SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES (Policies)
|9 Months Ended
Sep. 30, 2023
|Accounting Policies [Abstract]
|Nature of Operations
Nature of Operations. We collect, organize and manage various types of financial, demographic, employment, criminal justice data 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 September 30, 2023, we operated in the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, 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 have investments in consumer and/or commercial credit information companies through joint ventures in Cambodia, Malaysia and Singapore. On August 7, 2023, we purchased the remaining interest in our equity 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, criminal justice data, 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, 2022 (“2022 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 reporting period. Diluted EPS is calculated to reflect the potential dilution that would occur if stock options 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.
|Financial Instruments. Our financial instruments consist primarily 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 publicly traded instruments, and for non-publicly traded instruments, through valuation techniques depending on the specific characteristics of the debt instrument, taking into account credit risk.
|Fair Value Measurements
Fair Value Measurements. Fair value is determined based on the assumptions marketplace participants use in pricing an 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 two acquisitions during the nine months ended September 30, 2023 and multiple acquisitions during the year ended December 31, 2022. The values of net assets acquired 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 definite-lived intangible assets acquired in these acquisitions were 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 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 and are due in less than a year. 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 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 on the accompanying Consolidated Statements of Income.
|Other Current Assets
|Other Current Assets. Other current assets on our Consolidated Balance Sheets primarily include amounts receivable related to vendor rebates and 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.
|Other Assets. Other assets on our Consolidated Balance Sheets primarily represent our investments in unconsolidated affiliates, the Company’s operating lease right-of-use assets, employee benefit trust assets, assets related to life insurance policies covering certain officers of the Company and long-term deferred tax assets.
|Equity Investment. On August 7, 2023, we purchased the remaining interest of our equity investment in Boa Vista Serviços S.A. ("BVS"), a consumer and commercial credit information bureau in Brazil. Up until the date of acquisition, we recorded this equity investment within Other Assets at fair value, using observable Level 1 inputs.
|Other Current Liabilities
|Other Current Liabilities. Other current liabilities on our Consolidated Balance Sheets consist of the current portion of our operating lease liabilities and various accrued liabilities such as interest expense, income taxes, accrued employee benefits, and insurance expense. Other current liabilities also include the offset to 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 and Recent Accounting Pronouncements
Change in Accounting Principle. In October 2021, the Financial Accounting Standards Board ("FASB") issued Accounting Standards Update ("ASU") No. 2021-08 “Business Combinations (Topic 805): Accounting for Contract Assets and Contract Liabilities from Contracts with Customers.” The update provides clarifying guidance to reduce diversity in practice stating that contract assets, contract liabilities and deferred revenue acquired in business combinations should be measured in accordance with Accounting Standards Topic 606, rather than the fair value principles of Accounting Standards Topic 805. ASU 2021-08 is effective for all public business entities for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2022. This guidance must be applied on a prospective basis. As of January 1, 2023, we have adopted this standard as it relates to our current year business combinations. The adoption of this guidance did not have a material impact on our financial position, results of operations or cash flows.
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. In December 2022, the FASB issued ASU No. 2022-06 "Reference Rate Reform (Topic 848): Deferral of the Sunset Date of Topic 848." The update extends the sunset date from ASU No. 2020-04 from December 31, 2022, to December 31, 2024. After this date, entities will no longer be permitted to apply the relief in Topic 848. 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.
In August 2023, the FASB issued ASU No. 2023-05 "Business Combinations—Joint Venture Formations (Subtopic 805-60): Recognition and Initial Measurement." The amendments in this update address the accounting for contributions made to a joint venture, upon formation, in a joint venture’s separate financial statements. The update requires that a joint venture apply a new basis of accounting upon formation. By applying a new basis of accounting, a joint venture, upon formation, will recognize and initially measure its assets and liabilities at fair value (with exceptions to fair value measurement that are consistent with the business combinations guidance). The amendments in this update are effective prospectively for all joint venture formations with a formation date on or after January 1, 2025. This update will impact us if we enter into any joint venture agreements after January 1, 2025 and we will evaluate the impact accordingly.