SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES
|3 Months Ended|
Mar. 31, 2021
|Accounting Policies [Abstract]|
|SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES||SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES
As used herein, the terms Equifax, the Company, we, our and us refer to Equifax Inc., a Georgia corporation, and its consolidated subsidiaries as a combined entity, except where it is clear that the terms mean only Equifax Inc.
Nature of Operations. We collect, analyze and manage various types of financial, demographic, employment and marketing information. Our products and services enable businesses to make credit and service decisions, manage their portfolio risk, automate or outsource certain payroll-related, tax and human resources business processes, and develop marketing strategies concerning consumers and commercial enterprises. We serve customers across a wide range of industries, including the financial services, mortgage, retail, telecommunications, utilities, automotive, brokerage, healthcare and insurance industries, as well as government agencies. We also enable consumers to manage and protect their financial health through a portfolio of products offered directly to consumers. As of March 31, 2021, we operated in the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, India, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom, or U.K., Uruguay and the United States of America, or U.S. We also offer Equifax branded credit services in Russia through a joint venture, have investments in consumer and/or commercial credit information companies through joint ventures in Cambodia, Malaysia and Singapore and have an investment in a consumer and commercial credit information company in Brazil.
We develop, maintain and enhance secured proprietary information databases through the compilation of consumer specific data, including credit, income, employment, asset, liquidity, net worth and spending activity, and business data, including credit and business demographics, that we obtain from a variety of sources, such as credit granting institutions, and income and tax information primarily from large to mid-sized companies in the U.S. We process this information utilizing our proprietary information management systems. We also provide information, technology and services to support debt collections and recovery management.
Basis of Presentation. The accompanying unaudited Consolidated Financial Statements have been prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP, the instructions to Form 10-Q and applicable sections of SEC Regulation S-X. This Form 10-Q should be read in conjunction with the Consolidated Financial Statements and the notes thereto included in our annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020 (“2020 Form 10-K”).
Our unaudited Consolidated Financial Statements reflect all adjustments which are, in the opinion of management, necessary for a fair presentation of the periods presented and are of a normal recurring nature.
Earnings Per Share. Our basic earnings per share, or EPS, is calculated as net income attributable to Equifax divided by the weighted-average number of common shares outstanding during the period. Diluted EPS is calculated to reflect the potential dilution that would occur if stock options, restricted stock units, or other contracts to issue common stock were exercised and resulted in additional common shares outstanding. The net income amounts used in both our basic and diluted EPS calculations are the same. A reconciliation of the weighted-average outstanding shares used in the two calculations is as follows:
For the three months ended March 31, 2021 and 2020, stock options that were anti-dilutive were not material.
Financial Instruments. Our financial instruments consist of cash and cash equivalents, accounts receivable, accounts payable and short and long-term debt. The carrying amounts of these items, other than long-term debt, approximate their fair
market values due to the short-term nature of these instruments. The fair value of our fixed-rate debt is determined using Level 2 inputs such as quoted market prices for similar publicly traded instruments and for non-publicly traded instruments through valuation techniques involving observable inputs based on the specific characteristics of the debt instrument. As of March 31, 2021 and December 31, 2020, the fair value of our long-term debt, including the current portion, was $4.7 billion and $4.8 billion, respectively, compared to its carrying value of $4.4 billion and $4.4 billion, respectively.
Fair Value Measurements. Fair value is determined based on the assumptions marketplace participants use in pricing the asset or liability. We use a three level fair value hierarchy to prioritize the inputs used in valuation techniques between observable inputs that reflect quoted prices in active markets, inputs other than quoted prices with observable market data and unobservable data (e.g., a company’s own data).
Assets and Liabilities Measured at Fair Value on a Nonrecurring Basis. We completed various acquisitions during the three months ended March 31, 2021 and the year ended December 31, 2020. The values of net assets acquired and the resulting goodwill were recorded at fair value using Level 3 inputs. The majority of the related current assets acquired and liabilities assumed were recorded at their carrying values as of the date of acquisition, as their carrying values approximated their fair values due to their short-term nature. The fair values of goodwill and definite-lived intangible assets acquired in these acquisitions were internally or externally estimated primarily based on the income approach. The income approach estimates fair value based on the present value of the cash flows that the assets are expected to generate in the future. We developed internal estimates for the expected cash flows and discount rates used in the present value calculations.
Trade Accounts Receivable and Allowance for Doubtful Accounts. Accounts receivable are stated at cost. Significant payment terms for customers are identified in the contract. We do not recognize interest income on our trade accounts receivable. Additionally, we generally do not require collateral from our customers related to our trade accounts receivable.
The allowance for doubtful accounts is based on management's estimate for expected credit losses for outstanding trade accounts receivables. We determine expected credit losses based on historical write-off experience, an analysis of the aging of outstanding receivables, customer payment patterns, the establishment of specific reserves for customers in an adverse financial condition and is adjusted based upon our expectations of changes in macroeconomic conditions that may impact the collectability of outstanding receivables. We reassess the adequacy of the allowance for doubtful accounts each reporting period. Increases to the allowance for doubtful accounts are recorded as bad debt expense, which are included in selling, general and administrative expenses in the accompanying Consolidated Statements of Income. Below is a rollforward of our allowance for doubtful accounts for the three months ended March 31, 2021 and 2020, respectively.
Other Current Assets. Other current assets on our Consolidated Balance Sheets include amounts receivable from tax authorities. Other current assets also include amounts in specifically designated accounts that hold the funds that are due to customers from our debt collection and recovery management services. As of March 31, 2021, these assets were approximately $17.9 million, with a corresponding balance in other current liabilities. These amounts are restricted as to their current use, and will be released according to the specific customer agreements.
Other Assets. Other assets on our Consolidated Balance Sheets primarily represent the Company’s operating lease right-of-use assets, our investments in unconsolidated affiliates, employee benefit trust assets, and assets related to life insurance policies covering certain officers of the Company.
Equity Investment. We record our equity investment in Brazil within Other Assets at fair value, using observable Level 1 inputs. The carrying value of the investment has been adjusted to $106.0 million as of March 31, 2021 based on quoted market prices as of the date noted above, resulting in an unrealized loss of $11.9 million for the three months ended March 31, 2021. All unrealized gains or losses on the investment are recorded in Other income (expense), net within the Consolidated Statements of Income.
Other Current Liabilities. Other current liabilities on our Consolidated Balance Sheets consist of the current portion of operating lease liabilities and various accrued liabilities such as costs related to the 2017 cybersecurity incident as described more fully in Note 6. Other current liabilities also include corresponding amounts of other current assets related to amounts in specifically designated accounts that hold the funds that are due to customers from our debt collection and recovery management services. As of March 31, 2021, these funds were approximately $17.9 million. These amounts are restricted as to their current use and will be released according to the specific customer agreements.
Recent Accounting Pronouncements. In March 2020, the FASB issued ASU No. 2020-04 “Reference Rate Reform (Topic 848): Facilitation of the Effects of Reference Rate Reform on Financial Reporting.” The update provides optional guidance for a limited period of time to ease the potential burden in accounting for (or recognizing the effects of) contract modifications on financial reporting, caused by reference rate reform. ASU 2020-04 is effective for all entities as of March 12, 2020 through December 31, 2022. We are still evaluating the impact, but do not expect the adoption of the standard to have a material impact on our Consolidated Financial Statements.
The entire disclosure for the basis of presentation and significant accounting policies concepts. Basis of presentation describes the underlying basis used to prepare the financial statements (for example, US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, Other Comprehensive Basis of Accounting, IFRS). Accounting policies describe all significant accounting policies of the reporting entity.
Reference 1: http://fasb.org/us-gaap/role/ref/legacyRef