Description of Business, Basis of Presentation, and Significant Accounting Policies
|12 Months Ended
May 31, 2014
|Accounting Policies [Abstract]
|Description of Business, Basis of Presentation, and Significant Accounting Policies
Description of Business, Basis of Presentation, and Significant Accounting Policies
Description of business: Paychex, Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiaries (the “Company” or “Paychex”) is a leading provider of integrated payroll, human resource, insurance, and benefits outsourcing solutions for small- to medium-sized businesses in the United States (“U.S.”). The Company also has a subsidiary in Germany.
Paychex, a Delaware corporation formed in 1979, reports as one segment. Substantially all of the Company’s revenue is generated within the U.S. The Company also generates revenue within Germany, which was less than one percent of its total revenue for each of the years ended May 31, 2014 (“fiscal 2014”), 2013 (“fiscal 2013”), and 2012 (“fiscal 2012”). Long-lived assets in Germany are insignificant in relation to total long-lived assets of the Company as of May 31, 2014 and May 31, 2013.
Total revenue is comprised of service revenue and interest on funds held for clients. Service revenue is comprised primarily of the payroll and Human Resource Services (“HRS”) portfolios of services and products. Payroll service revenue is earned primarily from payroll processing, payroll tax administration services, employee payment services, and other ancillary services. Payroll processing services include the calculation, preparation, and delivery of employee payroll checks; production of internal accounting records and management reports; preparation of federal, state, and local payroll tax returns; and collection and remittance of clients’ payroll obligations.
In connection with the automated payroll tax administration services, the Company electronically collects payroll taxes from clients’ bank accounts, typically on payday, prepares and files the applicable tax returns, and remits taxes to the applicable tax or regulatory agencies on the respective due dates. These taxes are typically paid between one and 30 days after receipt of collections from clients, with some items extending to 90 days. The Company handles regulatory correspondence, amendments, and penalty and interest disputes, and is subject to cash penalties imposed by tax or regulatory agencies for late filings and late or under payment of taxes. With employee payment services, employers are offered the option of paying their employees by direct deposit, payroll debit card, a check drawn on a Paychex account (Readychex®), or a check drawn on the employer’s account and electronically signed by Paychex. For the first three methods, Paychex electronically collects net payroll from the clients’ bank accounts, typically one business day before payday, and provides payment to the employees on payday.
In addition to service fees paid by clients, the Company earns interest on funds held for clients that are collected before due dates and invested until remittance to the applicable tax or regulatory agencies or client employees. The funds held for clients and related client fund obligations are included in the Consolidated Balance Sheets as current assets and current liabilities, respectively. The amount of funds held for clients and related client fund obligations varies significantly during the year.
The HRS portfolio of services and products provides small- to medium-sized businesses with retirement services administration, insurance services, online HR administration services, and other human resource services and products. Paychex HR Services is available through Paychex HR Solutions, an administrative services organization (“ASO” ), and Paychex PEO, a professional employer organization (“PEO”). Both options offer businesses a combined package of services that includes payroll, employer compliance, human resource and employee benefits administration, risk management outsourcing, and the on-site availability of a professionally trained human resource services representative, among other services. These comprehensive bundles of services are designed to make it easier for businesses to manage their payroll and related benefits costs while providing a benefits package equal to that of larger companies. The PEO differs from the ASO in that Paychex serves as a co-employer of the clients’ employees, offers health care coverage to PEO client employees, and assumes the risks and rewards of workers’ compensation insurance and certain health insurance products. PEO services are sold through the Company’s registered and licensed subsidiary, Paychex Business Solutions, Inc. Paychex HR Essentials is an ASO product that provides support to the Company’s clients over the phone or online to help manage employee-related topics.
Basis of presentation: The consolidated financial statements include the accounts of Paychex, Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiaries. All intercompany accounts and transactions have been eliminated in consolidation. The Company has evaluated subsequent events for potential recognition and/or disclosure through the date of issuance of these financial statements.
Cash and cash equivalents: Cash and cash equivalents consist of available cash, money market securities, and other investments with a maturity of three months or less at acquisition.
Accounts receivable, net of allowance for doubtful accounts: Accounts receivable balances are shown on the Consolidated Balance Sheets net of the allowance for doubtful accounts of $1.5 million as of May 31, 2014 and $1.0 million as of May 31, 2013. Accounts receivable are written off and charged against the allowance for doubtful accounts when the Company has exhausted all collection efforts without success. No single client had a material impact on total accounts receivable, service revenue, or results of operations.
Funds held for clients and corporate investments: Marketable securities included in funds held for clients and corporate investments consist primarily of securities classified as available-for-sale and are recorded at fair value obtained from an independent pricing service. The funds held for clients portfolio also includes cash, money market securities, and short-term investments. Unrealized gains and losses, net of applicable income taxes, are reported as other comprehensive income in the Consolidated Statements of Income and Comprehensive Income. Realized gains and losses on the sale of available-for-sale securities are determined by specific identification of the cost basis of each security. On the Consolidated Statements of Income and Comprehensive Income, realized gains and losses from their respective portfolios are included in interest on funds held for clients and investment income, net.
Concentrations: Substantially all of the Company’s deposited cash is maintained at large well-capitalized (as defined by their regulators) financial institutions. These deposits may exceed the amount of any insurance provided. All of the Company’s deliverable securities, primarily municipal bond securities, are held in custody with certain of the aforementioned financial institutions, for which that institution bears the risk of custodial loss. Non-deliverable securities, primarily time deposits and money market funds, are restricted to well-capitalized financial institutions.
Property and equipment, net of accumulated depreciation: Property and equipment is stated at cost, less accumulated depreciation. Depreciation is based on the estimated useful lives of property and equipment using the straight-line method. The estimated useful lives of depreciable assets are generally:
Normal and recurring repairs and maintenance costs are charged to expense as incurred. The Company reviews the carrying value of property and equipment for impairment when events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value of such assets may not be recoverable.
Software development and enhancements: Expenditures for software purchases and software developed for internal use are capitalized and depreciated on a straight-line basis over the estimated useful lives, which are generally three to five years. Software developed as part of the Company's main processing platform is depreciated over fifteen years. For software developed for internal use, certain costs are capitalized, including external direct costs of materials and services associated with developing or obtaining the software, and payroll and payroll-related costs for employees who are directly associated with internal-use software projects. Capitalization of these costs ceases no later than the point at which the project is substantially complete and ready for its intended use. Costs associated with preliminary project stage activities, training, maintenance, and other post-implementation stage activities are expensed as incurred. The carrying value of software and development costs is reviewed for impairment when events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value of such assets may not be recoverable.
Goodwill and other intangible assets, net of accumulated amortization: The Company has recorded goodwill in connection with the acquisitions of businesses. Goodwill is not amortized, but instead is tested for impairment on an annual basis and between annual tests if an event occurs or circumstances change in a way to indicate that there has been a potential decline in the fair value of a reporting unit. Impairment is determined by comparing the estimated fair value of a reporting unit to its carrying amount, including goodwill. The Company has the option to perform a qualitative assessment to determine if it is more-likely-than-not that the fair value of a reporting unit has declined below its carrying value. This assessment considers various financial, macroeconomic, industry, and reporting unit specific qualitative factors. The Company’s business is largely homogeneous and, as a result, goodwill is associated with one reporting unit. The Company performs its annual impairment testing in its fiscal fourth quarter. Based on the results of the Company’s reviews, no impairment loss was recognized in the results of operations for fiscal years 2014, 2013, or 2012. Subsequent to the latest review, there have been no events or circumstances that indicate any potential impairment of the Company’s goodwill balance.
Intangible assets are comprised primarily of client list acquisitions and are reported net of accumulated amortization on the Consolidated Balance Sheets. Intangible assets are amortized over periods generally ranging from three to twelve years. Client lists use the sum of the years digits method, while other intangible assets use the straight-line method of amortization. The Company tests intangible assets for potential impairment when events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value of such assets may not be recoverable.
Revenue recognition: Service revenue is recognized in the period services are rendered and earned under service arrangements with clients where service fees are fixed or determinable and collectibility is reasonably assured. Certain processing services are provided under annual service arrangements with revenue recognized ratably over the service period. The Company’s service revenue is largely attributable to processing services where the fee is based on a fixed amount per processing period or a fixed amount per processing period plus a fee per employee or transaction processed. The revenue earned from delivery service for the distribution of certain client payroll checks and reports is included in service revenue, and the costs for the delivery are included in operating expenses on the Consolidated Statements of Income and Comprehensive Income.
For certain of the Company's service offerings, it receives advance payments for set-up fees from its clients. The Company defers revenue associated with these advance payments and the related costs over the expected life of its clients.
PEO revenue is included in service revenue and is reported net of certain direct pass-through costs billed and incurred, which primarily include payroll wages, payroll taxes, and certain benefit premiums. In fiscal 2014, with the addition of a new health care offering within the PEO, direct costs related to certain benefit plans where the Company retains risk were classified as operating expenses rather than as a reduction in service revenue. Direct pass-through costs billed and incurred that were a reduction in service revenue were $3.4 billion, $3.0 billion, and $3.3 billion for fiscal years 2014, 2013, and 2012, respectively.
Interest on funds held for clients is earned primarily on funds that are collected from clients before due dates for payroll tax administration services and for employee payment services, and invested until remittance to the applicable tax or regulatory agencies or client employees. The interest earned on these funds is included in total revenue on the Consolidated Statements of Income and Comprehensive Income because the collecting, holding, and remitting of these funds are components of providing these services. Interest on funds held for clients also includes net realized gains and losses from the sales of available-for-sale securities.
PEO insurance services: As part of the PEO service, the Company offers workers’ compensation insurance and health insurance to client companies for the benefit of client employees. Workers' compensation insurance is provided under a fully insured high deductible workers’ compensation policy with a national insurance carrier. Workers’ compensation insurance reserves are established to provide for the estimated costs of paying claims up to per occurrence liability limits. In establishing the workers' compensation insurance reserves, the Company uses an independent actuarial estimate of undiscounted future cash payments that would be made to settle the claims.
Estimating the ultimate cost of future claims is an uncertain and complex process based upon historical loss experience and actuarial loss projections, and is subject to change due to multiple factors, including economic trends, changes in legal liability law, and damage awards, all of which could materially impact the reserves as reported in the consolidated financial statements. Accordingly, workers' compensation insurance final claim settlements may vary from the present estimates, particularly when those payments may not occur until well into the future.
The Company’s maximum individual claims liability was $1.0 million under both its fiscal 2014 and fiscal 2013 workers' compensation policies. As of May 31, 2014 and May 31, 2013, the Company had recorded current liabilities of $8.5 million and $6.8 million, respectively, and long-term liabilities of $16.0 million and $13.7 million, respectively, on its Consolidated Balance Sheets for workers’ compensation costs.
With respect to the PEO health insurance, the Company offers various health insurance plans that take the form of either fully insured fixed cost plans with various national insurance carriers or a fully insured minimum premium insurance arrangement with coverage provided through a single national carrier. Under the minimum premium arrangement, the Company's health benefits insurance reserves are established to provide for the payment of claims liability charges in accordance with its service contract with the carrier. The claims liability charges include estimates for reported losses, plus amounts for those claims incurred but not reported, and estimates of certain expenses associated with processing and settling the claims. The Company's maximum individual claims liability was $0.3 million under its fiscal 2014 minimum premium health insurance plan. Amounts accrued related to the health benefits insurance reserves are considered immaterial as of May 31, 2014.
The Company regularly reviews the adequacy of its estimated insurance reserves. Adjustments to previously established reserves are reflected in the results of operations for the period in which the adjustment is identified. Such adjustments could possibly be significant, reflecting any variety of new and adverse or favorable trends.
Stock-based compensation costs: All stock-based awards to employees are recognized as compensation costs in the consolidated financial statements based on their fair values measured as of the date of grant. The Company estimates the fair value of stock option grants using a Black-Scholes option pricing model. This model requires various assumptions as inputs including expected volatility of the Paychex stock price and expected option life. Volatility is estimated based on a combination of historical volatility, using stock prices over a period equal to the expected option life, and implied market volatility. Expected option life is estimated based on historical exercise behavior. The Company periodically reassesses its assumptions as well as its choice of valuation model. The Company will reconsider use of this model if additional information becomes available in the future indicating that another model would provide a more accurate estimate of fair value, or if characteristics of future grants would warrant such a change.
The fair value of stock awards is determined based on the stock price at the date of grant. For grants that do not accrue dividends or dividend equivalents, the fair value is the stock price reduced by the present value of estimated dividends over the vesting period or performance period.
The Company is required to estimate forfeitures and only record compensation costs for those awards that are expected to vest. The assumptions for forfeitures were determined based on type of award and historical experience. Forfeiture assumptions are adjusted at the point in time a significant change is identified, with any adjustment recorded in the period of change, and the final adjustment at the end of the requisite service period to equal actual forfeitures.
The assumptions of volatility, expected option life, and forfeitures all require significant judgment and are subject to change in the future due to factors such as employee exercise behavior, stock price trends, and changes to type or provisions of stock-based awards. Any material change in one or more of these assumptions could have an impact on the estimated fair value of a future award.
Refer to Note D for further discussion of the Company’s stock-based compensation plans.
Income taxes: The Company accounts for deferred taxes by recognition of deferred tax assets and liabilities for the expected future tax consequences of events that have been included in the consolidated financial statements or tax returns. Under this method, deferred tax assets and liabilities are determined based on the difference between the financial statement and tax basis of assets and liabilities, using enacted tax rates in effect for the year in which the differences are expected to reverse. The Company records a deferred tax asset related to the stock-based compensation costs recognized for certain stock-based awards. At the time of the exercise of non-qualified stock options or vesting of stock awards, the Company accounts for the resulting tax deduction by reducing its accrued income tax liability with an offset to the deferred tax asset and any excess of the tax benefit over the deferred tax asset as an increase to additional paid-in capital. The Company currently has a sufficient pool of excess tax benefits in additional paid-in capital to absorb any deficiency in tax benefits that fall short of the related deferred tax asset related to stock-based awards.
The Company also maintains a reserve for uncertain tax positions. The Company evaluates tax positions taken or expected to be taken in a tax return for recognition in its consolidated financial statements. Prior to recording the related tax benefit in the consolidated financial statements, the Company must conclude that tax positions will be more-likely-than-not to be sustained, assuming those positions will be examined by taxing authorities with full knowledge of all relevant information. The benefit recognized in the consolidated financial statements is the amount the Company expects to realize after examination by taxing authorities. If a tax position drops below the more-likely-than-not standard, the benefit can no longer be recognized. Assumptions, judgment, and the use of estimates are required in determining if the more-likely-than-not standard has been met when developing the provision for income taxes and in determining the expected benefit. A change in the assessment of the more-likely-than-not standard could materially impact the Company’s results of operations or financial position. The Company’s reserve for uncertain tax positions, including interest and net of federal benefits, was $29.8 million as of May 31, 2014 and $19.8 million as of May 31, 2013. Refer to Note I for further discussion of the Company’s reserve for uncertain tax positions.
Use of estimates: The preparation of financial statements in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”) requires management to make estimates, judgments, and assumptions that affect reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenue, and expenses during the reporting period. Actual amounts and results could differ from these estimates.
Recently adopted accounting pronouncements: Effective June 1, 2013, the Company adopted Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) 2012-02, “Intangibles – Goodwill and Other (Topic 350): Testing Indefinite-Lived Intangible Assets for Impairment,” issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”). This updated guidance allows companies the option to first assess qualitative factors to determine if it is more-likely-than-not that an indefinite-lived intangible asset might be impaired and whether it is necessary to perform the quantitative impairment test. The Company currently does not have any indefinite-lived intangible assets other than goodwill, so adoption of this guidance did not have a material effect on its consolidated financial statements.
Effective June 1, 2013, the Company adopted ASU 2013-02, “Comprehensive Income (Topic 220): Reporting of Amounts Reclassified Out of Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income.” This authoritative guidance requires the reporting of the effect of significant reclassifications out of accumulated other comprehensive income on the respective line items in net income. There are no changes to the components that are recognized in net income or other comprehensive income. Adoption of this guidance did not have a material effect on the Company's consolidated financial statements.
Recently issued accounting pronouncements: In June 2014, the FASB issued ASU No. 2014-12, “Compensation—Stock Compensation (Topic 718): Accounting for Share-Based Payments When the Terms of an Award Provide That a Performance Target Could Be Achieved after the Requisite Service Period (a consensus of the FASB Emerging Issues Task Force).” This guidance requires a performance target that affects vesting and that could be achieved after the requisite service period to be treated as a performance condition. The current accounting standard for stock-based compensation as it applies to awards with performance conditions should be applied. This guidance is effective for fiscal years, including interim reporting periods, beginning after December 15, 2015, and is applicable to the Company's fiscal year beginning June 1, 2016. The Company is currently evaluating this guidance, but does not anticipate it will have a material impact to its consolidated financial statements.
In May 2014, the FASB issued ASU No. 2014-09, “Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606).” This guidance supersedes current guidance on revenue recognition in Topic 605, “Revenue Recognition.” In addition, there are disclosure requirements related to the nature, amount, timing, and uncertainty of revenue recognition. This guidance will be effective for annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2016, including interim reporting periods, and will be required to be applied retrospectively. Early application of the guidance is not permitted. This guidance is applicable to the Company's fiscal year beginning June 1, 2017. The Company is currently evaluating this guidance and any potential impact to its consolidated financial statements.
In January 2014, the FASB issued ASU 2014-01, “Investments – Equity Method and Joint Ventures (Topic 323): Accounting for Investments in Qualified Affordable Housing Projects (a consensus of the FASB Emerging Issues Task Force).” This ASU permits a company to make an accounting policy election to account for investments in qualified affordable housing projects under a new proportional amortization method. If such an election is not made, the ASU requires use of the equity or cost method for investments. The ASU is effective for fiscal years, and interim periods within those years, beginning after December 15, 2014, with early adoption permitted. The Company currently accounts for its investments in qualified affordable housing projects using the equity method for investments and does not anticipate that this ASU will have a material effect on its consolidated financial statements.
In July 2013, the FASB issued ASU 2013-11, “Income Taxes (Topic 740): Presentation of an Unrecognized Tax Benefit When a Net Operating Loss Carryforward, a Similar Tax Loss, or a Tax Credit Carryforward Exists (a consensus of the FASB Emerging Issues Task Force).” This ASU provides explicit guidance regarding the presentation in the statement of financial position of an unrecognized tax benefit when net operating losses or tax credit carryforwards exist. It is effective for fiscal years, and interim periods within those years, beginning after December 15, 2013, with early adoption permitted, and is applicable to the Company's fiscal year beginning June 1, 2014. The Company does not anticipate that the adoption of this guidance will have a material effect on its consolidated financial statements.
Other recent authoritative guidance issued by the FASB (including technical corrections to the FASB Accounting Standards Codification), the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) did not, or are not expected to have a material effect on the Company’s consolidated financial statements.