Table of Contents
Income taxes. We account for income taxes using the asset and liability approach for measuring deferred taxes based on temporary differences between the financial statement and income tax bases of assets and liabilities existing at each balance sheet date using enacted tax rates for the years in which the taxes are expected to be paid or recovered. A valuation allowance is provided to reduce the deferred tax assets to a level that we believe will more likely than not be realized. The resulting net deferred tax asset reflects managements estimate of the amount that will be realized.
We apply the guidance related to accounting for uncertainty in income taxes. We concluded that there were no uncertain tax positions identified during our analysis.
We provide for income taxes based on our estimate of federal and state tax liabilities. These estimates include, among other items, effective rates for state and local income taxes, estimates related to depreciation and amortization expense allowable for tax purposes, and the tax deductibility of certain other items. Our estimates are based on the information available to us at the time we prepare the income tax provision. We generally file our annual income tax returns several months after our fiscal year-end. Income tax returns are subject to audit by federal, state and local governments, generally years after the returns are filed. These returns could be subject to material adjustments or differing interpretations of the tax laws.
Stock-based compensation. We recognize in the statements of operations all share-based payments to employees, including grants of employee stock options, to be recognized in the income statement based on their estimated fair values. We use the Black-Scholes option pricing model to estimate the fair values of share-based payments.
The above list is not intended to be a comprehensive list of all of our accounting estimates. In many cases, the accounting treatment of a particular transaction is specifically dictated by GAAP, with little need for managements judgment in their application. There are also areas in which managements judgment in selecting any available alternative would not produce a materially different result. See our audited financial statements and related notes, which contain accounting policies and other disclosures required by GAAP.
Components of Revenue and Expenses
Revenue. We generate substantially all of our revenue from sales of merchandise held in inventory and by retaining a percentage of the proceeds from the sales. Our revenue recognition practices are discussed in more detail in the section above entitled Critical Accounting Estimates.
Cost of goods sold (excluding amortization). Cost of goods sold includes the costs of purchasing and transporting property for auction, as well as credit card transaction fees.
Profit-sharing distributions. Our Scrap Contract with the DoD has been structured as a profit-sharing arrangement in which we purchase and take possession of all goods we receive from the DoD at a contractual price per pound. After deducting allowable operating expenses, we disburse to the DoD on a monthly basis a percentage of the profits of the aggregate monthly sales. We retain the remaining percentage of these profits after the DoDs disbursement. We refer to these disbursement payments to the DoD as profit-sharing distributions.
Technology and operations. Technology expenses consist primarily of personnel costs related to our programming staff who develop and deploy new marketplaces and continuously enhance existing marketplaces. These personnel also develop and upgrade the software systems that support our operations, such as sales processing. Because our marketplaces and support systems require frequent upgrades and enhancements to maintain viability, we have determined that the useful life for substantially all of our internally developed software is less than one year. As a result, we expense these costs as incurred.
Operations expenses consist primarily of operating costs, including buyer relations, shipping logistics and distribution center operating costs.
Sales and marketing. Sales and marketing expenses include the cost of our sales and marketing personnel as well as the cost of marketing and promotional activities. These activities include online marketing campaigns such as paid search advertising.
General and administrative. General and administrative expenses include all corporate and administrative functions that support our operations and provide an infrastructure to facilitate our future growth. Components of these expenses include executive management and staff salaries, bonuses and related taxes and employee benefits; travel; headquarters rent and related occupancy costs; and legal and accounting fees. The salaries, bonus and employee benefits costs included as general and administrative expenses are generally more fixed in nature than our operating expenses and do not vary directly with the volume of merchandise sold through our marketplaces.