2. SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES
The Company’s revenue is primarily derived from:
•software license revenue from sales of the Company’s Pega Platform and software applications. Software licenses represent functional intellectual property and are delivered separately from maintenance and services.
•maintenance revenue from client support including software upgrades (on a when and if available basis), telephone support, and bug fixes or patches.
•Pega Cloud revenue, which is sales of the Company’s hosted Pega Platform and software applications.
•consulting revenue, which is primarily related to new software license implementations, training, and reimbursable costs.
The Company’s software license and Pega Cloud arrangements often contain multiple performance obligations. If a contract contains multiple performance obligations, the Company accounts for each distinct performance obligation separately. The transaction price is allocated to the separate performance obligations on a relative stand-alone selling price basis. Any discounts or expected potential future price concessions are considered when determining the total transaction price. The Company’s policy is to exclude sales and similar taxes collected from clients from the determination of transaction price.
The Company’s typical performance obligations are:
|Performance Obligation||How Standalone Selling Price is Typically Determined||When Performance Obligation is Typically Satisfied||When Payment is Typically Due|
|Perpetual license||Residual approach||Upon transfer of control to the client, defined when the client can use and benefit from the license (point in time)||Effective date of the license|
|Term license||Residual approach||Upon transfer of control to the client, defined when the client can use and benefit from the license (point in time)||Annually, or more frequently, over the term of the license|
Consistent pricing relationship as a percentage of the related license and observable in stand-alone renewal transactions (1)
|Ratably over the term of the maintenance (over time)||Annually, or more frequently, over the term of the maintenance|
|Pega Cloud||Residual approach||Ratably over the term of the service (over time)||Annually, or more frequently, over the term of the service|
- time and materials
|Observable hourly rate for time and materials-based services in similar geographies for similar contract sizes||Based on hours incurred to date||Monthly|
- fixed price
|Observable hourly rate for time and materials-based services in similar geographies for similar contract sizes multiplied by estimated hours for the project||Based on hours incurred as a percentage of total estimated hours||As contract milestones are achieved|
(1) Technical support and software updates are considered distinct services but accounted for as a single performance obligation, as they have the same pattern of transfer to the client.
The Company utilizes the residual approach for performance obligations since the selling price is highly variable and stand-alone selling price is not discernible from past transactions or other observable evidence. Periodically, the Company reevaluates whether the residual approach remains appropriate. As required, the Company evaluates its residual approach estimate compared to all available observable data in order to conclude the estimate is representative of its stand-alone selling price.
If the contract grants the client the option to acquire additional products or services, the Company assesses whether the option represents a material right to the client that the client would not receive without entering into that contract. Discounts on options to purchase additional products and services greater than discounts available to similar clients are accounted for as an additional performance obligation.
During most of each client contract term, the amount invoiced is generally less than the amount of revenue recognized to date, primarily because we transfer control of the performance obligation related to the software license at the inception of the contract term. A significant portion of the total contract consideration is typically allocated to the license performance obligation. Therefore, our contracts often result in the recording of unbilled receivables and contract assets throughout most of the contract term. The Company records an unbilled receivable or contract asset when revenue recognized on a contract exceeds the billings. The Company recognizes an impairment on receivables and contract assets if, after contract inception, it becomes probable that payment is not collectible. The Company reviews receivables and contract assets on an individual basis for impairment.
The Company’s arrangements can include variable fees, such as the option to purchase additional usage of a previously delivered software license. The Company may also provide pricing concessions to clients, a business practice that also gives rise to variable fees in contracts. For variable fees arising from the client’s acquisition of additional usage of a previously delivered software license, the Company applies the sales and usage-based royalties guidance related to a license of intellectual property and recognizes the revenue in the period the underlying sale or usage occurs. The Company includes variable fees in the determination of total transaction price if it is not probable that a future significant reversal of revenue will occur. The Company uses the expected value or most likely value amount, whichever is more appropriate for specific circumstances, to estimate variable consideration, and the estimates are based on the level of historical price concessions offered to clients. The variable consideration related to pricing concessions and other forms of variable consideration, including usage-based fees, have not been material to the Company’s consolidated financial statements.
Significant financing components
The Company generally does not intend to provide financing to its clients, as financing arrangements are not contemplated as part of the negotiated terms of contracts between the Company and its clients. Although there may be instances with an intervening period between the delivery of the license and the payment, typically in term license arrangements, the purpose of that timing difference is to align the client’s payment with the timing of the use of the software license or service.
In certain circumstances, however, there are instances where revenue recognition timing differs from the timing of payment due to extended payment terms or fees that are non-proportional to the associated usage of software licenses. In these instances, the Company evaluates whether a significant financing component exists. This evaluation includes determining the difference between the consideration the client would have paid at the time the performance obligation was satisfied and the amount of consideration actually paid. Contracts that include a significant financing component are adjusted for the time value of money at the rate inherent in the contract, the client’s borrowing rate, or the Company’s incremental borrowing rate, depending upon the recipient of the financing.
During 2020, 2019, and 2018, significant financing components were not material.
The Company assesses contract modifications to determine:
•if the additional products and services are distinct from the products and services in the original arrangement; and
•if the amount of consideration expected for the added products and services reflects the stand-alone selling price of those products and services.
A contract modification meeting both criteria is accounted for as a separate contract. A contract modification not meeting both criteria is considered a change to the original contract and is accounted for on either:
•a prospective basis as a termination of the existing contract and the creation of a new contract; or
•a cumulative catch-up basis.
The Company recognizes an asset for the incremental costs of obtaining a client contract, primarily related to sales commissions. The Company expects to benefit from those costs for more than one year, as the Company primarily pays sales commissions on the initial contract. As a result, there are no commensurate commissions paid on contract renewals. Deferred commissions are allocated to each performance obligation within the contract and amortized according to the transfer of underlying goods and services within those contracts and expected renewals. The expected benefit period is determined based on the length of the client contracts, client attrition rates, the underlying technology life-cycle, and the competitive marketplace’s influence in which the products and services are sold. Deferred costs allocated to maintenance and deferred costs for Pega Cloud arrangements are amortized over an average expected benefit period of five years. Deferred costs allocated to software licenses, and any expected renewals of term software licenses within the five years expected benefit period, are amortized at the point in time control of the software license is transferred. Deferred costs allocated to consulting are amortized over a period consistent with the pattern of transfer of control for the related services.
The principal financial instruments held by the Company consist of cash equivalents, marketable securities, receivables, capped call transactions, and accounts payable. The Company considers debt securities that are readily convertible to known amounts of cash with maturities of three months or less from the purchase date to be cash equivalents. Interest is recorded when earned. All of the Company’s investments are classified as available-for-sale and are carried at fair value. Unrealized gains and losses considered temporary in nature are recorded as a component of accumulated other comprehensive loss, net of related income taxes. The Company reviews all investments for reductions in fair value that are other-than-temporary. When such reductions occur, the investment cost is adjusted to fair value by recording a loss on investments in the consolidated statements of operations. Gains and losses on investments are calculated based upon the specific investment.
See "Note 4. Receivables, Contract Assets, And Deferred Revenue", "Note 10. Debt", and "Note 12. Fair Value Measurements" for additional information.
Property and equipment
Property and equipment are recorded at cost. Depreciation and amortization are computed using the straight-line method over the estimated useful lives of the assets, which are three years for computer equipment and five years for furniture and fixtures. Leasehold improvements are amortized over the lesser of the lease’s term or the useful life of the asset. Repairs and maintenance costs are expensed as incurred.
All the Company’s leases are operating leases, primarily composed of office space leases. The Company accounts for a contract as a lease when it has the right to control the asset for a period of time while obtaining substantially all of the asset’s economic benefits. The Company determines the initial classification and measurement of its operating right of use assets and lease liabilities at the lease commencement date and thereafter if modified. Fixed lease costs are recognized on a straight-line basis over the term of the lease. Variable lease costs are recognized in the period in which the obligation for those payments is incurred. The Company combines lease and non-lease components in the determination of lease costs for its office space leases. The lease liability includes lease payments related to options to extend or renew the lease term if the Company is reasonably certain it will exercise those options. The Company’s leases do not contain any material residual value guarantees or restrictive covenants.
The Company capitalizes and amortizes certain direct costs associated with computer software developed or purchased for internal use incurred during the application development stage. Costs related to preliminary project activities and post-implementation activities are expensed as incurred. The Company amortizes capitalized software costs generally over to five years, commencing on the date the software is placed into service.
Goodwill represents the residual purchase price paid in a business combination after the fair value of all identified assets and liabilities have been recorded. Goodwill is not amortized. The Company has a single reporting unit. The Company performed a qualitative assessment as of November 30, 2020, 2019, and 2018, and concluded that there was no impairment since it was not more likely than not that the fair value of its reporting unit was less than its carrying value.
Intangible and long-lived assets
All of the Company’s intangible assets are amortized using the straight-line method over their estimated useful life. The Company evaluates its long-lived tangible and intangible assets for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that such assets’ carrying amount may not be recoverable. Impairment is assessed by comparing the undiscounted cash flows expected to be generated by the long-lived tangible or intangible assets to their carrying value. If impairment exists, the Company calculates the impairment by comparing the carrying value to its fair value as determined by discounted expected cash flows.
Cash equivalents include money market funds, time deposits and other investments with original maturities of three months or less.
The Company uses its best estimates and assumptions to assign a fair value to the tangible and intangible assets acquired and liabilities assumed at the acquisition date. The Company’s estimates are inherently uncertain and subject to refinement. During the measurement period, which may be up to one year from the acquisition date, the Company may record adjustments to the fair value of these tangible and intangible assets acquired and liabilities assumed, with the corresponding offset to goodwill. In addition, uncertain tax positions and tax-related valuation allowances are initially established in connection with a business combination as of the acquisition date. The Company continues to collect information and reevaluates these estimates and assumptions quarterly and records any adjustments to the Company’s preliminary estimates to goodwill provided that the Company is within the measurement period. Upon the conclusion of the measurement period or final determination of the fair value of assets acquired or liabilities assumed, whichever comes first, any subsequent adjustments are recorded to the Company’s consolidated statements of operations.
Research and development and software development costs
Research and development costs are expensed as incurred. Capitalization of computer software developed for resale begins upon the establishment of technological feasibility, generally demonstrated by a working model or an operative version of the computer software product. Such costs have not been material to date, as technological feasibility is established within a short time frame from the software’s general availability. As a result, no costs were capitalized in 2020, 2019, or 2018.
The Company recognizes stock-based compensation expense associated with equity awards based on the award’s fair value at the grant date. Stock-based compensation is recognized over the requisite service period, which is generally the vesting period of the equity award and is adjusted each period for anticipated forfeitures. See "Note 14. Stock-Based Compensation" for discussion of the Company’s key assumptions included in determining the fair value of its equity awards at the grant date.
Foreign currency translation and remeasurement
The translation of assets and liabilities for the Company’s subsidiaries with functional currencies other than the U.S. dollar are made at period-end exchange rates. Revenue and expense accounts are translated at the average exchange rates during the period transactions occurred. The resulting translation adjustments are reflected in accumulated other comprehensive income. Realized and unrealized exchange gains or losses from transactions and remeasurement adjustments are reflected in foreign currency transaction gain (loss) in the accompanying consolidated statements of operations.
Accounting for income taxes
The Company uses the asset and liability method of accounting for income taxes. Under this method, deferred tax assets and liabilities are determined based on temporary differences between the financial statement and tax basis of assets and liabilities using enacted tax rates in effect for the year in which the differences are expected to reverse. The Company regularly assesses the need for a valuation allowance against its deferred tax assets. Future realization of the Company’s deferred tax assets ultimately depends on sufficient taxable income within the available carryback or carryforward periods. Taxable income sources include taxable income in prior carryback years, future reversals of existing taxable temporary differences, tax planning strategies, and future taxable income. The Company records a valuation allowance to reduce its deferred tax assets to an amount it believes is more-likely-than-not to be realized. Changes in the valuation allowance impacts income tax expense in the period of adjustment. The Company’s deferred tax valuation allowance requires significant judgment and uncertainties, including assumptions about future taxable income that are based on historical and projected information. The Company recognizes excess tax benefits when they are realized, as a reduction of the provision for income taxes.
The Company assesses its income tax positions and records tax benefits based upon management’s evaluation of the facts, circumstances, and information available at the reporting date. For those tax positions where it is more-likely-than-not that a tax benefit will be sustained, the Company records the largest amount of tax benefit with a greater than 50 percent likelihood of being realized upon ultimate settlement with a taxing authority having full knowledge of all relevant information. For those income tax positions where it is not more-likely-than-not that a tax benefit will be sustained, no tax benefit is recognized in the financial statements. The Company classifies liabilities for uncertain tax positions as non-current liabilities unless the uncertainty is expected to be resolved within one year. The Company classifies interest and penalties on uncertain tax positions as income tax expense.
As a global company, the Company uses significant judgment to calculate and provide for income taxes in each of the tax jurisdictions in which it operates. In the ordinary course of the Company’s business, there are transactions and calculations undertaken whose ultimate tax outcome cannot be certain. Some of these uncertainties arise as a consequence of transfer pricing for transactions with the Company’s subsidiaries and nexus and tax credit estimates. In addition, the calculation of acquired tax attributes and the associated limitations are complex. See "Note 16. Income Taxes" for additional information.
Advertising costs are expensed as incurred. Advertising costs were $8.7 million, $6.7 million, and $6.9 million during 2020, 2019, and 2018, respectively.
New Accounting Standards
In August 2020, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) issued Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) No. 2020-06, “Accounting for Convertible Instruments and Contracts in an Entity’s Own Equity” (ASU 2020-06), which simplifies the accounting for certain financial instruments with characteristics of liabilities and equity, including convertible instruments and contracts in an entity’s own equity. The standard eliminates the liability and equity separation model for convertible instruments with a cash conversion feature. As a result, after adoption, entities will no longer separately present in equity an embedded conversion feature for such debt. Additionally, the embedded conversion feature will no longer be amortized into income as interest expense over the instrument’s life. Instead, entities will account for a convertible debt instrument wholly as debt unless (1) a convertible instrument contains features that require bifurcation as a derivative under ASC Topic 815, Derivatives and Hedging, or (2) a convertible debt instrument was issued at a substantial premium. Additionally, the standard requires applying the if-converted method to calculate convertible instruments’ impact on diluted earnings per share (“EPS”). The standard is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2021, with early adoption permitted for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2020. It can be adopted on either a full retrospective or modified retrospective basis. The Company is currently evaluating the effect this ASU will have on its consolidated financial statements and related disclosures. The Company expects to elect to early adopt the new standard in the first quarter of 2021.