Heads-Up – A Revisit of Current vs. Non-Current Debt Restatements
In our discussions with Workshop participants we are hearing about a trend in how banks and companies are structuring new and revised lines of credit. And, one of the issues we are seeing is evoking a strong feeling of déjà vu!
You may remember that in the early days of the post-SOX era there was a wave of restatements relating to errors in the current versus non-current classification of revolving lines of credit.
The issues centered on an old EITF abstract – EITF 95-22 – Balance Sheet Classification of Borrowings Outstanding under Revolving Credit Agreements That Include both a Subjective Acceleration Clause and a Lock-Box Arrangement. The EITF abstract was about 10 years old when all the restatements happened. The issue involved is very arcane, and since it was very old, it almost seemed like we had all forgotten about this abstract. (This was pre-Accounting Standards Codification of course, so the original abstract is superseded with the guidance contained in ASC 470.)
The portion of the guidance that is relevant is in ASC 470-10-45 paragraphs 4, 5, 14(a) and other locations. It essentially requires that if a revolving line of credit has a bank-required lock-box arrangement where the bank controls the lock-box and a “subjective acceleration clause” then the debt is to be considered current. The issue here is that paragraph 14(a), which contains the guidance for short-term obligations expected to be refinanced long-term, contains a condition that the debt only be cancelable within one year of the borrower’s balance-sheet date by the lender if the borrower violates an objectively determinable or measurable provision of the agreement. The subjective acceleration clause does not meet this requirement, and therefore the related debt cannot be classified as non-current.
We know this is a pretty techy issue, but if you are negotiating a new or revised line of credit, watch out for this one! A very careful review of ASC 470-10-45 paragraphs 4 and 5 will be appropriate. The language here is very complex, and if you have the issue you will likely require some time to properly address!
Two other considerations:
First, for MD&A, it would likely be appropriate to discuss the nature of this financing in the Liquidity and Capital Resources section.
Second, this debt should be included in the table of contractual obligations. As frequently happens with the table, the question of where to include it arises. The likely appropriate answer may vary from company to company, and as the SEC says in FR 83:
“The purpose of the contractual obligations table is to provide aggregated information about contractual obligations and contingent liabilities and commitments in a single location so as to improve transparency of a registrant’s short-term and long-term liquidity and capital resources needs and to provide context for investors to assess the relative role of off-balance sheet arrangements”It then goes on to say:
“Uncertainties about what to include or how to allocate amounts over the periods required in the table should be resolved consistent with the purpose of the disclosure”
So, use of judgment is appropriate. Including the cash flows in the period you expect them to occur and a footnote could be one approach.
As always, your thoughts and comments are appreciated!