Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Organization and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

Organization and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
3 Months Ended
Jul. 31, 2015
Organization and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

1. Organization and Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

Nature of Business

Korn/Ferry International, a Delaware corporation (the “Company”), and its subsidiaries are engaged in the business of providing talent management solutions, including executive recruitment on a retained basis, recruitment for non-executive professionals, recruitment process outsourcing and leadership & talent consulting services. The Company’s worldwide network of 78 offices in 37 countries enables it to meet the needs of its clients in all industries.

Basis of Consolidation and Presentation

The accompanying financial statements should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and notes thereto included in the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended April 30, 2015 for the Company and its wholly and majority owned/controlled domestic and international subsidiaries. All intercompany balances and transactions have been eliminated in consolidation. The preparation of the consolidated financial statements conform with United States (“U.S.”) generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”) and prevailing practice within the industry. The consolidated financial statements include all adjustments, consisting of normal recurring accruals and any other adjustments that management considers necessary for a fair presentation of the results for these periods. The results of operations for the interim period are not necessarily indicative of the results for the entire fiscal year.

Investments in affiliated companies, which are 50% or less owned and where the Company exercises significant influence over operations, are accounted for using the equity method.

The Company considers events or transactions that occur after the balance sheet date but before the consolidated financial statements are issued to provide additional evidence relative to certain estimates or to identify matters that require additional disclosures.

Use of Estimates and Uncertainties

The preparation of the consolidated financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the consolidated financial statements and the reported amounts of revenue and expenses during the reporting period. Actual results could differ from these estimates, and changes in estimates are reported in current operations as new information is learned or upon the amounts becoming fixed and determinable. The most significant areas that require management judgment are revenue recognition, restructuring, deferred compensation, annual performance related bonuses, evaluation of the carrying value of receivables, goodwill and other intangible assets, fair value of contingent consideration, share-based payments and the recoverability of deferred income taxes.

Revenue Recognition

Substantially all fee revenue is derived from fees for professional services related to executive recruitment performed on a retained basis, recruitment for non-executive professionals, recruitment process outsourcing and leadership & talent consulting services. Fee revenue from executive recruitment activities and recruitment for non-executive professionals is generally one-third of the estimated first year cash compensation of the placed executive or non-executive professional, as applicable, plus a percentage of the fee to cover indirect engagement related expenses. The Company generally recognizes such revenue on a straight-line basis over a three-month period, commencing upon client acceptance, as this is the period over which the recruitment services are performed. Fees earned in excess of the initial contract amount are recognized upon completion of the engagement, which reflect the difference between the final actual compensation of the placed executive and the estimate used for purposes of the previous billings. Since the initial contract fees are typically not contingent upon placement of a candidate, our assumptions primarily relate to establishing the period over which such service is performed. These assumptions determine the timing of revenue recognition and profitability for the reported period. Any revenues associated with services that are provided on a contingent basis are recognized once the contingency is resolved. In addition to recruitment for non-executive professionals, Futurestep provides recruitment process outsourcing (“RPO”) services and fee revenue is recognized as services are rendered and/or as milestones are achieved. Fee revenue from Leadership & Talent Consulting (“LTC”) services is recognized as services are rendered for consulting engagements and other time based services, measured by total hours incurred to the total estimated hours at completion. It is possible that updated estimates for the consulting engagement may vary from initial estimates with such updates being recognized in the period of determination. Depending on the timing of billings and services rendered, the Company accrues or defers revenue as appropriate. LTC revenue is also derived from the sale of solution services, which includes revenue from licenses and from the sale of products. Revenue from licenses is recognized using a straight-line method over the term of the contract (generally 12 months). Under the fixed term licenses, the Company is obligated to provide the licensee with access to any updates to the underlying intellectual property that are made by the Company during the term of the license. Once the term of the agreement expires, the client’s right to access or use the intellectual property expires and the Company has no further obligations to the client under the license agreement. Revenue from perpetual licenses is recognized when the license is sold since the Company’s only obligation is to provide the client access to the intellectual property but is not obligated to provide maintenance, support, updates or upgrades. Products sold by the Company mainly consist of books and automated services covering a variety of topics including performance management, team effectiveness, and coaching and development. The Company recognizes revenue for its products when the product has been sold or shipped in the case of books. As of July 31, 2015 and April 30, 2015, the Company included deferred revenue of $39.5 million and $40.5 million, respectively, in other accrued liabilities.

Allowance for Doubtful Accounts

An allowance is established for doubtful accounts by taking a charge to general and administrative expenses. The amount of the allowance is based on historical loss experience, assessment of the collectability of specific accounts, as well as expectations of future collections based upon trends and the type of work for which services are rendered. After the Company exhausts all collection efforts, the amount of the allowance is reduced for balances identified as uncollectible.

Cash and Cash Equivalents

The Company considers all highly liquid investments with original maturities of three months or less to be cash equivalents. As of July 31, 2015 and April 30, 2015, the Company’s investments in cash equivalents, consist of money market funds for which market prices are readily available. As of July 31, 2015 and April 30, 2015, the Company had cash equivalents of $168.8 million and $260.6 million, respectively.

Marketable Securities

The Company currently has investments in marketable securities and mutual funds which are classified as either trading securities or available-for-sale, based upon management’s intent and ability to hold, sell or trade such securities. The classification of the investments in these marketable securities and mutual funds is assessed upon purchase and reassessed at each reporting period. These investments are recorded at fair value and are classified as marketable securities in the accompanying consolidated balance sheets. The investments that the Company may sell within the next twelve months are carried as current assets. Realized gains (losses) on marketable securities are determined by specific identification. Interest is recognized on an accrual basis, dividends are recorded as earned on the ex-dividend date. Interest and dividend income are recorded in the accompanying consolidated statements of income in interest expense, net.

The Company invests in mutual funds (for which market prices are readily available) that are held in trust to satisfy obligations under the Company’s deferred compensation plans (see Note 5 — Marketable Securities) and are classified as trading securities. Such investments are based upon the employees’ investment elections in their deemed accounts in the Executive Capital Accumulation Plan and similar plans in Asia Pacific and Canada (“ECAP”) from a pre-determined set of securities and the Company invests in marketable securities to mirror these elections. The changes in fair value in trading securities are recorded in the accompanying consolidated statements of income in other (loss) income, net.

The Company also invests cash in excess of its daily operating requirements and capital needs primarily in marketable fixed income (debt) securities in accordance with the Company’s investment policy, which restricts the type of investments that can be made. The Company’s investment portfolio includes corporate bonds. These marketable fixed income (debt) securities are classified as available-for-sale securities based on management’s decision, at the date such securities are acquired, not to hold these securities to maturity or actively trade them. The Company carries these marketable debt securities at fair value based on the market prices for these marketable debt securities or similar debt securities whose prices are readily available. The changes in fair values, net of applicable taxes, are recorded as unrealized gains or losses as a component of comprehensive income. When, in the opinion of management, a decline in the fair value of an investment below its amortized cost is considered to be “other-than-temporary,” a credit loss is recorded in the statement of income in other (loss) income, net; any amount in excess of the credit loss is recorded as unrealized gains or losses as a component of comprehensive income. Generally, the amount of the loss is the difference between the cost or amortized cost and its then current fair value; a credit loss is the difference between the discounted expected future cash flows to be collected from the debt security and the cost or amortized cost of the debt security. The determination of the other-than-temporary decline includes, in addition to other relevant factors, a presumption that if the market value is below cost by a significant amount for a period of time, a write-down may be necessary. During the three months ended July 31, 2015 and 2014, no other-than-temporary impairment was recognized.

Fair Value of Financial Instruments

Fair value is the price the Company would receive to sell an asset or transfer a liability (exit price) in an orderly transaction between market participants. For those assets and liabilities recorded or disclosed at fair value, the Company determines the fair value based upon the quoted market price, if available. If a quoted market price is not available for identical assets, the fair value is based upon the quoted market price of similar assets. The fair values are assigned a level within the fair value hierarchy as defined below:


    Level 1: Observable inputs such as quoted prices (unadjusted) in active markets that are accessible at the measurement date for identical, unrestricted assets or liabilities.


    Level 2: Inputs other than quoted prices that are observable for the asset or liability, either directly or indirectly. These include quoted prices for similar assets or liabilities in active markets and quoted prices for identical or similar assets or liabilities in markets that are not active.


    Level 3: Unobservable inputs that reflect the reporting entity’s own assumptions.

As of July 31, 2015 and April 30, 2015, the Company held certain assets that are required to be measured at fair value on a recurring basis. These included cash, cash equivalents, accounts receivable and marketable securities. The carrying amount of cash, cash equivalents and accounts receivable approximates fair value due to the short maturity of these instruments. The fair values of marketable securities classified as trading are obtained from quoted market prices, and the fair values of marketable securities classified as available-for-sale are obtained from a third party, which are based on quoted prices or market prices for similar assets.

Business Acquisitions

Business acquisitions are accounted for under the acquisition method. The acquisition method requires the reporting entity to identify the acquirer, determine the acquisition date, recognize and measure the identifiable assets acquired, the liabilities assumed and any non-controlling interest in the acquired entity, and recognize and measure goodwill or a gain from the purchase. The acquiree’s results are included in the Company’s consolidated financial statements from the date of acquisition. Assets acquired and liabilities assumed are recorded at their fair values and the excess of the purchase price over the amounts assigned is recorded as goodwill, or if the fair value of the assets acquired exceeds the purchase price consideration, a bargain purchase gain is recorded. Adjustments to fair value assessments are generally recorded to goodwill over the measurement period (not longer than twelve months). The acquisition method also requires that acquisition-related transaction and post-acquisition restructuring costs be charged to expense as committed, and requires the Company to recognize and measure certain assets and liabilities including those arising from contingencies and contingent consideration in a business combination.

Goodwill and Intangible Assets

Goodwill represents the excess of the purchase price over the fair value of assets acquired. The goodwill impairment test compares the fair value of a reporting unit with its carrying amount, including goodwill. If the carrying amount of a reporting unit exceeds its fair value, goodwill of the reporting unit would be considered impaired. To measure the amount of the impairment loss, the implied fair value of a reporting unit’s goodwill is compared to the carrying amount of that goodwill. The implied fair value of goodwill is determined in the same manner as the amount of goodwill recognized in a business combination. If the carrying amount of a reporting unit’s goodwill exceeds the implied fair value of that goodwill, an impairment loss is recognized in an amount equal to that excess. For each of these tests, the fair value of each of the Company’s reporting units is determined using a combination of valuation techniques, including a discounted cash flow methodology. To corroborate the discounted cash flow analysis performed at each reporting unit, a market approach is utilized using observable market data such as comparable companies in similar lines of business that are publicly traded or which are part of a public or private transaction (to the extent available). Results of the annual impairment test performed as of January 31, 2015, indicated that the fair value of each reporting unit exceeded its carrying amount and no reporting units were at risk of failing the impairment test. As a result, no impairment charge was recognized. There were no indicators of impairment as of July 31, 2015 and April 30, 2015 that would have required further testing.

Intangible assets primarily consist of customer lists, non-compete agreements, proprietary databases, intellectual property and trademarks and are recorded at their estimated fair value at the date of acquisition and are amortized in a pattern in which the asset is consumed if that pattern can be reliably determined, or using the straight-line method over their estimated useful lives which range from one to 24 years. For intangible assets subject to amortization, an impairment loss is recognized if the carrying amount of the intangible assets is not recoverable and exceeds fair value. The carrying amount of the intangible assets is considered not recoverable if it exceeds the sum of the undiscounted cash flows expected to result from use of the asset. Intangible assets with indefinite lives are not amortized, but are reviewed annually for impairment or more frequently whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the fair value of the asset may be less than its carrying amount. As of July 31, 2015 and April 30, 2015, there were no indicators of impairment with respect to the Company’s intangible assets.

Compensation and Benefits Expense

Compensation and benefits expense in the accompanying consolidated statements of income consist of compensation and benefits paid to consultants (employees who originate business), executive officers and administrative and support personnel. The most significant portions of this expense are salaries and the amounts paid under the annual performance related bonus plan to employees. The portion of the expense applicable to salaries is comprised of amounts earned by employees during a reporting period. The portion of the expenses applicable to annual performance related bonuses refers to the Company’s annual employee performance related bonus with respect to a fiscal year, the amount of which is communicated and paid to each eligible employee following the completion of the fiscal year.

Each quarter, management makes its best estimate of its annual performance related bonuses, which requires management to, among other things, project annual consultant productivity (as measured by engagement fees billed and collected by executive search consultants and revenue and other performance metrics for LTC and Futurestep consultants), the level of engagements referred by a fee earner in one line of business to a different line of business, Company performance including profitability, competitive forces and future economic conditions and their impact on the Company’s results. At the end of each fiscal year, annual performance related bonuses take into account final individual consultant productivity (including referred work), Company results including profitability, the achievement of strategic objectives and the results of individual performance appraisals, and the current economic landscape. Accordingly, each quarter the Company reevaluates the assumptions used to estimate annual performance related bonus liability and adjusts the carrying amount of the liability recorded on the consolidated balance sheet and reports any changes in the estimate in current operations.

Because annual performance-based bonuses are communicated and paid only after the Company reports its full fiscal year results, actual performance-based bonus payments may differ from the prior year’s estimate. Such changes in the bonus estimate historically have been immaterial and are recorded in current operations in the period in which they are determined. The performance related bonus expense was $42.4 million and $39.0 million for the three months ended July 31, 2015 and 2014, respectively, which was reduced by a change in the previous years’ estimate recorded in the three months ended July 31, 2015 and 2014, of $0.6 million and $0.3 million, respectively. This resulted in net bonus expense of $41.8 million and $38.7 million in the three months ended July 31, 2015 and 2014, respectively, included in compensation and benefits expense in the consolidated statements of income.

Other expenses included in compensation and benefits expense are due to changes in deferred compensation and pension plan liabilities, changes in cash surrender value (“CSV”) of company owned life insurance (“COLI”) contracts, amortization of stock compensation awards, payroll taxes and employee insurance benefits.


Restructuring Charges, Net

The Company accounts for its restructuring charges as a liability when the obligations are incurred and records such charges at fair value. Changes in the estimates of the restructuring charges are recorded in the period the change is determined.

Stock-Based Compensation

The Company has employee compensation plans under which various types of stock-based instruments are granted. These instruments principally include restricted stock units, restricted stock, stock options and an Employee Stock Purchase Plan (“ESPP”). The Company recognizes compensation expense related to restricted stock units, restricted stock and the estimated fair value of stock options and stock purchase under the ESPP on a straight-line basis over the service period for the entire award.

Recently Proposed Accounting Standards

In May 2014, the FASB issued guidance that supersedes revenue recognition requirements regarding contracts with customers to transfer goods or services or for the transfer of nonfinancial assets. Under the new guidance, entities are required to recognize revenue in order to depict the transfer of promised goods or services to customers in an amount that reflects the consideration to which the entity expects to be entitled in exchange for those goods or services. The guidance provides a five-step analysis to be performed on transactions to determine when and how revenue is recognized. In July 2015, the FASB decided to approve a one-year deferral of the effective date as well as providing an option to early adopt the standard on the original effective date. This new guidance is effective for fiscal years and interim periods within those annual years beginning after December 15, 2017 as opposed to the original effective date of December 15, 2016. The Company will adopt this guidance in its fiscal year beginning May 1, 2018. The Company is currently evaluating the effect the guidance will have on our financial condition and results of operations.