SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES (Policies)
|3 Months Ended
Mar. 31, 2020
|Accounting Policies [Abstract]
|Nature of Operations
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, 2020, 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, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates, have an investment in a consumer and commercial credit information company in Brazil, and have an investment in an identity authentication company in Canada.
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
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, 2019 (“2019 Form 10-K”).
|Earnings Per Share
|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 (loss) amounts used in both our basic and diluted EPS calculations are the same.
|Financial Instruments. Our financial instruments consist of cash and cash equivalents, accounts and notes 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.
|Fair Value Measurements
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).
The following table presents items measured at fair value on a recurring basis:
(1) We maintain deferred compensation plans that allow for certain management employees to defer the receipt of compensation (such as salary, incentive compensation and commissions) until a later date based on the terms of the plan. The liability representing benefits accrued for plan participants is valued at the quoted market prices of the participants’ investment elections. The asset consists of mutual funds reflective of the participants’ investment selections and is valued at daily quoted market prices.
Assets and Liabilities Measured at Fair Value on a Nonrecurring Basis. We completed various acquisitions during the three months ended March 31, 2020 and the year ended December 31, 2019. 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
|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 adjusted based upon our expectations of changes in macro-economic 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 on the accompanying Consolidated Statements of Income (Loss).
|Other Current Assets
|Other Current Assets. Other current assets on our Consolidated Balance Sheets include amounts receivable from tax authorities and director and officers liability insurance receivable for costs incurred to date related to the 2017 cybersecurity incident that are reimbursable and probable for recovery under our insurance coverage. 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.
|Other Assets. Other assets on our Consolidated Balance Sheets primarily represent the Company’s operating lease right-of-use assets, our investment in unconsolidated affiliates, employee benefit trust assets, and assets related to life insurance policies covering certain officers of the Company.
|Other Current Liabilities
|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 5. 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.
|Change in Accounting Principle
Change in Accounting Principle. In June 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-13 “Financial Instruments-Credit Losses (Topic 326): Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments” which requires the measurement and recognition of expected credit losses for financial assets held at amortized cost. ASU 2016-13 replaces the existing incurred loss impairment model with an expected loss methodology, which will result in more timely recognition of credit losses. ASU 2016-13 is effective for annual reporting periods, and interim periods within those years, beginning after December 15, 2019. As of January 1, 2020, we adopted the standard. The adoption of the standard did not have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements with the most significant impact being the increase in allowance for doubtful accounts related to our trade accounts receivable. The adoption adjustment was recorded to Retained Earnings, as seen in the Consolidated Statements of Changes in Equity.
In January 2017, the FASB issued ASU 2017-04 “Simplifying the Test for Goodwill Impairment (Topic 350).” This standard eliminates Step 2 from the current goodwill impairment test, instead requiring an entity to recognize a goodwill impairment charge for the amount by which the reporting unit's carrying amount exceeds the reporting unit’s fair value. This guidance is effective for interim and annual goodwill impairment tests in fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019 with early adoption permitted. This guidance must be applied on a prospective basis. The adoption of this guidance did not have a material impact on our financial position, results of operations or cash flows.
In August 2018, the FASB issued ASU No. 2018-13 “Fair Value Measurement (Topic 820): Disclosure Framework-Changes to the Disclosure Requirements for Fair Value Measurement” which eliminates, adds, and modifies certain disclosure requirements for fair value measurements as part of its disclosure framework project. ASU 2018-13 is effective for all entities for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019, and interim periods therein, but entities are permitted to early adopt either the entire standard or only the provisions that eliminate or modify the requirements. The adoption of this standard did not materially impact our consolidated financial statements or disclosures.
In August 2018, the FASB issued ASU No. 2018-15 “Intangibles-Goodwill and Other-Internal-Use Software (Subtopic 350-40): Customer’s Accounting for Implementation Costs Incurred in a Cloud Computing Arrangement That is a Service Contract.” ASU 2018-15 requires that issuers follow the internal-use software guidance in Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) 350-40 to determine which costs to capitalize as assets or expense as incurred. The ASC 350-40 guidance requires that certain costs incurred during the application development stage be capitalized and other costs incurred during thepreliminary project and post-implementation stages be expensed as they are incurred. ASU 2018-15 is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019 and interim periods therein. The adoption of the standard did not have a material impact on our consolidated financial statements.
|Recent Accounting Pronouncements
|Recent Accounting Pronouncements. Retirement Benefits. In August 2018, the FASB issued ASU No. 2018-14 “Compensation-Retirement Benefits-Defined Benefit Plans-General (Subtopic 715-20): Disclosure Framework-Changes to the Disclosure Requirements for Defined Benefit Plans” which requires minor changes to the disclosure requirements for employers that sponsor defined benefit pension and/or other postretirement benefit plans. ASU 2018-14 is effective for fiscal years ending after December 15, 2020 and early adoption is permitted. The adoption of this standard will have an impact on our disclosures and will not materially impact our consolidated financial statements.Reference Rate Reform. 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.