SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES
Our accompanying unaudited consolidated financial statements have been prepared pursuant to the rules and regulations of the SEC. These statements also have been prepared in accordance with GAAP and reflect all adjustments that, in our opinion, are necessary for a fair statement of the results for the interim periods presented. All such adjustments are of a normal recurring nature. The 2017 year-end consolidated balance sheet data was derived from audited consolidated financial statements, but does not include all disclosures required by GAAP. These unaudited consolidated financial statements should be read in conjunction with the audited consolidated financial statements and footnotes in our Annual Report. Our significant accounting policies are described in Note 1 of our Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in our Annual Report. Due to the seasonal nature of our business, the results of operations for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2018, are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be expected for a 12-month period.
We provide natural gas distribution services to more than 2 million customers through our divisions in Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas through Oklahoma Natural Gas, Kansas Gas Service and Texas Gas Service, respectively. We serve residential, commercial, industrial and transportation customers in all three states. In addition, we also provide natural gas distribution services to wholesale and public authority customers. In 2017, we formed a wholly-owned captive insurance company in the state of Oklahoma to provide insurance to our divisions.
Use of Estimates - The preparation of our consolidated financial statements and related disclosures in accordance with GAAP requires us to make estimates and assumptions with respect to values or conditions that cannot be known with certainty that affect the reported amount of assets and liabilities, and the disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the consolidated financial statements. These estimates and assumptions also affect the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. Items that may be estimated include, but are not limited to, the economic useful life of assets, fair value of assets and liabilities, provision for doubtful accounts, unbilled revenues for natural gas delivered but for which meters have not been read, natural gas purchased but for which no invoice has been received, provision for income taxes, including any deferred tax valuation allowances, the results of litigation and various other recorded or disclosed amounts.
We evaluate these estimates on an ongoing basis using historical experience and other methods we consider reasonable based on the particular circumstances. Nevertheless, actual results may differ significantly from the estimates. Any effects on our financial position or results of operations from revisions to these estimates are recorded in the period when the facts that give rise to the revision become known to us.
Segments - We operate in one reportable and operating business segment: regulated public utilities that deliver natural gas to residential, commercial, industrial, wholesale, public authority and transportation customers. The accounting policies for our segment are the same as those described in Note 1 of our Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in our Annual Report. We evaluate our financial performance principally on operating income. For the three and nine months ended September 30, 2018, and 2017, we had no single external customer from which we received 10 percent or more of our gross revenues.
Goodwill Impairment Test - We assess our goodwill for impairment at least annually as of July 1. At July 1, 2018, we assessed qualitative factors to determine whether it was more likely than not that the fair value of our reporting unit was less than its carrying amount. After assessing qualitative factors (including macroeconomic conditions, industry and market considerations, cost factors and overall financial performance), we determined that no further testing was necessary.
Recently Issued Accounting Standards Update - In August 2018, the FASB issued ASU 2018-15, “Intangibles - Goodwill and Other - Internal-Use Software (Subtopic 350-40): Customer’s Accounting for Implementation Costs Incurred in a Cloud Computing Arrangement That Is a Service Contract (a consensus of the FASB Emerging Issues Task Force)”. Under this guidance, a company should defer implementation costs that it incurs if the company would capitalize those same costs under the internal-use software guidance for an arrangement that is a software license. This standard is effective for interim and annual periods in fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019, and early adoption is permitted. We are currently assessing the timing and impacts of adopting this standard.
In March 2018, the FASB issued ASU 2018-05, “Income Taxes (Topic 740): Amendments to SEC Paragraphs Pursuant to SEC Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 118,” which updates the FASB’s Accounting Standards Codification to reflect the guidance in SAB 118, which adds Section EE, “Income Tax Accounting Implications of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” to SAB Topic 5, “Miscellaneous Accounting.” SAB 118 also provides guidance on applying ASC 740, Income Taxes, if the accounting for certain income tax effects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 is incomplete when the financial statements are issued for a reporting period. See Note 10 for additional discussion regarding SAB 118.
In February 2018, the FASB issued ASU 2018-02, “Income Statement - Reporting Comprehensive Income (Topic 220): Reclassification of Certain Tax Effects from Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income,” which allows a reclassification from accumulated other comprehensive income (loss) to retained earnings for stranded tax effects resulting from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. The new guidance is required for our interim and annual reports for periods beginning after December 15, 2018, and early adoption is permitted. We are currently assessing the timing and impacts of adopting this standard, but do not expect a material impact to our consolidated financial statements.
In March 2017, the FASB issued ASU 2017-07, “Compensation - Retirement Benefits (Topic 715): Improving the Presentation of Net Periodic Pension Cost and Net Periodic Postretirement Benefit Cost,” which requires: (1) separation of net periodic service costs for pension and other postemployment benefits into service cost and other components, (2) presentation of the service cost component in the same line as other compensation costs rendered by pertinent employees during the period, and (3) reporting of the other components of net periodic benefit costs separately from the service cost component and outside a subtotal of income from operations. Additionally, only the service cost component is eligible for capitalization for GAAP, when applicable. However, all of our cost components remain eligible for capitalization under the accounting requirements for rate regulated entities. We adopted this guidance in the first quarter of 2018. The presentation changes required for net periodic benefit costs did not impact previously reported net income; however, the reclassification of the other components of net periodic benefits costs resulted in an increase in operating income and an increase in other expenses of $2.3 million and $4.3 million for the three months ended September 30, 2018 and 2017, respectively, and an increase in operating income and other expenses of $6.5 million and $12.9 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2018 and 2017, respectively. We elected the practical expedient to use the retroactive presentation of the amounts disclosed for the various components of net benefit cost in our Employee Benefit Plans footnote as the basis for the retrospective application. In addition, we updated our information systems for the capitalization of service costs to property, plant and equipment and non-service costs to a regulatory asset on a prospective basis, as well as the appropriate accounts for non-service costs to apply retroactive reclassification.
In June 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-13, “Financial Instruments - Credit Losses: Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments,’’ which introduces new guidance to the accounting for credit losses on instruments within its scope, including trade receivables. It is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019, including interim periods within those fiscal years, and early adoption is permitted for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2018. The new guidance will be initially applied through a cumulative-effect adjustment to retained earnings as of the beginning of the period of adoption. We are currently assessing the timing and impacts of adopting this standard, which must be adopted by the first quarter of 2020.
In February 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-02, “Leases (Topic 842),” which prescribes recognizing lease assets and liabilities on the balance sheet and includes disclosure of key information about leasing arrangements. A modified retrospective transition approach is required for leases existing at the time of adoption. The FASB has issued multiple practical expedients that may be elected but must be elected as a package and applied consistently to all leases. These practical expedients allow lessees and lessors to: (1) not reassess expired or existing contracts to determine whether they are subject to lease accounting guidance, (2) not reconsider lease classification at transition, and (3) not evaluate previously capitalized initial direct costs under the revised requirements. We plan to utilize this package of three expedients. The FASB has also issued several practical expedients that may be elected separately or in conjunction with the previously mentioned practical expedients. These practical expedients allow: (1) lessees to not separate nonlease components from lease components and instead account for each separate lease component and the nonlease components associated with that lease component as a single lease component and (2) lessees and lessors to use hindsight in determining the lease term and in assessing impairment of the entity’s right-of-use assets. These expedients are only for leases in place at the transition date and cannot be applied to leases that are modified. We do not expect to utilize either of these expedients.
In January 2018, the FASB issued ASU 2018-01, “Leases (Topic 842),” as an amendment to ASU 2016-02, “Leases (Topic 842)” to address stakeholder concerns about the costs and complexity of complying with the transition provisions of the new lease requirements to provide an optional transition practical expedient to not evaluate under Topic 842 existing or expired land easements that were not previously accounted for as leases under the current lease guidance in Topic 840. We plan to utilize the provided practical expedient for existing and expired land easements and will assess all new or modified land easement and right-of-way agreements, under the guidance of ASU 2016-02, following its adoption.
In July 2018, the FASB issued ASU 2018-11, “Leases (Topic 842),” as an amendment to ASU 2016-02, “Leases (Topic 842) Targeted Improvements” which provides entities with an additional transition method in which an entity initially applies the new leases standard at the adoption date and recognizes a cumulative-effect adjustment to the opening balance of retained earnings in the period of adoption. We plan to utilize this expedient.
We are continuing to evaluate our population of leases, analyze lease agreements, and hold meetings with cross-functional teams to determine the potential impact of this accounting standard on our financial position, results of operations and the transition approach we will utilize. Our population consists primarily of office facilities and information technology leases. While we are currently evaluating the full impact of the standard on our consolidated financial statements and related disclosures, we expect to recognize additional assets and liabilities arising from current operating leases to our consolidated balance sheets upon adoption. We expect to adopt an accounting policy that exempts leases with terms of less than one year from the recognition requirements of ASC Topic 842. We do not expect a material impact to our results of operations. We will adopt this new guidance in the first quarter of 2019.
In May 2014, the FASB issued ASU 2014-09, “Revenue from Contracts with Customers” (“ASC 606”), which clarifies and converges the revenue recognition principles under GAAP and International Financial Reporting Standards. We have evaluated all of our sources of revenue to determine the effect on our financial position, results of operations, cash flows and the related accounting policies and business processes. We adopted this new guidance in the first quarter 2018, using the modified retrospective method. Our adoption did not result in a cumulative adjustment to our opening retained earnings. Our adoption resulted in a reclassification of certain revenues associated with certain regulatory mechanisms that do not meet the requirements under ASC 606 as revenue from contracts with customers, but will continue to be reflected as other revenues in determining total revenues. The reclassified revenues relate primarily to the weather normalization mechanism in Kansas, where the KCC determines how we reflect variations in weather in our rates billed to customers. We have determined the majority of our tariffs to be contracts with customers which are settled over time, where our performance obligation is settled with our customer when natural gas is delivered and simultaneously consumed. The majority of our revenues that meet the requirements under ASC 606 are considered implied contracts, as established by our tariff rates approved by regulatory authorities. Our sources of revenue are disaggregated by natural gas sales (including sales to residential, commercial, industrial, wholesale and public authority customers), transportation revenues, and other utility revenues, which are primarily one-time service fees, that meet the requirements under ASC 606. The reclassification of certain revenues that do not meet the requirements under ASC 606 have been classified as other revenues on the Consolidated Statements of Income and in our Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements. Additionally, for our natural gas sales and transportation revenues, our customers receive the benefits of our performance when the commodity is delivered to the customer and the performance obligation is satisfied over time as the customer receives and consumes the natural gas. For our other utility revenues, the performance obligation of one-time services are satisfied at a point in time when services are rendered to the customer. In addition, we use the invoice method practical expedient, where we recognize revenue for volumes delivered for which we have a right to invoice.
Property, Plant and Equipment - Accounts payable for construction work in process and asset removal costs decreased by approximately $11.5 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2018, and increased by $2.2 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2017. Such amounts are not included in capital expenditures on our Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows.
See Note 2 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in this Quarterly Report for additional information.