The following reflects a summary of the Company’s contractual obligations as of December 31, 2017:
Debt and interest
Programming purchase commitments (1)
Other purchase obligations (2)
Long-term liabilities (3)
Includes commitments for the Company’s television broadcasting business that are reflected in the Company’s Consolidated Financial Statements and commitments to purchase programming to be produced in future years.
Includes purchase obligations related to employment agreements, capital projects and other legally binding commitments. Other purchase orders made in the ordinary course of business are excluded from the table above. Any amounts for which the Company is liable under purchase orders are reflected in the Company’s Consolidated Balance Sheets as accounts payable and accrued liabilities.
Primarily made up of postretirement benefit obligations other than pensions. The Company has other long-term liabilities excluded from the table above, including obligations for deferred compensation, long-term incentive plans and long-term deferred revenue.
The table above does not include the Company’s commitment to loan an additional £9.0 million to York International College.
Other. The Company does not have any off-balance-sheet arrangements or financing activities with special-purpose entities (SPEs).
CRITICAL ACCOUNTING POLICIES AND ESTIMATES
The preparation of financial statements in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles requires management to make estimates and judgments that affect the amounts reported in the financial statements. On an ongoing basis, the Company evaluates its estimates and assumptions. The Company bases its estimates on historical experience and other assumptions believed to be reasonable under the circumstances, the results of which form the basis for making judgments about the carrying value of assets and liabilities that are not readily apparent from other sources. Actual results could differ from these estimates.
An accounting policy is considered to be critical if it is important to the Company’s financial condition and results and if it requires management’s most difficult, subjective and complex judgments in its application. For a summary of all of the Company’s significant accounting policies, see Note 2 to the Company’s Consolidated Financial Statements.
Revenue Recognition, Trade Accounts Receivable and Allowance for Doubtful Accounts. Education tuition revenue is recognized ratably over the period of instruction as services are delivered to students, net of any refunds, corporate discounts, scholarships and employee tuition discounts.
At KTP and Kaplan International, estimates of average student course length are developed for each course, along with estimates for the anticipated level of student drops and refunds from test performance guarantees, and these estimates are evaluated on an ongoing basis and adjusted as necessary. As Kaplan’s businesses and related course offerings have changed, including more online programs, the complexity and significance of management’s estimates have increased.
KHE, through the Kaplan Commitment program, provides first-time undergraduate students with a risk-free trial period. Under the program, KHE monitors academic progress and conducts assessments to help determine whether students are likely to be successful in their chosen course of study. Students who withdraw or are subject to dismissal during the risk-free trial period do not incur any significant financial obligation. The Company does not recognize revenues related to coursework until the students complete the risk-free period and decide to continue with their studies, at which time the fees become fixed or determinable.
The determination of whether revenue should be reported on a gross or net basis is based on an assessment of whether the Company acts as a principal or an agent in the transaction. In certain cases, the Company is considered the agent, and the Company records revenue equal to the net amount retained when the fee is earned. In these cases, costs incurred with third-party suppliers are excluded from the Company’s revenue. The Company assesses whether it or the third-party supplier is the primary obligor and evaluates the terms of its customer arrangements as part of this assessment. In addition, the Company considers other key indicators such as latitude in establishing price, inventory risk, nature of services performed, discretion in supplier selection and credit risk.
Accounts receivable have been reduced by an allowance for amounts that may be uncollectible in the future. This estimated allowance is based primarily on the aging category, historical collection experience and management’s evaluation of the financial condition of the customer. The Company generally considers an account past due or delinquent when a student or customer misses a scheduled payment. The Company writes off accounts receivable