future taxable income on a jurisdiction by jurisdiction basis. In determining future taxable income, we are responsible for assumptions utilized, including the amount of Israel and international pre-tax operating income, the reversal of temporary differences and the implementation of feasible and prudent tax planning strategies. These assumptions require significant judgment about the forecasts of future taxable income and are consistent with the plans and estimates we use to manage the underlying businesses.

        Based on estimates of future taxable profits and losses in certain foreign tax jurisdictions, we determined that a valuation allowance of $1.4 million was required for specific tax loss carryforwards and other temporary differences as of December 31, 2006. If these estimates prove inaccurate, a change in the valuation allowance could be required in the future.

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        Tax contingencies. Like most companies, domestic and foreign tax authorities periodically audit our income tax returns. These audits include questions regarding our tax filing positions, including the timing and amount of deductions and the allocation of income among various tax jurisdictions. In evaluating the exposure associated with our various tax filing positions, including state, foreign and local taxes, we record reserve for probable exposures. A number of years may elapse before a particular matter, for which we have established a reserve, is audited and fully resolved. The estimate of our tax contingency reserve contains uncertainty because management must use judgment to estimate the exposure associated with our various filing positions. Although management believes that the estimates and judgments about the tax contingencies are reasonable, actual results could differ, and we may be exposed to gains or losses that could be material. To the extent we prevail in matters for which reserves have been established, or are required to pay amounts in excess of the reserve, our effective tax rate in a given financial statements period could be materially affected. An unfavorable tax settlement would require use of our cash and result in an increase in our effective tax rate in the year of resolution. A favorable tax settlement would be recognized as a reduction in our effective tax rate in the year of resolution.

        Contingencies. We are involved in legal proceedings and other claims from time to time. We are required to assess the likelihood of any adverse judgments or outcomes to these matters, as well as potential ranges of probable losses. A determination of the amount of reserves required, if any, for any contingencies are made after careful analysis of each individual claim. The required reserves may change due to future developments in each matter or changes in approach, such as a change in the settlement strategy in dealing with any contingencies, which may result in higher net loss. If actual results are not consistent with our assumptions and judgments, we may be exposed to gains or losses that could be material. See “Item 8A. Financial Information – Consolidated Statements and Other Financial Information – Legal Proceedings.”

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