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The preparation of financial statements in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the amounts reported in the financial statements and accompanying notes. Actual results could differ from those estimates.

The consolidated financial statements include the accounts of the Company and its subsidiaries. All material intercompany accounts and transactions have been eliminated.

The following summarizes the significant accounting policies of the Company:

  • The Company considers all highly liquid debt instruments purchased with a term to maturity of three months or less to be cash equivalents. Short-term investments are widely diversified, consisting primarily of short-term investment grade securities, substantially all of which either mature within the next twelve months or have characteristics of short-term investments. Municipal securities included in short-term investments have contractual maturities ranging from 1 to 7 years. Money market preferreds have contractual maturities of less than 180 days. No other short-term investments have contractual maturities. All marketable debt and equity securities are included in cash and short-term investments and are considered available-for-sale and carried at fair market value, with the unrealized gains and losses, net of tax, included in shareholders' equity. Fair market values are based on quoted market prices where available; if quoted market prices are not available, then fair market values are based on quoted market prices of comparable instruments. The cost of securities sold is based on the specific identification method. Such securities are anticipated to be used for current operations and are therefore classified as current assets, even though some maturities may extend beyond one year.

  • Accounts receivable include amounts owed by geographically dispersed end users, distributors, resellers, and OEM customers. No collateral is required. Reserves are provided for sales returns, product exchanges and bad debts.

  • Plant and equipment are carried at cost less accumulated depreciation and amortization.

  • Provision for depreciation and amortization is computed on the straight-line method over the estimated useful lives of the assets, or lease term if shorter, and are as follows:

Asset classification Useful lives
Buildings 30 years
Furniture and equipment 3-5 years
Leasehold improvements and other 3-20 years
Intangible assets 3-15 years
  • Assets and liabilities of the Company's wholly owned subsidiaries, denominated in the local currency of the subsidiary, are remeasured into U.S. dollars (the functional currency) at year-end exchange rates except for equipment and leasehold improvements, which are remeasured at average rates of exchange prevailing when acquired. Income and expense items are remeasured at average rates of exchange prevailing during the year, except that depreciation is remeasured at historical rates. Remeasurement gains and losses are included in net income (loss) in the period incurred and were not material for fiscal years 1999, 1998, and 1997.

  • For the Company's subsidiaries in Japan and India, the functional currency has been determined to be the local currency, and therefore assets and liabilities are translated at year-end exchange rates, and income statement items are translated at average exchange rates prevailing during the year. Such translation adjustments are recorded in accumulated comprehensive income (loss).

  • In fiscal 1999, the Company adopted Statement of Position 97-2 (SOP 97-2), "Software Revenue Recognition," which requires that revenue recognized from software arrangements be allocated to each element of the arrangement based on the relative fair values of the elements, such as software products, upgrades, enhancements, post contract customer support, installation, or training. The implementation of SOP 97-2 did not have a material impact on the recognized revenue of the Company.

    Revenue on product sales is recognized upon shipment or transfer of title to the customer. Certain sales require continuing service, support, and performance by the Company, and accordingly a portion of the revenue is deferred until the future service, support, and performance are provided. Reserves for sales returns and allowances are recorded in the same period as the related revenues.

  • Product development costs are expensed as incurred. Application of Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 86, "Accounting for the Costs of Computer Software to Be Sold, Leased, or Otherwise Marketed," has not had any material effect on the consolidated financial statements.

  • The cost of advertising is expensed as incurred. Advertising expenses totaled $29 million, $28 million, and $42 million in fiscal 1999, 1998, and 1997, respectively.

  • Net income (loss) per share is calculated in accordance with Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 128, "Earnings Per Share," (SFAS 128). Basic earnings per share exclude any dilutive effects of options, warrants, and convertible securities. Diluted earnings per share includes any dilutive effects of options, warrants, and convertible securities.

The Financial Accounting Standards Board issued the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Statement of Position 98-9 (SOP 98-9), "Modification of SOP 97-2, Software Revenue Recognition." SOP 98-9 amends SOP 97-2 to require recognition of revenue in accordance with the "residual" method in limited circumstances. The provisions of SOP 98-9 are effective for transactions entered into in fiscal years beginning after March 15, 1999. The Company does not believe that implementation of this SOP will have a material impact on the financial position of the Company.

In June 1998, the Financial Accounting Standards Board issued Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 133, "Accounting for Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities," (SFAS 133). SFAS 133 established accounting and reporting standards for derivative instruments, including certain derivative instruments embedded in other contracts and for hedging activities. SFAS 133 requires all companies to recognize derivatives as either assets or liabilities in the statement of financial position and measure those instruments at fair value. This statement is effective for all fiscal quarters of fiscal years beginning after July 1, 2000. The Company is currently assessing the potential impact SFAS 133 will have on the statement of financial position of the Company.

Certain reclassifications, none of which affect net income, have been made to the prior years' amounts in order to conform to the current year's presentation.

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