Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements
(Amounts in Millions, Except Per Share Amounts)
Expenditures Billable to Clients
Expenditures billable to clients are primarily comprised of production and media costs that have been incurred but have not yet been billed to clients, as well as fees that have been earned which have not yet been billed to clients. Unbilled amounts are presented in expenditures billable to clients regardless of whether they relate to our fees or production and media costs. A provision is made for unrecoverable costs as deemed appropriate.
Accounts payable includes all operating payables, including those related to all media and production costs. These payables are due within one year.
Our investments in publicly traded companies over which we do not exert a significant influence are classified as available-for-sale. These investments are reported at fair value based on quoted market prices with net unrealized gains and losses reported as a component of accumulated other comprehensive loss. Our non-publicly traded investments and all other publicly traded investments, including investments to fund certain deferred compensation and retirement obligations, are accounted for using the equity method or cost method. We do not disclose the fair value for equity method investments or investments held at cost as it is not practical to estimate fair value since there is no readily available market data and it is cost prohibitive to obtain independent valuations. We regularly review our equity and cost method investments to determine whether a significant event or change in circumstances has occurred that may impact the fair value of each investment. In the event a decline in fair value of an investment occurs, we determine if the decline has been other-than-temporary. We consider our investments strategic and long-term in nature, so we determine if the fair value decline is recoverable within a reasonable period. For our investments, we evaluate fair value based on specific information (valuation methodologies, estimates of appraisals, financial statements, etc.) in addition to quoted market price, if available. We consider all known quantitative and qualitative factors in determining if an other-than-temporary decline in value of an investment has occurred.
We are exposed to market risk related to interest rates, foreign currency rates and certain balance sheet items. From time to time we enter into derivative instruments for risk management purposes, and not for speculative purposes. All derivative instruments are recorded at fair value on our balance sheet. Changes in fair value are immediately included in earnings if the derivatives are not designated as a hedge instrument or if the derivatives do not qualify as effective hedges. For derivatives designated as hedge instruments, we evaluate for hedge accounting both at inception and throughout the hedge period. If a derivative is designated as a fair value hedge, then changes in the fair value of the derivative are offset against the changes in the fair value of the underlying hedged item. If a derivative is designated as a cash flow hedge, then the effective portion of the changes in the fair value of the derivative is recognized as a component of accumulated other comprehensive income and subsequently reclassified to earnings in our Consolidated Statement of Operations in the same period as the underlying hedged transaction affects earnings.
Property and Equipment
Furniture, equipment, leasehold improvements and buildings are stated at cost, net of accumulated depreciation. Furniture and equipment are depreciated generally using the straight-line method over the estimated useful lives of the related assets, which range from 3 to 7 years for furniture and equipment, 10 to 35 years for buildings and the shorter of the useful life or the remaining lease term for leasehold improvements. Land is stated at cost and is not depreciated.
We capitalize certain internal and external costs incurred to acquire or create internal use software, principally related to our enterprise resource planning (“ERP”) systems. Our ERP systems are stated at cost, net of accumulated amortization and are amortized using the straight-line method over 10 years. All other internal use computer software are stated at cost, net of accumulated amortization and are amortized using the straight-line method over the estimated useful lives of the related assets, which range from 3 to 7 years.
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