|UNION CARBIDE CORP /NEW/ filed this Form 10-K on 02/15/2018|
Use of Estimates in Financial Statement Preparation
The preparation of financial statements in accordance with U.S. GAAP requires the use of estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities, the disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements, and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. The Corporation's consolidated financial statements include amounts that are based on management's best estimates and judgments. Actual results could differ from those estimates.
Transactions with the Corporation's parent company, Dow, and other subsidiaries of Dow and DowDuPont have been reflected as related company transactions in the consolidated financial statements.
Significant Accounting Policies
Accruals for asbestos-related matters, including defense and processing costs, are recorded based on an analysis of claim and resolution activity, defense spending and pending and future claims. These accruals are assessed at each balance sheet date to determine if the asbestos-related liability remains appropriate. Accruals for asbestos-related matters are included in the consolidated balance sheets in "Asbestos-related liabilities - current" and "Asbestos-related liabilities - noncurrent."
This accounting policy was added in the fourth quarter of 2016. See Note 14 for additional information.
The Corporation expenses legal costs as incurred, with the exception of defense and processing costs associated with asbestos-related matters.
Foreign Currency Translation
While the Corporation's consolidated subsidiaries are primarily based in the United States, the Corporation has small subsidiaries in Asia Pacific and the rest of the world. For those subsidiaries, the local currency has been primarily used as the functional currency. Translation gains and losses of those operations that use local currency as the functional currency are included in the consolidated balance sheets in "Accumulated other comprehensive loss" ("AOCL"). Where the U.S. dollar is used as the functional currency, foreign currency gains and losses are reflected in income.
Accruals for environmental matters are recorded when it is probable that a liability has been incurred and the amount of the liability can be reasonably estimated based on current law and existing technologies. These accruals are adjusted periodically as assessment and remediation efforts progress or as additional technical or legal information becomes available. Accruals for environmental liabilities are included in the consolidated balance sheets in "Accrued and other current liabilities" and "Other noncurrent obligations" at undiscounted amounts. Accruals for related insurance or other third-party recoveries for environmental liabilities are recorded when it is probable that a recovery will be realized and are included in the consolidated balance sheets in "Accounts receivable - Other."
Environmental costs are capitalized if the costs extend the life of the property, increase its capacity, and/or mitigate or prevent contamination from future operations. Environmental costs are also capitalized in recognition of legal asset retirement obligations resulting from the acquisition, construction and/or normal operation of a long-lived asset. Costs related to environmental contamination treatment and cleanup are charged to expense. Estimated future incremental operations, maintenance and management costs directly related to remediation are accrued when such costs are probable and reasonably estimable.
Cash and Cash Equivalents
Cash and cash equivalents include time deposits and investments with maturities of three months or less at the time of purchase.
The Corporation calculates the fair value of financial instruments using quoted market prices when available. When quoted market prices are not available for financial instruments, the Corporation uses standard pricing models with market-based inputs that take into account the present value of estimated future cash flows.
Inventories are stated at the lower of cost or net realizable value. The method of determining cost for each subsidiary varies among last-in, first-out ("LIFO"); first-in, first-out ("FIFO"); and average cost, and is used consistently from year to year.