Accounting Policies (Notes)
|12 Months Ended|
Dec. 31, 2017
|Accounting Policies [Abstract]|
|Significant Accounting Policies [Text Block]||
Basis of Presentation and Principles of Consolidation
Forward Air Corporation's (“the Company”, “We”, “Our”) services can be classified into four principal reportable segments: Expedited LTL, Truckload Premium Services (“TLS”), Intermodal and Pool Distribution ("Pool") (See note 10).
Through the Expedited LTL segment, we operate a comprehensive national network to provide expedited regional, inter-regional and national less-than-truckload ("LTL") services. Expedited LTL offers customers local pick-up and delivery and other services including shipment consolidation and deconsolidation, warehousing, customs brokerage and other handling.
Through our TLS segment, we provide expedited truckload brokerage, dedicated fleet services, as well as high security and temperature-controlled logistics services in the United States and Canada.
Our Intermodal segment provides first- and last-mile high value intermodal container drayage services both to and from seaports and railheads. Intermodal also offers dedicated contract and CFS warehouse and handling services. Today, Intermodal operates primarily in the Midwest and Southeast, with a smaller operational presence in the Southwest.
In our Pool Distribution segment, we provide high-frequency handling and distribution of time sensitive product to numerous destinations within a specific geographic region. We offer this service throughout the Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Midwest and Southwest United States.
The accompanying consolidated financial statements of the Company include Forward Air Corporation and its subsidiaries. Significant intercompany accounts and transactions have been eliminated in consolidation.
Use of Estimates
The preparation of the consolidated financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the amounts reported in the consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes. Actual results could differ from those estimates. Significant areas requiring management estimates include the following key financial areas:
Allowance for Doubtful Accounts
The Company evaluates the collectability of its accounts receivable based on a combination of factors. In circumstances in which the Company is aware of a specific customer’s inability to meet its financial obligations to the Company (for example, bankruptcy filings, accounts turned over for collection or litigation), the Company records a specific reserve for these bad debts against amounts due to reduce the net recognized receivable to the amount the Company reasonably believes will be collected. For all other customers, the Company recognizes reserves for these bad debts based on the length of time the receivables are past due. Specifically, amounts that are 90 days or more past due are reserved at 50.0% for Expedited LTL, 10.0% for Intermodal, 25.0% for Pool and up to 50.0% for TLS. If circumstances change (i.e., the Company experiences higher than expected defaults or an unexpected material adverse change in a customer’s ability to meet its financial obligations to the Company), the estimates of the recoverability of amounts due to the Company could be changed by a material amount. Accounts are written off after all means of collection, including legal action, have been exhausted.
Allowance for Revenue Adjustments
The Company’s allowance for revenue adjustments consists of amounts reserved for billing rate changes that are not captured upon load initiation. These adjustments generally arise: (1) when the sales department contemporaneously grants small rate changes (“spot quotes”) to customers that differ from the standard rates in the system; (2) when freight requires dimensionalization or is reweighed resulting in a different required rate; (3) when billing errors occur; and (4) when data entry errors occur. When appropriate, permanent rate changes are initiated and reflected in the system. The Company monitors the manual revenue adjustments closely through the employment of various controls that are in place to ensure that revenue recognition is not compromised and that fraud does not occur. During 2017, average revenue adjustments per month were approximately $255 on average revenue per month of approximately $91,735 (0.3% of monthly revenue). In order to estimate the allowance for revenue adjustments related to ending accounts receivable, the Company prepares an analysis that considers average monthly revenue adjustments and the average lag for identifying and quantifying these revenue adjustments. Based on this analysis, the Company establishes an allowance covering approximately 35-65 days (dependent upon experience in the last twelve months) of average revenue adjustments, adjusted for rebates and billing errors. The lag is periodically adjusted based on actual historical experience. Additionally, the average amount of revenue adjustments per month can vary in relation to the level of sales or based on other factors (such as personnel issues that could result in excessive manual errors or in excessive spot quotes being granted). Both of these significant assumptions are continually evaluated for appropriateness.
Self-Insurance Loss Reserves
Given the nature of the Company’s operating environment, the Company is subject to vehicle and general liability, workers’ compensation and employee health insurance claims. To mitigate a portion of these risks, the Company maintains insurance for individual vehicle and general liability claims exceeding $1,000 and workers’ compensation claims and employee health insurance claims exceeding $350 and $225, respectively, except in Ohio, where for workers’ compensation we are a qualified self-insured entity with a $500 self-insured retention. The amount of self-insurance loss reserves and loss adjustment expenses is determined based on an estimation process that uses information obtained from both company-specific and industry data, as well as general economic information. The estimation process for self-insurance loss exposure requires management to continuously monitor and evaluate the life cycle of claims. Using data obtained from this monitoring and the Company’s assumptions about the emerging trends, management develops information about the size of ultimate claims based on its historical experience and other available market information. The most significant assumptions used in the estimation process include determining the trend in loss costs, the expected consistency in the frequency and severity of claims incurred but not yet reported, changes in the timing of the reporting of losses from the loss date to the notification date, and expected costs to settle unpaid claims. The Company utilizes a semi-annual actuarial analyses to evaluate open claims and estimate the ongoing development exposure.
Operating revenue and related costs are recognized as of the date shipments are completed. The transportation rates the Company charges its customers consist of base transportation rates and fuel surcharge rates. The revenues earned and related direct freight expenses incurred from the Company’s base transportation services are recognized on a gross basis in revenue and in purchased transportation. Transportation revenue is recognized on a gross basis as the Company is the primary obligor. The fuel surcharges billed to customers and paid to owner-operators and third party transportation providers are recorded on a net basis as the Company is not the primary obligor with regards to the fuel surcharges. Please see Recent Accounting Pronouncements for expected changes to revenue recognition.
Cash and Cash Equivalents
The Company considers all highly liquid investments with a maturity of three months or less when purchased to be cash and cash equivalents.
Inventories of tires, replacement parts, supplies, and fuel for equipment are stated at the lower of cost or market utilizing the FIFO (first-in, first-out) method of determining cost. Inventories of tires and replacement parts are not material in the aggregate. Replacement parts are expensed when placed in service, while tires are capitalized and amortized over their expected life. Replacement parts and tires are included as a component of other operating expenses in the consolidated statements of comprehensive income.
Property and Equipment
Property and equipment are stated at cost. Expenditures for normal repair and maintenance are expensed as incurred. Depreciation of property and equipment is calculated based upon the cost of the asset, reduced by its estimated salvage value, using the straight-line method over the estimated useful lives as follows:
Depreciation expense for each of the three years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015 was $30,862, $28,088 and $26,252 respectively.
The Company reviews its long-lived assets for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount may not be recoverable. Impairment is recognized on assets classified as held and used when the sum of undiscounted estimated cash flows expected to result from the use of the asset is less than the carrying value. If such measurement indicates a possible impairment, the estimated fair value of the asset is compared to its net book value to measure the impairment charge, if any. When the criteria have been met for long-lived assets to be classified as held for sale, the assets are recorded at the lower of carrying value or fair market value (less selling costs). See additional discussion in Note 2, Acquisition, Goodwill and Other Long-Lived Assets.
Certain operating leases include rent increases during the initial lease term. For these leases, the Company recognizes the related rental expenses on a straight-line basis over the term of the lease, which includes any rent holiday period, and records the difference between the amounts charged to operations and amount paid as rent as a rent liability. Reserves for idle facilities are initially measured at the fair value of the portion of the lease payments associated with the vacated facilities, reduced by estimated sublease rentals. See additional discussion in Note 2, Acquisition, Goodwill and Other Long-Lived Assets.
Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets
Goodwill is recorded at cost based on the excess of purchase price over the fair value of net assets acquired. Goodwill and intangible assets with indefinite lives are not amortized but the Company conducts an annual (or more frequently if circumstances indicate possible impairment) impairment test of goodwill for each reporting unit at June 30 of each year. Other intangible assets are amortized over their useful lives. Results of impairment testing are described in Note 2, Acquisition, Goodwill and Other Long-Lived Assets.
Acquisitions are accounted for using the purchase method. The definite-lived intangible assets of the Company resulting from acquisition activity and the related amortization are described in Note 2, Acquisition, Goodwill and Other Long-Lived Assets.
Costs related to software developed or acquired for internal use are expensed or capitalized based on the applicable stage of software development and any capitalized costs are amortized over their estimated useful life. The Company typically uses a five-year straight line amortization for the capitalized amounts of software development costs. At December 31, 2017 and 2016 the Company had $19,567 and $16,268, respectively, of capitalized software development costs included in property and equipment. Accumulated amortization on these assets was $10,874 and $10,716 at December 31, 2017 and 2016, respectively. Included in depreciation expense is amortization of capitalized software development costs. Amortization of capitalized software development for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016 and 2015 was $1,816, $1,658 and $1,526 respectively. As of December 31, 2017 the estimated amortization expense for the next five years of capitalized software development costs is as follows:
The Company accounts for income taxes using the liability method, whereby deferred tax assets and liabilities are determined based on differences between financial reporting and tax basis of assets and liabilities and are measured using the enacted tax rates and laws that will be in effect when the differences are expected to be recovered or settled. We report a liability for unrecognized tax benefits resulting from uncertain tax positions taken or expected to be taken in a tax return. We recognize interest and penalties, if any, related to unrecognized tax benefits in interest expense and operating expenses, respectively.
On December 22, 2017, President Trump signed into law H.R. 1, “An Act to provide for reconciliation pursuant to titles II and V of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2018”. Please see Note 5 for further discussion on the impact of the U.S. Tax Act.
Net Income Per Share
The Company calculates net income per share in accordance with the FASB Accounting Standards Codification and the Hierarchy of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, Earnings per Share (the “ASC 260”). Under the ASC 260, basic net income per share is computed by dividing net income available to common shareholders by the weighted-average number of common shares outstanding for the period. The Company's non-vested shares contain non-forfeitable rights to dividends and are therefore considered participating securities for purposes of computing net income per share pursuant to the two-class method. Net income allocated to participating securities was $700 in 2017, $212 in 2016 and $369 in 2015. Net losses are not allocated to participating securities in periods in which the Company incurs a net loss. Diluted net income per share is computed by dividing net income available to common shareholders by the weighted-average number of common shares outstanding after considering the additional dilution from any dilutive non-participating securities. The Company's non-participating securities include options and performance shares.
The Company’s general practice has been to make a single annual grant of share-based compensation to key employees and to make other grants only in connection with new employment or promotions. In addition, the Company makes annual grants to non-employee directors in conjunction with their annual election to our Board of Directors or at the time of their appointment to the Board of Directors. For employees, the Company has granted stock options, non-vested shares and performance shares. For non-employee directors, the Company has generally issued non-vested shares.
Stock options typically expire seven years from the grant date and vest ratably over a three-year period. The share-based compensation for stock options is recognized ratably over the requisite service period, or vesting period. The Company uses the Black-Scholes option-pricing model to estimate the grant-date fair value of options granted. The following table contains the weighted-average assumptions used to estimate the fair value of options granted. These assumptions are subjective and changes in these assumptions can materially affect the fair value estimate.
The fair value of non-vested shares issued were estimated using the closing market prices for the business day of the grant. The share-based compensation for the non-vested shares is recognized ratably over the requisite service period or vesting period.
The fair value of the performance shares was estimated using a Monte Carlo simulation. The share-based compensation for performance shares are recognized ratably over the requisite service period, or vesting period. The following table contains the weighted-average assumptions used to estimate the fair value of performance shares granted. These assumptions are subjective and changes in these assumptions can materially affect the fair value estimate.
Under the 2005 Employee Stock Purchase Plan (the “ESPP”), the Company is authorized to issue shares of Common Stock to eligible employees. These shares may be issued at a price equal to 90% of the lesser of the market value on the first day or the last day of each six-month purchase period. Common Stock purchases are paid for through periodic payroll deductions and/or up to two large lump sum contributions. The Company recognizes share-based compensation on the date of purchase based on the difference between the purchase date fair market value and the employee purchase price.
Recent Accounting Pronouncements
In January 2017, the FASB issued ASU No. 2017-04, Intangibles - Goodwill and Other (Topic 350): "Simplifying the Accounting for Goodwill Impairment." Under the current guidance for assessing goodwill for impairment, an entity can first assess qualitative factors to determine whether a two-step goodwill impairment test is necessary. Under the new standard, a goodwill impairment loss will instead be measured at the amount by which a reporting unit's carrying amount exceeds its fair value, not to exceed the carrying amount of goodwill, thus no longer requiring the two-step method. The guidance requires prospective adoption and will be effective for annual or interim goodwill impairment tests in fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019. Early adoption of this guidance is permitted for interim or annual goodwill impairment tests performed on testing dates after January 1, 2017. We plan to adopt this guidance in January 2018 and we do not expect any impact to the consolidated financial statements.
In March 2016, the FASB issued guidance that changes the accounting for certain aspects of share-based payments to employees. The guidance requires the recognition of the income tax effects of awards in the income statement when the awards vest or are settled, thus eliminating additional paid in capital ("APIC") pools. The guidance also allows for the employer to repurchase more of an employee’s shares for tax withholding purposes without triggering liability accounting. In addition, the guidance allows for, and we elected, to account for forfeitures as they occur rather than on an estimated basis. We adopted this guidance in January 2017 and the elimination of APIC pools resulted in approximately $545 of income tax benefit during the full year December 31, 2017. This guidance has been applied prospectively and no prior periods have been adjusted.
In February 2016, the FASB, issued ASU 2016-02, Leases, which introduces the recognition of lease assets and lease liabilities by lessees for those leases classified as operating leases under previous guidance. The guidance will be effective for annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2018 and interim periods within those fiscal years with early adoption permitted. We are evaluating the impact of the future adoption of this standard on our consolidated financial statements.
In May 2014, the FASB issued guidance on revenue from contracts with customers that will supersede most current revenue recognition guidance, including industry-specific guidance. The underlying principle is that an entity will recognize revenue to depict the transfer of goods or services to customers at an amount that the entity expects to be entitled to in exchange for those goods or services. The guidance provides a five-step analysis of transactions to determine when and how revenue is recognized. Other major provisions include capitalization of certain contract costs, consideration of time value of money in the transaction price, and allowing estimates of variable consideration to be recognized before contingencies are resolved in certain circumstances. The guidance also requires enhanced disclosures regarding the nature, amount, timing and uncertainty of revenue and cash flows arising from an entity’s contracts with customers. The guidance is effective for the interim and annual periods beginning on or after December 15, 2017. The guidance permits the use of either a full retrospective or modified retrospective adoption approach with a cumulative effect adjustment recorded in either scenario as necessary upon transition.
As permitted by the guidance, we will implement the use of full retrospective presentation. While evaluating principal versus agent relationships under the new standard, we determined that we will transition certain revenue streams from an agent to principal relationship. This will cause these revenue streams and their associated costs to be recognized on a gross basis that have historically been recognized on a net basis, increasing revenue and expenses by approximately $66,000 for the year ended December 31, 2017 and $47,000 for the same period of 2016 with no impact on operating income.
In addition, based on a review of our customer shipping arrangements, we currently believe the implementation of this standard will change our revenue recognition policy from recognizing revenue upon shipment completion to recognizing revenue over time based on the progress toward completion of shipments in transit at each period end. While the timing of revenue recognition will be accelerated, due to the short duration of our transit times and relatively low dollar value of individual shipments, the anticipated impact on our consolidated financial position, revenue and results from operations is not expected to be significant.
The entire disclosure for all significant accounting policies of the reporting entity.
Reference 1: http://www.xbrl.org/2003/role/presentationRef