Analysis of Bad Debts
Allowance for doubtful accounts receivable (bad debts) is a contra account which reduce the balance of the company’s gross accounts receivable. The relationship between the allowance and the balance in receivables should be relatively constant unless there is a change in the economy overall or a change in customer base.
Accounting Policy on Receivables
Allowance for Doubtful Accounts
Time Warner monitors customer credit risk related to accounts receivable, including unbilled trade receivables primarily related to the distribution of television product. Significant judgments and estimates are involved in evaluating if such amounts will ultimately be fully collected. Each of Time Warner’s businesses maintains a comprehensive approval process prior to issuing credit to third-party customers. Counterparties that are determined to be of a higher risk are evaluated to assess whether the credit terms previously granted to them should be modified. Time Warner monitors customers’ accounts receivable aging, and a provision for estimated uncollectible amounts is maintained based on customer payment levels, historical experience and management’s views on trends in the overall receivable agings. In addition, for larger accounts, Time Warner performs analyses of risks on a customer-specific basis. At December 31, 2017 and 2016, total reserves for doubtful accounts were approximately $162 million and $193 million, respectively. For the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015, Time Warner recognized $11 million, $38 million and $63 million of bad debt expense, respectively.
Source: 10-K (filing date: 2018-02-22).
Allowance for Doubtful Accounts Receivable
1 2017 Calculation
Allowance as a percentage of receivables, gross = 100 × Allowance for doubtful accounts ÷ Receivables, gross
= 100 × 162 ÷ 9,563 = 1.69%
|Financial ratio||Description||The company|
|Allowance as a percentage of receivables, gross||Allowance for doubtful accounts divided by the gross accounts receivable.||Time Warner Inc.’s allowance as a percentage of receivables, gross decreased from 2015 to 2016 and from 2016 to 2017.|