downloadhomeclose window
  choose a destination:
  Financial Review returnnext  
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23

Notes to Financial Statements


Accounting Policies

Accounting Principles
The financial statements and accompanying notes are prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States.

Principles of Consolidation
The financial statements include the accounts of Microsoft and its subsidiaries. Significant intercompany transactions and balances have been eliminated. Investments in unconsolidated joint ventures are accounted for using the equity method; the Company's share of joint ventures' activities is reflected in other expenses.

Estimates and Assumptions
Preparing financial statements requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenue, and expenses. Examples include provisions for returns, concessions and bad debts, and the length of product life cycles and buildings' lives. Actual results may differ from these estimates.

Foreign Currencies
Assets and liabilities recorded in foreign currencies are translated at the exchange rate on the balance sheet date. Translation adjustments resulting from this process are charged or credited to other comprehensive income. Revenue and expenses are translated at average rates of exchange prevailing during the year. Gains and losses on foreign currency transactions are included in other expenses.

Revenue Recognition
Revenue is recognized when earned. The Company's revenue recognition policies are in compliance with all applicable accounting regulations, including American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Statement of Position (SOP) 97-2, Software Revenue Recognition, and SOP 98-9, Modification of SOP 97-2, With Respect to Certain Transactions. Revenue from products licensed to original equipment manufacturers is recorded when OEMs ship licensed products while revenue from certain license programs is recorded when the software has been delivered and the customer is invoiced. Revenue from packaged product sales to and through distributors and resellers is recorded when related products are shipped. Maintenance and subscription revenue is recognized ratably over the contract period. Revenue attributable to undelivered elements, including technical support and Internet browser technologies, is based on the average sales price of those elements and is recognized ratably on a straight-line basis over the product's life cycle. When the revenue recognition criteria required for distributor and reseller arrangements are not met, revenue is recognized as payments are received. Costs related to insignificant obligations, which include telephone support for certain products, are accrued. Provisions are recorded for returns, concessions and bad debts.

Cost of Revenue
Cost of revenue includes direct costs to produce and distribute product and direct costs to provide online services, consulting, product support, and training and certification of system integrators.

Research and Development
Research and development costs are expensed as incurred. Statement of Financial Accounting Standards (SFAS) 86, Accounting for the Costs of Computer Software to Be Sold, Leased, or Otherwise Marketed, does not materially affect the Company.

Advertising Costs
Advertising costs are expensed as incurred. Advertising expense was $732 million in 1998, $804 million in 1999, and $1.1 billion in 2000.

Income Taxes
Income tax expense includes U.S. and international income taxes, plus the provision for U.S. taxes on undistributed earnings of international subsidiaries. Certain items of income and expense are not reported in tax returns and financial statements in the same year. The tax effect of this difference is reported as deferred income taxes.

Financial Instruments
The Company considers all liquid interest-earning investments with a maturity of three months or less at the date of purchase to be cash equivalents. Short-term investments generally mature between three months and six years from the purchase date. All cash and short-term investments are classified as available for sale and are recorded at market using the specific identification method; unrealized gains and losses are reflected in other comprehensive income. Cost approximates market for all classifications of cash and short-term investments; realized and unrealized gains and losses were not material.
      Equity and other investments include debt and equity instruments. Debt securities and publicly traded equity securities are classified as available for sale and are recorded at market using the specific identification method. Unrealized gains and losses are reflected in other comprehensive income. All other investments, excluding joint venture arrangements, are recorded at cost.
      Derivative financial instruments are used to hedge certain investments, international revenue, accounts receivable, and interest rate risks, and are, therefore, held primarily for purposes other than trading. These instruments may involve elements of credit and market risk in excess of the amounts recognized in the financial statements. The Company monitors its positions and the credit quality of counter parties, consisting primarily of major financial institutions, and does not anticipate nonperformance by any counter-party.
      SFAS 133, Accounting for Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities, as amended by SFAS 137, Accounting for Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities – Deferral of the Effective Date of FASB Statement No. 133, and SFAS 138, Accounting for Certain Derivative Instruments and Certain Hedging Activities, is effective for the Company as of July 1, 2000. SFAS 133 requires that an entity recognize all derivatives as either assets or liabilities measured at fair value. The accounting for changes in the fair value of a derivative depends on the use of the derivative. Adoption of these new accounting standards will result in cumulative after-tax reductions in net income of approximately $350 million and other comprehensive income of approximately $50 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2001. The adoption will also impact assets and liabilities recorded on the balance sheet.

Property and Equipment
Property and equipment is stated at cost and depreciated using the straight-line method over the shorter of the estimated life of the asset or the lease term, ranging from one to 15 years. As required by SOP 98-1, Accounting for Costs of Computer Software Developed or Obtained for Internal Use, Microsoft began capitalizing certain computer software developed or obtained for internal use in fiscal 2000. Capitalized computer software is depreciated using the straight-line method over the shorter of the estimated life of the software or three years.

As required by Emerging Issues Task Force (EITF) Issue 00-15, Classification in the Statement of Cash Flows of the Income Tax Benefit Received by a Company upon Exercise of a Nonqualified Employee Stock Option, stock option income tax benefits are classified as cash from operations in the cash flows statement. Prior period cash flows statements have been restated to conform with this presentation. Certain other reclassifications have been made for consistent presentation.


Unearned Revenue

A portion of Microsoft's revenue is earned ratably over the product life cycle or, in the case of subscriptions, over the period of the license agreement.
      End users receive certain elements of the Company's products over a period of time. These elements include items such as browser technologies and technical support. Consequently, Microsoft's earned revenue reflects the recognition of the fair value of these elements over the product's life cycle. Upon adoption of SOP 98-9 during the fourth quarter of fiscal 1999, the Company was required to change the methodology of attributing the fair value to undelivered elements. The percentages of undelivered elements in relation to the total arrangement decreased, reducing the amount of Windows and Office revenue treated as unearned, and increasing the amount of revenue recognized upon shipment. The percentage of revenue recognized ratably decreased from a range of 20% to 35% to a range of approximately 15% to 25% of Windows desktop operating systems. For desktop applications, the percentage decreased from approximately 20% to a range of approximately 10% to 20%. The ranges depend on the terms and conditions of the license and prices of the elements. In addition, in the fourth quarter of fiscal 1999, the Company extended the life cycle of Windows from two to three years based upon management's review of product shipment cycles. Product life cycles are currently estimated at 18 months for desktop applications. The Company also sells subscriptions to certain products via maintenance and certain organizational license agreements. At June 30, 1999 and 2000, Windows Platforms products unearned revenue was $2.17 billion and $2.61 billion and unearned revenue associated with Productivity Applications and Developer products totaled $1.96 billion and $1.99 billion. Unearned revenue for other miscellaneous programs totaled $116 million and $210 million at June 30, 1999 and 2000.


Financial Risks

The Company's cash and short-term investment portfolio is diversified and consists primarily of investment grade securities. Investments are held with high-quality financial institutions, government and government agencies, and corporations, thereby reducing credit risk concentrations. Interest rate fluctuations impact the carrying value of the portfolio. The Company routinely hedges the portfolio with options in the event of a catastrophic increase in interest rates. The notional amount of the options outstanding was $4.0 billion and $3.6 billion at June 30, 1999 and 2000. The fair value and premiums paid for the options were not material. Much of the Company's equity security portfolio is highly volatile, so certain positions are hedged.
      Finished goods sales to international customers in Europe, Japan, Canada, and Australia are primarily billed in local currencies. Payment cycles are relatively short, generally less than 90 days. Certain international manufacturing and operational costs are incurred in local currencies. Local currency cash balances in excess of short-term operating needs are generally converted into U.S. dollar cash and short-term investments on receipt. Although foreign exchange rate fluctuations generally do not create a risk of material balance sheet gains or losses, the Company hedges a portion of accounts receivable balances denominated in local currencies, primarily with purchased options. The notional amount of options outstanding was $662 million and $1.46 billion at June 30, 1999 and 2000. The fair value and premiums paid for the options were not material.
      Foreign exchange rates affect the translated results of operations of the Company's foreign subsidiaries. The Company hedges a portion of planned international revenue with purchased options. The notional amount of the options outstanding was $2.25 billion and $2.08 billion at June 30, 1999 and 2000. The fair value and premiums paid for the options were not material.
      At June 30, 1999 and 2000, approximately 50% and 42% of accounts receivable represented amounts due from 10 customers. A single customer accounted for approximately 8%, 11%, and 9% of revenue in 1998, 1999, and 2000.
      Microsoft lends certain fixed income and equity securities to enhance investment income. Collateral and/or security interest is determined based upon the underlying security and the credit worthiness of the borrower.


Download Notes to Financial Statements as a Microsoft Word file    (98Kb)

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23
  Return to top returnnext  

Last updated May 27, 2010

©2000 Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use.  Privacy Policy