Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Significant Accounting Policies

Significant Accounting Policies
3 Months Ended
Apr. 30, 2017
Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
Significant Accounting Policies
2. Significant Accounting Policies

Revenue Recognition

Our transactions frequently involve the sales of hardware, software, systems and services in multiple-element arrangements. Revenues from sales of hardware, software and systems that do not require significant modification or customization of the underlying software are recognized when:


    persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists;


    delivery has occurred, and title and risk of loss have passed to the customer;


    fees are fixed or determinable; and


    collection of the related receivable is considered probable.

Customers are billed for installation, training, project management and at least one year of product maintenance and technical support at the time of the product sale. Revenue from these activities is deferred at the time of the product sale and recognized ratably over the period these services are performed. Revenue from ongoing product maintenance and technical support agreements is recognized ratably over the period of the related agreements. Revenue from software development contracts that include significant modification or customization, including software product enhancements, is recognized based on the percentage of completion contract accounting method using labor efforts expended in relation to estimates of total labor efforts to complete the contract. The percentage of completion method requires that adjustments or re-evaluations to estimated project revenues and costs be recognized on a project-to-date cumulative basis, as changes to the estimates are identified. Revisions to project estimates are made as additional information becomes known, including information that becomes available after the date of the consolidated financial statements up through the date such consolidated financial statements are filed with the SEC. If the final estimated profit to complete a long-term contract indicates a loss, a provision is recorded immediately for the total loss anticipated. Accounting for contract amendments and customer change orders are included in contract accounting when executed. Revenue from shipping and handling costs and other out-of-pocket expenses reimbursed by customers are included in revenues and cost of revenues. Our share of intercompany profits associated with sales and services provided to affiliated companies are eliminated in consolidation in proportion to our equity ownership.

Contract accounting requires judgment relative to assessing risks, estimating revenues and costs and making assumptions including, in the case of our professional services contracts, the total amount of labor required to complete a project and the complexity of the development and other technical work to be completed. Due to the size and nature of many of our contracts, the estimation of total revenues and cost at completion is complicated and subject to many variables. Assumptions must be made regarding the length of time to complete the contract because costs also include estimated third-party vendor and contract labor costs. Penalties related to performance on contracts are considered in estimating sales and profit, and are recorded when there is sufficient information for us to assess anticipated performance. Third-party vendors’ assertions are also assessed and considered in estimating costs and margin.

Revenue from the sale of software-only products remains within the scope of the software revenue recognition rules. Maintenance and support, training, consulting, and installation services no longer fall within the scope of the software revenue recognition rules, except when they are sold with and relate to a software-only product. Revenue recognition for products that no longer fall under the scope of the software revenue recognition rules is like that for other tangible products and Accounting Standard Update No. (“ASU”) 2009-13, “Revenue Recognition (Topic 605): Multiple-Deliverable Revenue Arrangements,” amended ASC 605 and is applicable for multiple-deliverable revenue arrangements. ASU 2009-13 allows companies to allocate revenue in a multiple-deliverable arrangement in a manner that better reflects the transaction’s economics.

Under the software revenue recognition rules, the fee is allocated to the various elements based on vendor-specific objective evidence (“VSOE”) of fair value. Under this method, the total arrangement value is allocated first to undelivered elements based on their fair values, with the remainder being allocated to the delivered elements. Where fair value of undelivered service elements has not been established, the total arrangement value is recognized over the period during which the services are performed. The amounts allocated to undelivered elements, which may include project management, training, installation, maintenance and technical support and certain hardware and software components, are based upon the price charged when these elements are sold separately and unaccompanied by the other elements. The amount allocated to installation, training and project management revenue is based upon standard hourly billing rates and the estimated time necessary to complete the service. These services are not essential to the functionality of systems as these services do not alter the equipment’s capabilities, are available from other vendors and the systems are standard products. For multiple-element arrangements that include software development with significant modification or customization and systems sales where VSOE of the fair value does not exist for the undelivered elements of the arrangement (other than maintenance and technical support), percentage of completion accounting is applied for revenue recognition purposes to the entire arrangement except for maintenance and technical support.


Under the revenue recognition rules for tangible products as amended by ASU 2009-13, the fee from a multiple-deliverable arrangement is allocated to each of the deliverables based upon their relative selling prices as determined by a selling-price hierarchy. A deliverable in an arrangement qualifies as a separate unit of accounting if the delivered item has value to the customer on a stand-alone basis. A delivered item that does not qualify as a separate unit of accounting is combined with the other undelivered items in the arrangement and revenue is recognized for those combined deliverables as a single unit of accounting. The selling price used for each deliverable is based upon VSOE if available, third-party evidence (“TPE”) if VSOE is not available, and best estimate of selling price (“BESP”) if neither VSOE nor TPE are available. TPE is the price of the Company’s, or any competitor’s, largely interchangeable products or services in stand-alone sales to similarly situated customers. BESP is the price at which we would sell the deliverable if it were sold regularly on a stand-alone basis, considering market conditions and entity-specific factors.

The selling prices used in the relative selling price allocation method for certain of our services are based upon VSOE. The selling prices used in the relative selling price allocation method for third-party products from other vendors are based upon TPE. The selling prices used in the relative selling price allocation method for our hardware products, software, subscriptions, and customized services for which VSOE does not exist are based upon BESP. We do not believe TPE exists for these products and services because they are differentiated from competing products and services in terms of functionality and performance and there are no competing products or services that are largely interchangeable. Management establishes BESP with consideration for market conditions, such as the impact of competition and geographic considerations, and entity-specific factors, such as the cost of the product, discounts provided and profit objectives. Management believes that BESP is reflective of reasonable pricing of that deliverable as if priced on a stand-alone basis.

For our cloud and managed service revenues, we generate revenue from two sources: (1) subscription and support services; and (2) professional services and other. Subscription and support revenue includes subscription fees from customers accessing our cloud-based software platform and support fees. Our arrangements with customers do not provide the customer with the right to take possession of the software supporting the cloud-based software platform at any time. Professional services and other revenue include fees from implementation and customization to support customer requirements. Amounts that have been invoiced are recorded in accounts receivable and in deferred revenue or revenue, depending on whether the revenue recognition criteria have been met. For the most part, subscription and support agreements are entered into for 12 to 36 months. Generally, most of the professional services components of the arrangements with customers are performed within a year of entering a contract with the customer.

In most instances, revenue from a new customer acquisition is generated under sales agreements with multiple elements, comprised of subscription and support and other professional services. We evaluate each element in a multiple-element arrangement to determine whether it represents a separate unit of accounting. An element constitutes a separate unit of accounting when the delivered item has standalone value and delivery of the undelivered element is probable and within our control.

In determining when to recognize revenue from a customer arrangement, we are often required to exercise judgment regarding the application of our accounting policies to an arrangement. The primary judgments used in evaluating revenue recognized in each period involve: determining whether collection is probable, assessing whether the fee is fixed or determinable, and determining the fair value of the maintenance and service elements included in multiple-element software arrangements. Such judgments can materially impact the amount of revenue that we record in a given period. While we follow specific and detailed rules and guidelines related to revenue recognition, we make and use significant management judgments and estimates about the revenue recognized in any reporting period, particularly in the areas described above. If management made different estimates or judgments, material differences in the timing of the recognition of revenue could occur.

Impairment of Assets

Indefinite-lived intangible assets, such as goodwill, are not amortized but are evaluated for impairment at the reporting unit level annually, in our third quarter beginning August 1st. Indefinite-lived intangible assets may be tested for impairment on an interim basis in addition to the annual evaluation if an event occurs or circumstances change such as declines in sales, earnings or cash flows, sustained decline in the Company’s stock price, or material adverse changes in the business climate, which would more likely than not reduce the fair value of a reporting unit below its carrying amount. See Note 6, “Goodwill and Intangible Assets,” to our consolidated financial statements for more information.


We also evaluate property and equipment, intangible assets with finite useful lives and other long-lived assets on a regular basis for the existence of facts or circumstances, both internal and external that may suggest an asset is not recoverable. If such circumstances exist, we evaluate the carrying value of long-lived assets to determine if impairment exists based upon estimated undiscounted future cash flows over the remaining useful life of the assets and compare that value to the carrying value of the assets. Our cash flow estimates contain management’s best estimates, using appropriate and customary assumptions and projections at the time.

In the third quarter of fiscal 2017, we finalized our “Step 1” analysis of our annual goodwill impairment test. Our forecast indicated that the estimated fair value of net assets may be less than its carrying value which is a potential indicator of impairment. As such, we were required to perform “Step 2” of the impairment test during which we compared the implied fair value of our goodwill to its carrying value. We completed the goodwill impairment testing of our reporting unit during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017. Since the implied fair value of goodwill was determined to be lower than its carrying value, we recorded an impairment charge of $23.5 million to loss on impairment of long-lived assets in our consolidated statements of operations and comprehensive loss in January 2017.

In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017, a certain cost-method investment was determined to be impaired and written off. Accordingly, we recorded a $0.5 million impairment charge in January 2017 which was included in loss on investment in affiliates in our consolidated statements of operations and comprehensive loss. The cost-method investment is a privately-held entity without quoted market prices and therefore, falls within Level 3 of the fair value hierarchy due to the use of significant unobservable inputs to determine its fair value. In determining the fair value of this cost-method investment, we considered many factors including, but not limited to, operating performance of the investee, the amount of cash that the investee has on hand and the overall market conditions in which the investee operates.


We continue to realize the savings related to the restructuring of our In-Home business from Milpitas to Poland. Additionally, during the first quarter of fiscal 2018, we made significant reductions to our headcount as part of our ongoing restructuring effort of which we expect to generate annualized savings of approximately $10 million. These measures are important steps in restoring SeaChange to profitability and positive cash flow. The Company believes that existing funds and cash expected to be provided by future operating activities, augmented by the plans highlighted above, are adequate to satisfy our working capital, potential acquisitions and capital expenditure requirements and other contractual obligations for the foreseeable future, including at least the next 12 months.