SUMMARY OF ACCOUNTING POLICIES
|12 Months Ended|
Dec. 31, 2015
|Accounting Policies [Abstract]|
|SUMMARY OF ACCOUNTING POLICIES||
SUMMARY OF ACCOUNTING POLICIES
Basis of Financial Statements and Business Activities
The accompanying consolidated financial statements have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (“GAAP”), and include the accounts of United Parcel Service, Inc., and all of its consolidated subsidiaries (collectively “UPS” or the “Company”). All intercompany balances and transactions have been eliminated.
UPS concentrates its operations in the field of transportation services, primarily domestic and international letter and package delivery. Through our Supply Chain & Freight subsidiaries, we are also a global provider of specialized transportation, logistics and financial services.
Use of Estimates
The preparation of our consolidated financial statements requires the use of estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities, the reported amounts of revenues and expenses, and the disclosure of contingencies. Estimates have been prepared on the basis of the most current and best information, and actual results could differ materially from those estimates.
U.S. Domestic and International Package Operations—Revenue is recognized upon delivery of a letter or package.
Forwarding and Logistics—Freight forwarding revenue and the expense related to the transportation of freight are recognized at the time the services are completed. Truckload freight brokerage revenue and related transportation costs are recognized upon delivery of the shipment by a third party carrier. Material management and distribution revenue is recognized upon performance of the service provided. Customs brokerage revenue is recognized upon completing documents necessary for customs entry purposes.
Freight—Revenue is recognized upon delivery of a less-than-truckload (“LTL”) or truckload (“TL”) shipment.
We utilize independent contractors and third-party carriers in the performance of some transportation services. In situations where we act as principal party to the transaction, we recognize revenue on a gross basis; in circumstances where we act as an agent, we recognize revenue net of the cost of the purchased transportation.
Financial Services—Income on loans and direct finance leases is recognized on the effective interest method. Accrual of interest income is suspended at the earlier of the time at which collection of an account becomes doubtful or the account becomes 90 days delinquent. Income on operating leases is recognized on the straight-line method over the terms of the underlying leases.
Cash and Cash Equivalents
Cash and cash equivalents consist of highly liquid investments that are readily convertible into cash. We consider securities with maturities of three months or less, when purchased, to be cash equivalents. The carrying amount of these securities approximates fair value because of the short-term maturity of these instruments.
Marketable securities are either classified as trading or available-for-sale securities and are carried at fair value. Unrealized gains and losses on trading securities are reported as investment income on the statements of consolidated income. Unrealized gains and losses on available-for-sale securities are reported as accumulated other comprehensive income (“AOCI”), a separate component of shareowners’ equity. The amortized cost of debt securities is adjusted for amortization of premiums and accretion of discounts to maturity. Such amortization and accretion is included in investment income, along with interest and dividends. The cost of securities sold is based on the specific identification method; realized gains and losses resulting from such sales are included in investment income.
We periodically review our available-for-sale investments for indications of other-than-temporary impairment considering many factors, including the extent and duration to which a security’s fair value has been less than its cost, overall economic and market conditions and the financial condition and specific prospects for the issuer. Impairment of available-for-sale securities results in a charge to income when a market decline below cost is other-than-temporary.
Losses on accounts receivable are recognized when they are incurred, which requires us to make our best estimate of the probable losses inherent in our customer receivables at each balance sheet date. These estimates require consideration of historical loss experience, adjusted for current conditions, trends in customer payment frequency, and judgments about the probable effects of relevant observable data, including present economic conditions and the financial health of specific customers and market sectors. Our risk management process includes standards and policies for reviewing major account exposures and concentrations of risk.
Our total allowance for doubtful accounts as of December 31, 2015 and 2014 was $118 and $121 million, respectively. Our total provision for doubtful accounts charged to expense during the years ended December 31, 2015, 2014 and 2013 was $121, $143 and $129 million, respectively.
Jet fuel, diesel, and unleaded gasoline inventories are valued at the lower of average cost or market. Fuel and other materials and supplies inventories are recognized as inventory when purchased, and then charged to expense when used in our operations. Total inventories were $308 and $344 million as of December 31, 2015 and 2014, respectively, and are included in “other current assets” on the consolidated balance sheets.
Property, Plant and Equipment
Property, plant and equipment are carried at cost. Depreciation and amortization are provided by the straight-line method over the estimated useful lives of the assets, which are as follows: Vehicles—3 to 15 years; Aircraft—12 to 30 years; Buildings—20 to 40 years; Leasehold Improvements—lesser of asset useful life or lease term; Plant Equipment—3 to 20 years; Technology Equipment—3 to 5 years. The costs of major airframe and engine overhauls, as well as routine maintenance and repairs, are charged to expense as incurred.
Interest incurred during the construction period of certain property, plant and equipment is capitalized until the underlying assets are placed in service, at which time amortization of the capitalized interest begins, straight-line, over the estimated useful lives of the related assets. Capitalized interest was $13, $11 and $14 million for 2015, 2014, and 2013, respectively.
We review long-lived assets for impairment when circumstances indicate the carrying amount of an asset may not be recoverable based on the undiscounted future cash flows of the asset. If the carrying amount of the asset is determined not to be recoverable, a write-down to fair value is recorded. Fair values are determined based on quoted market values, discounted cash flows, or external appraisals, as applicable. We review long-lived assets for impairment at the individual asset or the asset group level for which the lowest level of independent cash flows can be identified.
Goodwill and Intangible Assets
Costs of purchased businesses in excess of net identifiable assets acquired (goodwill), and indefinite-lived intangible assets are tested for impairment at least annually, unless changes in circumstances indicate an impairment may have occurred sooner. We are required to test goodwill on a “reporting unit” basis. A reporting unit is the operating segment unless, for businesses within that operating segment, discrete financial information is prepared and regularly reviewed by management, in which case such a component business is the reporting unit.
In assessing goodwill for impairment, we initially evaluate qualitative factors to determine if it is more likely than not that the fair value of a reporting unit is less than its carrying amount. We consider several factors, including macroeconomic conditions, industry and market conditions, overall financial performance of the reporting unit, changes in management, strategy or customers, and relevant reporting unit-specific events such as a change in the carrying amount of net assets, a more likely than not expectation of selling or disposing all, or a portion, of a reporting unit, and the testing for recoverability of a significant asset group within a reporting unit. If this qualitative assessment results in a conclusion that it is more likely than not that the fair value of a reporting unit exceeds the carrying value, then no further testing is performed for that reporting unit.
If the qualitative assessment is not conclusive and it is necessary to calculate the fair value of a reporting unit, then we utilize a two-step process to test goodwill for impairment. First, a comparison of the fair value of the applicable reporting unit with the aggregate carrying value, including goodwill, is performed. If the carrying amount of a reporting unit exceeds its calculated fair value, then the second step is performed, and an impairment charge is recognized for the amount, if any, by which the carrying amount of goodwill exceeds its implied fair value. We primarily determine the fair value of our reporting units using a discounted cash flow model, and supplement this with observable valuation multiples for comparable companies, as applicable.
Finite-lived intangible assets, including trademarks, licenses, patents, customer lists, non-compete agreements and franchise rights are amortized on a straight-line basis over the estimated useful lives of the assets, which range from 2 to 22 years. Capitalized software is amortized over 5 years.
We self-insure costs associated with workers’ compensation claims, automotive liability, health and welfare, and general business liabilities, up to certain limits. Insurance reserves are established for estimates of the loss that we will ultimately incur on reported claims, as well as estimates of claims that have been incurred but not yet reported. Recorded balances are based on reserve levels, which incorporate historical loss experience and judgments about the present and expected levels of cost per claim.
Pension and Postretirement Benefits
We incur certain employment-related expenses associated with pension and postretirement medical benefits. These pension and postretirement medical benefit costs for company-sponsored benefit plans are calculated using various actuarial assumptions and methodologies, including discount rates, expected returns on plan assets, healthcare cost trend rates, inflation, compensation increase rates, mortality rates and coordination of benefits with plans not sponsored by UPS. Actuarial assumptions are reviewed on an annual basis, unless circumstances require an interim remeasurement date for any of our plans.
We recognize changes in the fair value of plan assets and net actuarial gains or losses in excess of a corridor (defined as 10% of the greater of the fair value of plan assets or the plans' projected benefit obligations) in pension expense annually at December 31st each year. The remaining components of pension expense, primarily service and interest costs and the expected return on plan assets, are recorded on a quarterly basis.
We participate in a number of trustee-managed multiemployer pension and health and welfare plans for employees covered under collective bargaining agreements. Our contributions to these plans are determined in accordance with the respective collective bargaining agreements. We recognize expense for the contractually required contribution for each period, and we recognize a liability for any contributions due and unpaid (included in “other current liabilities”).
Income taxes are accounted for on an asset and liability approach that requires the recognition of deferred tax assets and liabilities for the expected future tax consequences of events that have been recognized in our consolidated financial statements or tax returns. In estimating future tax consequences, we generally consider all expected future events other than proposed changes in the tax law or rates. Valuation allowances are provided if it is more likely than not that a deferred tax asset will not be realized.
We recognize liabilities for uncertain tax positions based on a two-step process. The first step is to evaluate the tax position for recognition by determining if the weight of available evidence indicates that it is more likely than not that the position will be sustained on audit, including resolution of related appeals or litigation processes, if any. Once it is determined that the position meets the recognition threshold, the second step requires us to estimate and measure the tax benefit as the largest amount that is more likely than not to be realized upon ultimate settlement. It is inherently difficult and subjective to estimate such amounts, as we have to determine the probability of various possible outcomes. We reevaluate these uncertain tax positions on a quarterly basis. This evaluation is based on factors including, but not limited to, changes in facts or circumstances, changes in tax law, effectively settled issues under audit, and new audit activity. Such a change in recognition or measurement could result in the recognition of a tax benefit or an additional charge to the tax provision.
Foreign Currency Translation
We translate the results of operations of our foreign subsidiaries using average exchange rates during each period, whereas balance sheet accounts are translated using exchange rates at the end of each period. Balance sheet currency translation adjustments are recorded in AOCI. Pre-tax currency transaction gains, net of hedging, included in other operating expenses, investment income and interest expense were $7, $14 and $76 million in 2015, 2014 and 2013, respectively.
All share-based awards to employees are measured based on their fair values and expensed over the period during which an employee is required to provide service in exchange for the award (the vesting period). We issue employee share-based awards under the UPS Incentive Compensation Plan that are subject to specific vesting conditions; generally, the awards cliff vest or vest ratably over a three or five year period (the "nominal vesting period”) or at the date the employee retires (as defined by the plan), if earlier. Compensation cost is recognized immediately for awards granted to retirement-eligible employees, or over the period from the grant date to the date retirement eligibility is achieved, if that is expected to occur during the nominal vesting period.
Fair Value Measurements
Our financial assets and liabilities measured at fair value on a recurring basis have been categorized based upon a fair value hierarchy. Level 1 inputs utilize quoted prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities. Level 2 inputs are based on other observable market data, such as quoted prices for similar assets and liabilities, and inputs other than quoted prices that are observable, such as interest rates and yield curves. Level 3 inputs are developed from unobservable data reflecting our own assumptions, and include situations where there is little or no market activity for the asset or liability.
Certain non-financial assets and liabilities are measured at fair value on a nonrecurring basis, including property, plant, and equipment, goodwill and intangible assets. These assets are not measured at fair value on a recurring basis; however, they are subject to fair value adjustments in certain circumstances, such as when there is evidence of an impairment. A general description of the valuation methodologies used for assets and liabilities measured at fair value, including the general classification of such assets and liabilities pursuant to the valuation hierarchy, is included in each footnote with fair value measurements present.
We allocate the fair value of purchase consideration to the tangible assets acquired, liabilities assumed and intangible assets acquired based on their estimated fair values. The excess of the fair value of purchase consideration over the fair values of these identifiable assets and liabilities is recorded as goodwill. Such valuations require management to make significant estimates and assumptions, especially with respect to intangible assets. Significant estimates in valuing certain intangible assets include, but are not limited to, future expected cash flows from acquired users, acquired technology, and trade names from a market participant perspective, useful lives and discount rates. Management’s estimates of fair value are based upon assumptions believed to be reasonable, but which are inherently uncertain and unpredictable and, as a result, actual results may differ from estimates. During the measurement period, which is one year from the acquisition date, we may record adjustments to the assets acquired and liabilities assumed, with the corresponding offset to goodwill. Upon the conclusion of the measurement period, any subsequent adjustments are recorded to earnings.
All financial derivative instruments are recorded on our consolidated balance sheets at fair value. Derivatives not designated as hedges must be adjusted to fair value through income. If a derivative is designated as a hedge, changes in its fair value that are considered to be effective, as defined, either (depending on the nature of the hedge) offset the change in fair value of the hedged assets, liabilities or firm commitments through income, or are recorded in AOCI until the hedged item is recorded in income. Any portion of a change in a hedge’s fair value that is considered to be ineffective, or is excluded from the measurement of effectiveness, is recorded immediately in income.
Adoption of New Accounting Standards
In November 2015, the Financial Accounting Standards Board ("FASB") issued an accounting standards update that simplifies the presentation of deferred tax assets and liabilities. The update removes the requirement to separate deferred tax liabilities and assets into current and non-current amounts in a classified statement of financial position. The update permits the entity to present deferred tax liabilities and assets as non-current in a classified statement of financial position. The new guidance would have become effective for us in the fourth quarter of 2016; however, we have elected to early adopt this standard on a retrospective basis in the fourth quarter of 2015 as we expect it to reduce the complexity in the preparation of our consolidated financial statements. We have reclassified $590 and $18 million of current deferred tax assets and liabilities, respectively, to non-current assets and liabilities within our consolidated financial position in 2014. This accounting standards update did not have a material impact on our results of operations.
In September 2015, the FASB issued an accounting standards update that simplifies the accounting for measurement-period adjustments related to business combinations. This update removes the requirement to retrospectively apply adjustments made to estimated amounts recognized in a business combination. This update permits the purchaser to adjust the estimated amounts in the reporting period in which the adjustment amounts are determined. This new guidance would have become effective for us in the first quarter of 2016; however, we have elected to early adopt this standard in the third quarter of 2015 as we expect it to reduce the complexity in the preparation of our consolidated financial statements. This accounting standards update did not have a material impact on our consolidated financial position or results of operations.
In April 2015, the FASB issued an accounting standards update to simplify the presentation of debt issuance costs. This update amends existing guidance to require the presentation of debt issuance costs in the consolidated balance sheets as a direct deduction from the carrying amount of the associated debt liability instead of a deferred charge. In August 2015, the FASB issued updated guidance pertaining to the presentation of debt issuance costs related to line-of-credit arrangements. This update allows an entity to defer and present debt issuance costs as an asset, subsequently amortizing the deferred debt issuance costs over the term of the line-of-credit arrangement, regardless of whether there are any outstanding borrowings on the line-of-credit arrangement. We have elected to early adopt this standard in the fourth quarter of 2015 on a retrospective basis as we expect it to reduce the complexity in the preparation of our consolidated financial statements. This accounting standards update did not have a material impact on our consolidated financial position or results of operations.
In June 2014, the FASB issued an accounting standards update for companies that grant their employees share-based payments in which the terms of the award provided that a performance target that affects vesting could be achieved after the requisite service period. This new guidance became effective for us in the first quarter of 2015 and did not have a material impact on our consolidated financial position or results of operations.
Accounting Standards Issued But Not Yet Effective
In May 2015, the FASB issued an accounting standards update that changes the disclosure requirement for reporting investments at fair value. This update removes the requirement to categorize investments for which fair value is measured using the net asset value per share practical expedient within the fair value hierarchy. These disclosures are limited to investments for which the entity has elected to measure the fair value using that practical expedient. This new guidance will be applied retrospectively and become effective for us in the first quarter of 2016, but early adoption is permitted. At this time, we do not expect this new guidance to have a material impact on our disclosures.
In May 2014, the FASB issued an accounting standards update that changes the revenue recognition for companies that enter into contracts with customers to transfer goods or services. This amended guidance requires revenue to be recognized in an amount that reflects the consideration to which the company expects to be entitled for those goods and services when the performance obligation has been satisfied. This amended guidance also requires enhanced disclosures regarding the nature, amount, timing and uncertainty of revenue and related cash flows arising from contracts with customers. In August 2015, the FASB issued an accounting standards update that defers the effective date of the new revenue recognition guidance for one year to interim and annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2017. Early adoption is permitted, but not before the original effective date beginning after December 15, 2016. At this time, we do not expect this accounting standards update to have a material impact on our consolidated financial position or results of operations.
Changes in Presentation
Certain prior year amounts have been reclassified to conform to the current year presentation. These reclassifications had no impact on our financial position or results of operations.
The entire disclosure for all significant accounting policies of the reporting entity.
Reference 1: http://www.xbrl.org/2003/role/presentationRef