IAS 37 Provisions, Contingent Liabilities and Contingent Assets – Example on recognising and measuring provisions

The Case: Product warranties

A manufacturer gives warranties at the time of sale to purchasers of its product. Under the terms of the contract for sale, the manufacturer undertakes to make good, by repair or replacement, manufacturing defects that become apparent within three years from the date of sale. On the basis of experience, it is probable (ie more likely than not) that there will be some claims under the warranties.

Considerations Product warranties

Present obligation as a result of a past obligating event—the obligating event is the sale of the product with a warranty, which gives rise to a legal obligation.

An outflow of resources embodying economic benefits in settlement—probable for the warranties as a whole.

Conclusion—the entity recognises a provision for the best estimate of the costs of making good under the warranty products sold before the reporting date.

Illustration of calculations:

In 20X0, goods are sold for CU1,000,000. Experience indicates that 90 per cent of products sold require no warranty repairs; 6 per cent of products sold require minor repairs costing 30 per cent of the sale price; and 4 per cent of products sold require major repairs or replacement costing 70 per cent of sale price. Consequently, estimated warranty costs are:

The expenditures for warranty repairs and replacements for products sold in 20X0 are expected to be made 60 per cent in 20X1, 30 per cent in 20X2, and 10 per cent in 20X3, in each case at the end of the period. Because the estimated cash flows already reflect the probabilities of the cash outflows, and assuming there are no other risks or uncertainties that must be reflected, to determine the present value of those cash flows the entity uses a ‘risk-free’ discount rate based on government bonds with the same term as the expected cash outflows (6 per cent for one-year bonds and 7 per cent for two-year and three-year bonds).

Calculation of the present value, at the end of 20X0, of the estimated cash flows related to the warranties for products sold in 20X0 is as follows:

The entity will recognise a warranty obligation of CU41,846 at the end of 20X0 for products sold in 20X0.

All of the entities in the examples have 31 December as their reporting date. In all cases, it is assumed that a reliable estimate can be made of any outflows expected. In some examples the circumstances described may have resulted in impairment of the assets; this aspect is not dealt with in the examples. References to ‘best estimate’ are to the present value amount, when the effect of the time value of money is material.