Critical accounting estimates
As discussed in the section, “Critical Accounting Estimates,” the application of GAAP requires the company to make estimates and assumptions about future events that directly affect its reported financial condition and operating performance. The accounting estimates and assumptions discussed in this section are those that the company considers to be the most critical to Global Financing. The company’s significant accounting policies are described in note A, “Significant Accounting Policies.”
Financing Receivables Reserves
Global Financing reviews its financing receivables portfolio at least quarterly in order to assess collectibility. A description of the methods used by management to estimate the amount of uncollectible receivables is included in note A, “Significant Accounting Policies.” Factors that could result in actual receivable losses that are materially different from the estimated reserve include sharp changes in the economy, or a significant change in the economic health of a particular industry segment that represents a concentration in Global Financing’s receivables portfolio.
To the extent that actual collectibility differs from management’s estimates by 5 percent, Global Financing after-tax income would be higher or lower by an estimated $12 million (using 2007 data), depending upon whether the actual collectibility was better or worse, respectively, than the estimates.
Residual value represents the estimated fair value of equipment under lease as of the end of the lease. Residual value estimates impact the determination of whether a lease is classified as operating or sales type. Global Financing estimates the future fair value of leased equipment by using historical models, analyzing the current market for new and used equipment and obtaining forward-looking product information such as marketing plans and technological innovations. Residual value estimates are periodically reviewed and “other than temporary” declines in estimated future residual values are recognized upon identification. Anticipated increases in future residual values are not recognized until the equipment is remarketed. Factors that could cause actual results to materially differ from the estimates include significant changes in the used-equipment market brought on by unforeseen changes in technology innovations and any resulting changes in the useful lives of used equipment.
To the extent that actual residual value recovery is lower than management’s estimates by 5 percent, Global Financing’s after-tax income would be lower by an estimated $21 million (using 2007 data). If the actual residual value recovery is higher than management’s estimates, the increase in after-tax income will be realized at the end of lease when the equipment is remarketed.