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10-K
INTERPUBLIC GROUP OF COMPANIES, INC. filed this Form 10-K on 02/23/2015
Entire Document
 

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - (continued)
(Amounts in Millions, Except Per Share Amounts)



The authoritative guidance for uncertainty in income taxes prescribes a recognition threshold and measurement criteria for the financial statement reporting of a tax position that an entity takes or expects to take in a tax return.  Additionally, guidance is provided for de-recognition, classification, interest and penalties, accounting in interim periods, disclosure and transition.  The assessment of recognition and measurement requires critical estimates and the use of complex judgments. We evaluate our tax positions using the “more likely than not” recognition threshold and then apply a measurement assessment to those positions that meet the recognition threshold. We have established tax reserves that we believe to be adequate in relation to the potential for additional assessments in each of the jurisdictions in which we are subject to taxation. We regularly assess the likelihood of additional tax assessments in those jurisdictions and adjust our reserves as additional information or events require.

Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets
We account for our business combinations using the acquisition accounting method, which requires us to determine the fair value of net assets acquired and the related goodwill and other intangible assets. Determining the fair value of assets acquired and liabilities assumed requires management's judgment and involves the use of significant estimates, including projections of future cash inflows and outflows, discount rates, asset lives and market multiples. Considering the characteristics of advertising, specialized marketing and communication services companies, our acquisitions usually do not have significant amounts of tangible assets, as the principal asset we typically acquire is creative talent. As a result, a substantial portion of the purchase price is allocated to goodwill and other intangible assets.
We review goodwill and other intangible assets with indefinite lives not subject to amortization as of October 1st each year and whenever events or significant changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value may not be recoverable. We evaluate the recoverability of goodwill at a reporting unit level. We have 13 reporting units that were subject to the 2014 annual impairment testing. Our annual impairment review as of October 1, 2014 did not result in an impairment charge at any of our reporting units.
During 2012, we adopted new authoritative guidance for goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets, respectively, which permits an entity to first assess qualitative factors to determine whether it is “more likely than not” that the goodwill or indefinite-lived intangible assets are impaired. Qualitative factors to consider may include macroeconomic conditions, industry and market considerations, cost factors that may have a negative effect on earnings, financial performance, and other relevant entity-specific events such as changes in management, key personnel, strategy or clients, as well as pending litigation. If, after assessing the totality of events or circumstances such as those described above, an entity determines that it is "more likely than not" that the goodwill or indefinite-lived intangible asset is impaired, then the entity is required to determine the fair value and perform the quantitative impairment test by comparing the fair value with the carrying value. Otherwise, no additional testing is required.
For reporting units not included in the qualitative assessment, or for any reporting units identified in the qualitative assessment as "more likely than not" that the fair value is less than its carrying value, the first step of the quantitative impairment test is performed. For our annual impairment test, we compare the respective fair value of our reporting units' equity to the carrying value of their net assets. The first step is a comparison of the fair value of each reporting unit to its carrying value, including goodwill. The sum of the fair values of all our reporting units is reconciled to our current market capitalization plus an estimated control premium. Goodwill allocated to a reporting unit whose fair value is equal to or greater than its carrying value is not impaired, and no further testing is required. Should the carrying amount for a reporting unit exceed its fair value, then the first step of the quantitative impairment test is failed and the magnitude of any goodwill impairment is determined under the second step, which is a comparison of the implied fair value of a reporting unit's goodwill to its carrying value. The implied fair value of goodwill is the excess of the fair value of the reporting unit over its carrying value, excluding goodwill. Impaired goodwill is written down to its implied fair value with a charge to expense in the period the impairment is identified.
For our 2014 and 2013 annual impairment tests, we performed a qualitative impairment assessment for nine and six reporting units and performed the first step of a two-step quantitative impairment test for four and seven reporting units, respectively. For the qualitative analysis we took into consideration all the relevant events and circumstances, including financial performance, macroeconomic conditions and entity-specific factors such as client wins and losses. Based on this assessment, we have concluded that for each of our reporting units subject to the qualitative assessment, it is not “more likely than not” that its fair value was less than its carrying value; therefore, no additional testing was required.
The 2014 and 2013 fair values of reporting units for which we performed quantitative impairment tests were estimated using a combination of the income approach, which incorporates the use of the discounted cash flow method, and the market approach, which incorporates the use of earnings and revenue multiples based on market data. We generally applied an equal weighting to the income and market approaches for our analysis. For the income approach, we used projections, which require the use of significant estimates and assumptions specific to the reporting unit as well as those based on general economic conditions. Factors specific to each reporting unit include revenue growth, profit margins, terminal value growth rates, capital expenditures projections, assumed tax rates, discount rates and other assumptions deemed reasonable by management. For the market approach, we used judgment in identifying the relevant comparable-company market multiples.

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