Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Organization And Summary Of Significant Accounting Policies (Policy)

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Organization And Summary Of Significant Accounting Policies (Policy)
9 Months Ended
Jan. 31, 2012
Organization And Summary Of Significant Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
Basis Of Consolidation And Presentation

Basis of Consolidation and Presentation

The consolidated financial statements for the three and nine months ended January 31, 2012 and 2011 include the accounts of 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 periods are not necessarily indicative of the results for the entire fiscal year. These financial statements have been prepared consistently with the accounting policies described in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended April 30, 2011 (the "Annual Report") and should be read in conjunction with the Annual Report.

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 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

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. The most significant areas that require management judgment are revenue recognition, deferred compensation, annual performance related compensation, evaluation of the carrying value of receivables, marketable securities, goodwill and other intangible assets, fair value of contingent consideration and the recoverability of deferred income taxes.

Revenue Recognition

Revenue Recognition

Substantially all professional fee revenue is derived from fees for professional services related to executive recruitment performed on a retained basis, middle-management recruitment, recruitment process outsourcing and leadership and talent consulting services. Fee revenue from leadership and talent consulting and recruitment process outsourcing services is recognized as services are performed. Fee revenue from recruitment activities and middle-management recruitment are generally one-third of the estimated first year cash compensation plus a percentage of the fee to cover indirect expenses. The Company generally bills clients in three monthly installments commencing the month of client acceptance. Fees earned in excess of the initial contract amount are billed upon completion of the engagement, which reflects the final actual compensation of the placed executive. Any services that are provided on a contingent basis are recognized once the contingency is fulfilled.

Allowance For Doubtful Accounts

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

Cash and Cash Equivalents

The Company considers all highly liquid investments with original maturities of three months or less to be cash equivalents.

Restricted Cash

Restricted Cash

The Company had $10.0 million of restricted cash at January 31, 2012 and April 30, 2011 related to its existing credit facility (see Note 9), which is included in investments and other assets in the accompanying consolidated balance sheets.

Marketable Securities

Marketable Securities

The Company classifies its marketable securities as either trading securities or available-for-sale. These investments are recorded at fair value and are classified as marketable securities in the accompanying consolidated balance sheets. Certain investments, which the Company may sell within the next twelve months, are carried as current assets. Realized capital (losses) gains on marketable securities are determined by specific identification. Investments are made based on the Company's investment policy, which restricts the types of investments that can be made.

Trading securities consist of the Company's investments which are held in trust to satisfy obligations under the Company's deferred compensation plans (see Note 5). The changes in fair values on trading securities are recorded in the accompanying consolidated statements of income in other income (loss), net.

Available-for-sale securities consist of corporate bonds, commercial paper and U.S. Treasury and agency securities. The changes in fair values, net of applicable taxes, are recorded as unrealized gains or losses as a component of accumulated other comprehensive income in stockholders' equity. When, in the opinion of management, a decline in the fair value of an investment below its cost or amortized cost is considered to be "other-than-temporary," the investment's cost or amortized cost is written-down to its fair value and the amount written-down is recorded in the statement of income in other income (loss), net. The determination of 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 sustained period of time, a write-down may be necessary. The amount of any write-down is determined by the difference between cost or amortized cost of the investment and its fair value at the time the other-than-temporary decline is identified. During the three and nine months ended January 31, 2012 and 2011, no other-than-temporary impairment was recognized.

Business Acquisitions

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, 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 each respective 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. Adjustments to fair value assessments are recorded to goodwill over the measurement period (generally not longer than twelve months). Purchased intangible assets with finite lives are amortized over their estimated useful lives. Effective May 1, 2009, the Company adopted Accounting Standards Codification 805, Business Acquisitions, which requires that acquisition-related transaction and restructuring costs be charged to expense as incurred, and changes the recognition and measurement criteria for certain assets and liabilities including those arising from contingencies, contingent consideration and bargain purchases for acquisitions completed after the adoption date. The Company applied this new guidance to its acquisition of Whitehead Mann and SENSA Solution, Inc., which were acquired in fiscal 2010. During the nine months ended January 31, 2012 and 2011, the Company recorded a $2.2 million and $1.9 million reduction in the estimated fair value of contingent consideration relating to a prior acquisition, respectively, as a component of general and administrative expenses.

Goodwill And Intangible Assets

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 was determined using a combination of valuation techniques, including a discounted cash flow methodology. Results of the annual impairment test performed as of January 31, 2011, indicated that the fair value of each reporting unit exceeded its carrying amount. As a result, no impairment charge was recognized as of January 31, 2011 or April 30, 2011. The Company's annual impairment test as of January 31, 2012, will be performed in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012. There were no indicators of impairment as of January 31, 2012.

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 using the straight-line method over their estimated useful lives which range from five 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. As of January 31, 2012 and April 30, 2011, there were no indicators of impairment with respect to the Company's intangible assets.

Compensation And Benefits Expense

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 annual performance related bonus paid to consultants. Compensation and benefits are recognized when incurred. 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 that consultant), 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, Company results including profitability, the achievement of strategic objectives and the results of individual performance appraisals, and the current economic landscape. Management takes these factors into consideration, and any changes in the estimate are reported in current operations.

The performance related bonus expense for the nine months ended January 31, 2012 was $84.0 million, which was reduced by a change in the previous year's estimate of $1.2 million, resulting in bonus expense during the nine months ended January 31, 2012 of $82.8 million, included in compensation and benefits expense in the consolidated statement of income. The performance related bonus expense for the nine months ended January 31, 2011 was $96.1 million, which was reduced by a change in the previous year's estimate of $2.0 million, resulting in bonus expense during the nine months ended January 31, 2011 of $94.1 million, included in compensation and benefits expense in the consolidated statement of income. During the three months ended January 31, 2012 and 2011, the performance related bonus expense, included in compensation and benefits expense, was $23.1 million and $28.0 million, respectively. No change in estimate was recorded in the three months ended January 31, 2012 or 2011. These annual performance related bonuses are generally paid within twelve months following the fiscal year end, though the Company delayed the payment of $5.4 million of bonuses earned in fiscal 2010, due to economic conditions prevailing at the time. These bonuses were paid during the three months ended January 31, 2012. Other expenses included in compensation and benefits expense are due to changes in deferred compensation 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

Restructuring Charges

The Company accounts for its restructuring charges as a liability when the costs 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

Stock-Based Compensation

The Company has employee compensation plans under which various types of stock-based instruments are granted. These instruments, principally include stock options, stock appreciation rights ("SARs"), restricted stock and an Employee Stock Purchase Plan ("ESPP"). The Company recognizes compensation expense related to restricted stock and SARs and the estimated fair value of stock options and stock purchases under the ESPP.

Fair Value Of Financial Instruments

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:

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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

As of January 31, 2012, the Company held certain assets that are required to be measured at fair value on a recurring basis. These included cash equivalents 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.