I chose to look at the financial filings of Electronic Arts (EA). The company is an American company traded on the NASDAQ exchange under the symbol ERTS. Electronic Arts develops, markets, and distributes interactive software games that are played on a variety of computer platforms in over 30 countries. I chose this company because I have an interest in the computer gaming industry, both from the viewpoint of someone that is interested in playing computer games and as an investor. The topic that I have chosen to address is the issue of revenue recognition.
Revenue Recognition Analysis
I started by looking at EAs annual report (Form 10-K) for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2007. Revenue recognition is discussed in some detail. In particular, they state that revenue is recognized according to the criteria established by Statement of Position (“SOP”) 97-2, “Software Revenue Recognition”, “Modification of SOP 97-2, Software Revenue Recognition, With Respect to Certain Transactions” and Staff Accounting Bulletin (“SAB”) No. 104, “Revenue Recognition”. Revenue is recognized when EA has estimated that all of the following criteria have been met: • Evidence of an arrangement. Evidence of an agreement with the customer that reflects the terms and conditions to deliver products must be present. • Delivery. Delivery occurs when a product is shipped and the risk of loss and rewards of ownership have been transferred to the customer. • Fixed or determinable fee. Revenue is recognized as the arrangement fee becomes fixed or determinable. • Collection is deemed probable. Collection is deemed probable if the customer is expected to be able to pay amounts under the arrangement as those amounts become due.
Generally stated, these criteria are in place to ensure that the company follows the GAAP concepts that we have discussed in class, that revenues are recognized when they believe they have earned it and when the revenue is...