4 Significant accounting judgments estimates and assumptionsThe preparation of EYNL’s consolidated financial statements requires management to make judgments, estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of revenues, expenses, assets and liabilities, and the disclosure of contingent liabilities, at the end of the reporting period. However, uncertainty about these assumptions and estimates could result in outcomes that require a material adjustment to the carrying amount of the asset or liability affected in future periods.
In the process of applying EYNL’s accounting policies, management has made the following judgments, which have the most significant effect on the amounts recognized in the consolidated financial statements.
Drawing rights were settled/redeemed in the 2006/2007 and 2008/2009 financial years. EYNL and its predecessors facilitated this by making the payment on behalf of the members and obtaining the necessary financing. To finance the settlement of drawing rights in 2008/2009, EYGS, on behalf of EY Europe, committed (interest-free) loans totalling €98.9 million and an equity contribution of €74.1 million. On 27 June 2012 these loans were transferred to EYGF.
The loans were measured on receipt at the fair value of the future consideration, using a discount rate of 5%. The settlement/redemption was charged against equity as it related to the settlement of a liability of the members and not a liability of EYNL.
Finance and operating leases
Effective 1 January 2016, EYNL entered into new contracts with three car lease companies. Under these contracts, the cars are recognized as operating leases. The previously existing contracts with the other car lease companies remain unchanged and continue to be classified either as operating lease or as finance leases.
Management established on the basis of an evaluation of the terms and conditions for the arrangements that not all the significant risks and rewards of ownership of computers and mobile phones leased for employees and members had been transferred to EYNL. Consequently, the personal computers and mobile phones are recognized as operating leases.
The contractual arrangements laid down in the pension plan, the agreements with the pension fund, transparent communication on employees’ entitlements and the insurance contract with professional insurance companies are of such a nature that, viewed from EYNL’s perspective there is a plan under which all actuarial risks and rewards are placed outside EYNL after payment of the fixed annual premium. Based thereon it has been concluded that the pension plan qualifies as a defined contribution plan.
The obligation to index certain paid-up entitlements qualifies as a defined benefit plan, but because it relates to a limited, specific and closed group of former employees it is regarded as a separate plan and does not impact the classification of the general pension plan.
Estimates and assumptions
The key assumptions concerning the future and other key sources of estimation uncertainty at the reporting date that have a significant risk of causing a material adjustment to the carrying amounts of assets and liabilities within the next financial year are described below. EYNL based its assumptions and estimates on parameters available when the consolidated financial statements were prepared. Existing circumstances and assumptions about future developments, however, may change due to market changes or circumstances beyond the control of EYNL. Such changes are reflected in the assumptions when they occur.
Estimates of the fair value of the services rendered have to be made to determine revenue. The estimates are made using a method based on a primary estimate by the member with final responsibility plus a review procedure. Revenue is determined taking into account the progress of the work. Where applicable, the variations in the contracted work are also taken into account.
Property, plant and equipment
Expenditure on property, plant and equipment is allocated to the financial years according to estimates of the expected useful life of the asset and any residual value. In the case of capital expenditure in rented properties, there is also a review of whether options to renew the lease will be exercised. Part of the amount capitalized is the estimated expenditure required at the end of the lease for returning the leased premises to their original state. Further details on property, plant and equipment are disclosed in Note 10.
Impairment of non-financial assets
An impairment exists when the carrying amount of an asset or CGU exceeds its recoverable amount, which is the higher of its fair value less costs of disposal and its value in use. The value in use calculation is based on a discounted cash flow model. The cash flows are derived from the budget and forecasts for the next 1 to 3 years. The recoverable amount is sensitive to the discount rate used for the discounted cash flow model as well as the expected future cash inflows and the growth rate used for extrapolation purposes. The key assumptions used to determine the recoverable amount for the CGUs, including a sensitivity analysis, are further explained in Note 11.
Measurement of trade receivables
Trade receivables are measured on the basis of individual reviews and a collective review. Any impairment of outstanding receivables (including unbilled amounts) is assessed on the basis of objective evidence regarding the recoverability at the reporting date. Information becoming available after the reporting date that evidences that a loss already existed at the reporting date is also taken into account. Further details on trade receivables are disclosed in Note 13.
Provision for professional indemnity
An estimate is made of future cash outflows and of the time they are expected to arise when determining this provision. Further details are disclosed in Note 19.
Provision for premises
A provision for premises has been formed for the rent due for the remaining term of the leases of offices, or parts of them, rented by EYNL but unoccupied. In determining the amounts, assumptions and estimates are made in relation to discount rate, expected fixed expenses and expected income from sublease. For further details see Note 19.
Bonuses and payments to employees are determined annually based on budgeted assumptions. During the year and as at year end, the amounts of these bonuses and payments to employees are assessed as to whether they are still applicable regarding the business circumstances. Further details are disclosed in Note 20.
Contingent consideration from business combinations
Contingent considerations, resulting from business combinations, are valued at fair value at the acquisition date as part of the business combination. When the contingent considerations meets the definition of a financial liability, it is subsequently remeasured to fair value at each reporting date. The determination of the fair value is based on discounted cash flows. The key assumptions take into consideration the probability of meeting each performance target and the discount factor (refer to Notes 5 and 18 for details).
The deferred considerations subject to the retention of the former shareholders of the acquired entities in 2015/2016, payable in the next financial year are accounted for as Employee benefits provision (see Note 5 and 20). The long term deferred considerations are further explained under Commitments and contingencies (Note 26).