5Critical accounting estimates and judgments
All estimates and assessments are continually reviewed and are based on historical experience and other factors, including expectations regarding future events that appear reasonable under the given circumstances. The group makes estimates and assumptions that relate to the future. By their nature, these estimates will only rarely correspond to actual subsequent events. The estimates and assumptions that carry a significant risk, in the form of a substantial adjustment to the present values of assets and liabilities within the next financial year, are set out below.
Employee benefit plans
The present value of the pension assets/obligations and the plan assets depends on a number of factors that are determined on an actuarial basis using a number of assumptions. Assumptions used in determining the defined benefit assets/obligations include the discount rate, future salary and pension increases, and mortality rates. The assumptions are reviewed and reassessed at the end of each year based on observable market data, i.e., interest rate of high-quality corporate bonds denominated in the corresponding currency and asset management studies. Further details are provided in note 9 and note 34.
The group is obliged to pay income taxes in numerous jurisdictions. Assumptions are required in order to determine income tax provisions. There are transactions and calculations for which the ultimate tax determination is uncertain during the ordinary course of the business. The group recognizes liabilities for anticipated tax audit issues based on estimates of whether additional taxes will be due. Where the final tax outcome of these matters is different from the amounts that were initially recorded, such differences will impact the income tax and deferred tax provisions in the period in which such determination is made. Management believes that the estimates are reasonable, and that the recognized liabilities for income tax-related uncertainties are adequate. Further details are disclosed in note 13.
Goodwill and other intangible assets
The group carries out an annual impairment test on goodwill in the first quarter of the year (after the budget and the three-year strategic plan have been approved by the Board of Directors in February), or when indications of a potential impairment exist. The recoverable amount from cash-generating units is measured on the basis of value-in-use calculations, with the terminal growth rate, the discount rate, and the projected cash flows as the main variables. Information about assumptions and estimation uncertainties that have significant risk of resulting in a material adjustment are disclosed in note 14. The accounting policies are disclosed in note 34.
Lease assets and lease liabilities
The group has applied judgment to determine the lease term for lease contracts that include renewal and termination options. The assessment of whether the group is reasonably certain to exercise such options impacts the lease term, which significantly affects the amount of lease liabilities and lease assets recognized. This assessment depends on economic incentives, such as removal and relocation costs. Further details are disclosed in note 16 and note 34.
At contract inception, the group assesses the goods or services promised in a contract with a customer and identifies each promise to transfer to the customer as a performance obligation. The group considers the terms of the contract and all other relevant facts, including the economic substance of the transaction. Judgment is needed to determine whether there is a single performance obligation or multiple separate performance obligations. In typical engineering contracts, engineering, production and installation are treated as one single performance obligation.
If the consideration promised in a contract includes a variable amount (e.g., expected liquidated damages, early payment discounts, volume discounts), the group estimates the amount of consideration to which the group will be entitled in exchange for transferring the promised goods or services to a customer. The amount of the variable consideration is estimated by using either of the following methods, depending on which method the group expects to better predict the amount of consideration to which it will be entitled: the expected value or the most likely amount. The method selected is applied consistently throughout the contract and to similar types of contracts when estimating the effect of uncertainty on the amount of variable consideration to which the group is entitled. Depending on the outcome of the respective transactions, actual payments may differ from these estimates.
To allocate the transaction price to each performance obligation on a relative stand-alone selling price basis, the group determines the stand-alone selling price at contract inception of the distinct good or service underlying each performance obligation in the contract and allocates the transaction price in proportion to those stand-alone selling prices. If the stand-alone selling price is not directly observable, then the group estimates the amount with the expected cost-plus-margin method.
The group recognizes sales either over time or at a point in time. Sales are recognized over time if any of the conditions described in note 34 is met. To determine the method, the right to payment condition is the one with the most critical estimates. The group estimates if an enforceable right to payment (including reasonable profit margin) for performance up to date exists in case the customer terminates the contract for convenience. For this estimate, the group reviews the contracts and considers relevant laws, legal precedents and customary business practice.
Applying the over time method requires the group to estimate the proportional sales and costs. To measure the stage of completion, generally, the cost-to-cost method is applied. Work progress of sub-suppliers is considered to determine the stage of completion. If circumstances arise that may change the original estimates of sales, costs or extent of progress toward completion, estimates are revised. These revisions may result in increases or decreases in estimated sales or costs and are reflected in income in the period in which the circumstances that give rise to the revision become known by management.
Provisions are made, among other reasons, for warranties, disputes, litigation and restructuring. A provision is recognized in the balance sheet when the group has a legal or constructive obligation as a result of a past event, and it is probable that an outflow of economic benefits will be required to settle the obligation. The nature of these costs is such that judgment has to be applied to estimate the timing and amount of cash outflows. Depending on the outcome of the respective transactions, actual payments may differ from these estimates. Further details are disclosed in note 27 and note 34.