Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Business and summary of significant accounting policies (Policies)

Business and summary of significant accounting policies (Policies)
12 Months Ended
Sep. 30, 2015
Business and summary of significant accounting policies  
Principles of consolidation

(b)    Principles of consolidation

        The consolidated financial statements include the accounts of MAXIMUS, Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiaries. All intercompany balances and transactions have been eliminated in consolidation.

        Where MAXIMUS owns less than 100% of the share capital of its subsidiaries, but is still considered to have sufficient ownership to control the businesses, the results of these business operations are consolidated within our financial statements. The ownership interests held by other parties are shown as noncontrolling interests.


Use of estimates

(c)    Use of estimates

        The preparation of financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities, the disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities and the reported amounts of revenue and expenses during each reporting period. Actual results could differ from those estimates. Our significant estimates include estimates of the fair value of assets acquired and liabilities assumed in business combinations, estimates of the collectability of receivables, estimates of future discounts in performance-based contracts, evaluation of asset impairment, accrual of estimated liabilities and valuation of acquisition-related contingent consideration liabilities.


Revenue recognition

(d)    Revenue recognition

        Revenue is generated from contracts with various pricing arrangements, including:






performance-based criteria, constituting approximately 44% of total revenue in fiscal year 2015;



costs incurred plus a negotiated fee ("cost-plus") (29%);



fixed-price (21%); and



time-and-materials (6%).

        We recognize revenue on arrangements as work is performed and amounts are earned. We consider amounts to be earned once evidence of an arrangement has been obtained, services have been delivered, fees are fixed or determinable and collectability of revenue is reasonably assured.

        We recognize revenue on performance-based contracts when earned, which occurs when we have achieved the performance goal. This revenue generally occurs when amounts are billable to customers and may result in revenue being recognized in irregular increments. In certain performance-based contracts, we may negotiate arrangements where we are reimbursed at higher levels at the beginning of an arrangement. Where we believe the rates in the latter part of the contract represent a significant and incremental discount to the customer, we recognize revenue at an average per-transaction rate. This results in a deferred revenue balance and requires us to estimate future volumes over the life of an arrangement. Adjustments to estimates of future volumes result in adjustments to revenue.

        Revenue on cost-plus contracts is recognized based on costs incurred plus the negotiated fee earned. In certain contracts with the U.S. Federal Government, we may be paid an award fee, based upon the quality of the service we perform. Where this fee can be objectively determined, it is recognized ratably over the period of performance, which is between four and six months. Where the fee cannot be determined objectively, all revenue is deferred until the fee has been fixed.

        We recognize revenue on fixed-priced contracts when earned, as services are provided. Revenue is generally recognized on a straight-line basis unless evidence suggests that revenue is earned or obligations are fulfilled in a different pattern. The timing of expense recognition may result in irregular profit margins.

        For certain fixed-price contracts, primarily systems design, development and implementation, we generally recognize revenue based upon costs incurred to date and our anticipated gross profit. The cumulative impact of any revisions in estimated revenue and costs is recognized in the period in which the facts that give rise to the revision become known. Provisions for estimated losses on incomplete contracts are provided for in full in the period in which such losses become known. This policy may result in revenue being recognized at different points from amounts being billable. Where we enter into contracts where significant uncertainty exists over the ability of management to estimate the future costs, we will typically defer all revenue until such time as future costs are estimable or the system implementation is complete.

        Revenue on time-and-materials contracts is recognized based on hours worked and expenses incurred.

        Where contracts have multiple deliverables, we evaluate these deliverables at the inception of each contract and as each item is delivered. As part of this evaluation, we consider whether a delivered item has value to a customer on a stand-alone basis and whether the delivery of the undelivered items is considered probable and substantially within our control, if a general right of return exists. Where deliverables, or groups of deliverables, have both of these characteristics, we treat each deliverable item as a separate element in the arrangement, allocate a portion of the allocable arrangement consideration using the estimated relative selling price method to each element and apply the relevant revenue recognition guidance to each element.

        Sales and purchases in jurisdictions subject to indirect taxes, such as value added tax, are recorded net of tax collected and paid.

        In May 2014, the Financial Accounting Standards Board issued Accounting Standards Update No. 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers. This new standard will change the manner in which we evaluate revenue recognition for all contracts with customers, although the effect of the changes on revenue recognition will vary from contract to contract. We will adopt this standard during our 2019 fiscal year. The standard permits a retrospective or cumulative effect transition method. We anticipate that we will adopt the new standard using the retrospective method. We are continuing to evaluate the effect of this standard on our business.


Cash and cash equivalents

(e)    Cash and cash equivalents

        We consider all highly liquid investments with an original maturity of three months or less when purchased to be cash equivalents. Where we are obliged to hold cash balances as collateral for lease, credit card or letter of credit arrangements, or where we hold funds on behalf of clients, this balance is reported within other current assets. The restricted cash balance was $13.4 million and $10.6 million at September 30, 2015 and 2014, respectively.


Accounts receivable - billed and billable

(f)    Accounts receivable—billed and billable

        Accounts receivable balances includes both those balances invoiced and those where amounts are ready to be invoiced and the funds are collectible within standard contract terms. We record our receivable balances at their face amount less an allowance for doubtful accounts. We re-evaluate our client receivables on a quarterly basis, especially receivables that are past due, and reassess our allowance for doubtful accounts based on specific client collection issues.


Business combinations and goodwill

(g)    Business combinations and goodwill

        The purchase price of an acquired business is allocated to tangible assets, separately identifiable intangible assets acquired and liabilities assumed based upon their respective fair values. Any excess balance is recorded as goodwill. Costs incurred directly related to an acquisition, including legal, accounting and valuation services, are expensed as incurred.

        Intangible assets are separately identified and valued using a third-party consultant. These assets are amortized on a straight-line basis over useful lives estimated at the time of the business combination.

        Goodwill is not amortized but is subject to impairment testing on an annual basis, or more frequently if impairment indicators arise. Impairment testing is performed at the reporting unit level. A reporting unit is the operating segment, or a business one level below that operating segment (the component level) if discrete financial information is prepared and reviewed regularly by segment management. However, components are aggregated if they have similar economic characteristics. The evaluation is performed by comparing the fair value of the relevant reporting unit to the carrying value, including goodwill, of the reporting unit. If the fair value of the reporting unit exceeds the carrying value, no impairment loss is recognized. However, if the carrying value of the reporting unit exceeds the fair value, the goodwill of the reporting unit may be impaired.

        Our reporting units are consistent with our operating segments, namely Health Services, U.S. Federal Services and Human Services. We perform our annual impairment test as of July 1 of each year. At July 1, 2015, we performed the annual impairment test and determined that there had been no impairment of goodwill. In performing this assessment, we utilized an income approach. Such an approach requires estimation of future operating cash flows including business growth, utilization of working capital and discount rates. The valuation of the business as a whole is compared to our market value at the date of the test in order to verify the calculation.


Long-lived assets (excluding goodwill)

(h)    Long-lived assets (excluding goodwill)

        Property and equipment is recorded at cost. Depreciation is recorded over the assets' respective useful economic lives, which are not to exceed 39.5 years for our buildings and seven years for office furniture and equipment. Leasehold improvements are amortized over the shorter of their useful life or the remaining term of the lease. Repairs and maintenance costs are expensed as incurred.

        All of the Company's capitalized software represents development costs for software that is intended for our internal use. Direct costs of time and material incurred for the development of application software for internal use are capitalized and amortized using the straight-line method over the estimated useful life of the software, ranging from three to eight years. Costs incurred for upgrades and enhancements that do not result in additional functionality are expensed as incurred.

        Deferred contract costs consist of contractually recoverable direct set-up costs related to long-term service contracts. These costs include direct and incremental costs incurred prior to the commencement of providing service to our customer. These costs are expensed over the period the services are provided.

        All these assets are depreciated on a straight-line basis.

        We review long-lived assets for impairment whenever events or circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of an asset may not be fully recoverable. Our review is based on our projection of the undiscounted future operating cash flows of the related asset group. To the extent such projections indicate that future undiscounted cash flows are not sufficient to recover the carrying amount, we recognize a non-cash impairment charge to reduce the carrying amount to equal projected future discounted cash flows. No impairment charges were recorded in the three years ending September 30, 2015.


Income taxes

(i)    Income taxes

        Deferred tax liabilities and assets are determined based on the difference between the financial statement and tax basis of assets and liabilities and are measured by applying enacted tax rates and laws for the taxable years in which those differences are expected to reverse. In addition, a valuation allowance is recorded if it is believed more likely than not that a deferred tax asset will not be fully realized.

        We recognize the financial statement benefit of a tax position only after determining that the relevant tax authority would "more likely than not" sustain the position following an audit. For tax positions meeting the "more likely than not" threshold, the amount recognized in the financial statements is the largest benefit that has a greater than 50 percent likelihood of being realized upon ultimate settlement with the relevant tax authority.


Foreign currency

(j)    Foreign currency

        For all foreign operations, the functional currency is the local currency. The assets and liabilities of foreign operations are translated into U.S. Dollars at period-end exchange rates, and revenue and expenses are translated at average exchange rates for the year. The resulting cumulative translation adjustment is included in accumulated other comprehensive income on the consolidated balance sheet. Gains and losses from foreign currency transactions are included in interest and other income and are typically immaterial.



(k)    Contingencies

        From time to time, we are involved in legal proceedings, including contract and employment claims, in the ordinary course of business. We assess the likelihood of any adverse judgments or outcomes to these contingencies, as well as potential ranges of probable losses and establish reserves accordingly. The amount of reserves required may change in future periods due to new developments in each matter or changes in approach to a matter such as a change in settlement strategy.


Fair Value measurements

(l)    Fair value measurements

        Fair value is the price that would be received to sell an asset or paid to transfer a liability in the principal or most advantageous market in an orderly transaction between marketplace participants.

        The carrying amounts of cash and cash equivalents, accounts receivable, accounts payable and other amounts included within current assets and liabilities that meet the definition of a financial instrument approximate fair value due to the short-term nature of these balances.

        We hold investments in a Rabbi Trust on behalf of our deferred compensation plan. These assets are recorded on our balance sheet at fair value. These assets have quoted prices in active markets. See Note 13 for further details.

        During 2015, we entered into a derivative arrangement to reduce our exposure to interest rate fluctuations on our credit facility. The related liability of less than $0.1 million is recorded on our balance sheet at fair value. The inputs to calculate this balance are based upon prices and other factors which are observable in similar markets. See Note 6 for further details.

        In 2010, we acquired DeltaWare Systems, Inc. As part of the acquisition price, we agreed to pay contingent consideration based upon future sales of this business. This liability is recorded on our balance sheet at estimated fair value. The valuation of this asset is derived from internal estimates of future performance and not from inputs that are observable. See Note 5 for further details.



(m)    Reclassifications

        Certain financial results have been reclassified to conform to the current year presentation.

        We have made changes to our segment presentation. See Note 2. "Business segments" for more information.