Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2019
Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

3. Summary of Significant Accounting Policies


Basis of Presentation - The accompanying consolidated financial statements have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“U.S. GAAP”).


Use of Estimates The preparation of consolidated financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the consolidated financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. Making estimates requires management to exercise significant judgment. It is at least reasonably possible that the estimate of the effect of a condition, situation or set of circumstances that existed at the date of the consolidated financial statements, which management considered in formulating its estimate, could change in the near term due to one or more future intervening events. Accordingly, the actual results could differ significantly from estimates.


Significant estimates underlying the financial statements include the fair value of acquired assets and liabilities associated with acquisitions; assessment of goodwill impairment, other intangible assets and long-lived assets for impairment; allowances for doubtful accounts and assumptions related to the valuation allowances on deferred taxes, impact of applying the revised federal tax rates on deferred taxes, the valuation of stock-based compensation and the valuation of stock warrants.


Principles of Consolidation - The accompanying consolidated financial statements include the accounts of the Company, its wholly-owned subsidiaries and a variable interest entity. All significant intercompany balances and transactions have been eliminated in consolidation.


Cash Equivalents - The Company considers cash equivalents to include all short-term, highly liquid investments that are readily convertible to known amounts of cash and have original maturities of three months or less.


Accounts Receivable - Accounts receivable represent receivables generated from fees earned from customers and advertising revenue. The Company’s policy is to reserve for uncollectible accounts based on its best estimate of the amount of probable credit losses in its existing accounts receivable. The Company periodically reviews its accounts receivable to determine whether an allowance for doubtful accounts is necessary based on an analysis of past due accounts and other factors that may indicate that the realization of an account may be in doubt. Account balances deemed to be uncollectible are charged to the allowance after all means of collection have been exhausted and the potential for recovery is considered remote. As of December 31, 2019 and 2018, the allowance for doubtful accounts amounted to $20,007 and $10,000, respectively.


Incremental Direct Costs - Incremental direct costs incurred in connection with enrolling members in the NAPW Network consist of sales commissions paid to the Company’s direct sales agents. The commissions are deferred and amortized over the term of membership, which is a 12-month period. Amortization of deferred commissions is included in sales and marketing expense in the accompanying consolidated statements of operations. Incremental direct costs amounted to $33,000 and $21,000 at December 31, 2019 and 2018, respectively. Amortization expense of deferred commissions amounted to $65,000 and $239,000 for the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018, respectively.


Property and Equipment - Property and equipment is stated at cost, including any cost to place the property into service, less accumulated depreciation. Depreciation is recorded on a straight-line basis over the estimated useful lives of the assets which currently range from 3 to 5 years. Leasehold improvements are amortized over the shorter of their estimated useful lives or the term of the lease. Maintenance, repairs and minor replacements are charged to operations as incurred; major replacements and betterments are capitalized. The cost of any assets sold or retired and related accumulated depreciation are removed from the accounts at the time of disposition, and any resulting profit or loss is reflected in income or expense for the period.


Capitalized Technology Costs - In accordance with Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) 350-40, Internal-Use Software, the Company capitalizes certain external and internal computer software costs incurred during the application development stage. The application development stage generally includes software design and configuration, coding, testing and installation activities. Training and maintenance costs are expensed as incurred, while upgrades and enhancements are capitalized if it is probable that such expenditures will result in additional functionality. Capitalized software costs are amortized over the estimated useful lives of the software assets on a straight-line basis, generally not exceeding three years.


Business Combinations - ASC 805, Business Combinations (“ASC 805”), applies the acquisition method of accounting for business combinations to all acquisitions where the acquirer gains a controlling interest, regardless of whether consideration was exchanged. ASC 805 establishes principles and requirements for how the acquirer: a) recognizes and measures in its financial statements the identifiable assets acquired, the liabilities assumed, and any non-controlling interest in the acquiree; b) recognizes and measures the goodwill acquired in the business combination or a gain from a bargain purchase; and c) determines what information to disclose to enable users of the financial statements to evaluate the nature and financial effects of the business combination. Accounting for acquisitions requires the Company to recognize, separately from goodwill, the assets acquired and the liabilities assumed at their acquisition-date fair values. Goodwill as of the acquisition date is measured as the excess of consideration transferred and the net of the acquisition-date fair values of the assets acquired and the liabilities assumed. While the Company uses its best estimates and assumptions to accurately value assets acquired and liabilities assumed at the acquisition date, the estimates are inherently uncertain and subject to refinement. As a result, during the measurement period, which may be up to one year from the acquisition date, the Company may record adjustments to the assets acquired and liabilities assumed with the corresponding offset to goodwill. Upon the conclusion of the measurement period or final determination of the values of assets acquired or liabilities assumed, whichever comes first, any subsequent adjustments are recorded to the consolidated statements of operations.


Goodwill and Intangible Assets - The Company accounts for goodwill and intangible assets in accordance with ASC 350, Intangibles – Goodwill and Other (“ASC 350”). ASC 350 requires that goodwill and other intangibles with indefinite lives should be tested for impairment annually or on an interim basis if events or circumstances indicate that the fair value of an asset has decreased below its carrying value.


Goodwill is tested for impairment at the reporting unit level on an annual basis (December 31 for the Company) and between annual tests if an event occurs or circumstances change that would more likely than not reduce the fair value of a reporting unit below its carrying value. The Company considers its market capitalization and the carrying value of its assets and liabilities, including goodwill, when performing its goodwill impairment test.


When conducting its annual goodwill impairment assessment, the Company initially performs a qualitative evaluation of whether it is more likely than not that goodwill is impaired. If it is determined by a qualitative evaluation that it is more likely than not that goodwill is impaired, the Company then compares the fair value of the Company’s reporting unit to its carrying or book value. If the fair value of the reporting unit exceeds its carrying value, goodwill is not impaired and the Company is not required to perform further testing. If the carrying value of a reporting unit exceeds its fair value, the Company will measure any goodwill impairment losses as the amount by which the carrying amount of a reporting unit exceeds its fair value, not to exceed the total amount of goodwill allocated to that reporting unit.


As a result of the recurring operating losses incurred in NAPW since its acquisition in September 2014, the Company undertook a review of the carrying amount of its goodwill. The Company performed its review based on both qualitative and quantitative factors and determined that carrying value of NAPW’s goodwill exceeded its implied fair value. Accordingly, the Company recorded a goodwill impairment charge of $5,251,000 in the accompanying consolidated statement of operations and comprehensive loss during the year ended December, 31 2018.


Treasury Stock – Treasury stock is recorded at cost as a reduction of stockholders’ equity in the accompanying consolidated balance sheets.


Revenue Recognition Revenue is recognized when all of the following conditions exist: (1) persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists, (2) services are performed, (3) the sales price is fixed or determinable, and (4) collectability is reasonably assured.


Membership Fees and Related Services


Membership fees are collected up-front and member benefits become available immediately; however those benefits must remain available over the 12-month membership period. At the time of enrollment, membership fees are recorded as deferred revenue and are recognized as revenue ratably over the 12-month membership period. Members who are enrolled in this plan may cancel their membership in the program at any time and receive a partial refund (amount remaining in deferred revenue) or due to consumer protection legislation, a full refund based on the policies of the member’s credit card company.


Starting January 2, 2018, we also offer a monthly membership for which we collect fees on a monthly basis and we recognize revenue in the same month as we collect the monthly fees.


Revenue from related membership services are derived from fees for development and set-up of a member’s personal on-line profile and/or press release announcements. Fees related to these services are recognized as revenue at the time the on-line profile is complete and press release is distributed.


Deferred Revenue Deferred revenue includes customer deposits received prior to performing services which are recognized as revenue when revenue recognition criteria are met, and membership fees for annual memberships that are collected at the time of enrollment and are recognized as revenue ratably over the 12-month membership period.


Recruitment Services


The Company’s recruitment services revenue is derived from the Company’s agreements through single and multiple job postings, recruitment media, talent recruitment communities, basic and premier corporate memberships, hiring campaign marketing and advertising, e-newsletter marketing and research and outreach services. Recruitment revenue includes revenue recognized from direct sales to customers for recruitment services and events, as well as revenue from the Company’s direct e-commerce sales. Direct sales to customers are most typically a twelve-month contract for services and as such the revenue for each contract is recognized ratably over its twelve-month term. Event revenue is recognized in the month that the event takes place and e-commerce sales are for one-month job postings and the revenue from those sales are recognized in the month the sale is made. Our recruitment services mainly consist of the following products:


On-line job postings to our diversity sites and to our broader network of websites including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, National Urban League and over 20 other partner organizations
OFCCP job promotion and recordation services
Diversity job fairs, both in person and virtual fairs
Diversity recruitment job advertising services
Cost per application, a service that employers can purchase whereby PDN sources qualified candidates and charges only for those applicants who meet the employers’ minimum qualifications
Diversity executive staffing services


Product Sales and Other Revenue


Products offered to members relate to custom made plaques. Product sales are recognized as deferred revenue at the time the initial order is placed. Revenue is then recognized at the time these products are shipped. The Company’s shipping and handling costs are included in cost of sales in the accompanying consolidated statements of operations.


Education and Training


The Company works with its business partners to provide education and training seminars to business people in China. Revenues are recognized in the month when the seminar takes place.


Consumer Advertising and Marketing Solutions


The Company provides career opportunity services to its various partner organizations through advertising and job postings on their websites. The Company works with its partners to develop customized websites and job boards where the partners can generate advertising, job postings and career services to their members, students and alumni. Consumer advertising and marketing solutions revenue is recognized as jobs are posted to their hosted sites.


The Company’s partner organizations include NAACP and National Urban League,VetJobs, among others.


Discontinued Operations


China Operations


On November 25, 2019, PDN China received a Seizure Decision Notice (the “Notice”) from the Yuexiu District Branch of the Police Department of Guangzhou City, the People’s Republic of China. The Notice stated that it is necessary to seize the assets of PDN China in connection with the criminal investigation of alleged illegal public fund raising by Gatewang Group (the “Gatewang Case”), a separate company organized under the laws of the People’s Republic of China (“Gatewang”), with which Mr. Maoji (Michael) Wang, the former Chairman and CEO of the Company (“Michael Wang”) is affiliated, who was subsequently held in custody by the local police department.


In response to such events, on December 12, 2019 the Company’s Board of Directors (the “Board”) established the Special Committee to investigate the situation, and ‎retained the international law firm of King & Wood Mallesons (“KWM”) to assist the Special Committee in connection with the Special Committee’s investigation of the Company’s operations in the People’s Republic of China and related events, ‎ in collaboration with the Company’s external auditor Ciro E. Adams CPA LLC. KWM conducted extensive research into public records in China, and interviewed the relevant divisions of the Public Security Bureau in China and any related witnesses in relation to the operations and specific transactions that had some relationship to the Gatewang entities. On April 16, 2020, based upon the information obtained, the investigation team concluded that it did not found any evidence that the Company or PDN China has engaged in the criminal activity of illegal fund-raising as alleged against Gatewang.


The Investigation also revealed that three entities and two ‎individuals (the “Payors”), who appeared to be related to Gatewang, collectively paid RMB 14.25 million to PDN China on behalf of ‎EGBT Foundation Ltd., a private placement investor that purchased ‎1,265,823 shares of the Company’s common stock (approximately 11.6%) in September 2019 (the “EGBT Transaction”)‎. To the knowledge of the Investigation team, the bank account holding the proceeds of ‎the EGBT Transaction is still frozen by the Chinese authorities, although the seizure of PDN ‎China by the local police had been lifted on March 23, 2020. Such funds may continue to be subject to the PRC government’s jurisdiction if the source of funds is actually (or perceived to be) connected to Gatewang, which will likely complicate the decision by the Chinese authorities to unfreeze PDN China’s bank account. If and when the bank account is unfrozen, the Company will consider whether the EGBT Transaction needs to be unwound or further documented to be in full compliance with applicable law.


The Company’s operations in China have been suspended since December 2019. On March 4, 2020 the Board decided to discontinue all of the Company’s operations in the People’s Republic of China, namely PDN (China) International Culture Development Co. Ltd.‎, a wholly owned subsidiary of ‎the Company, Jiangxi PDN Culture Media Co., Ltd. (“PDN Jiangxi”), a variable interest entity ‎‎controlled by of the Company‎, and the joint venture between PDN Jiangxi, Guangzhou ‎Zengcheng District Zhili Education ‎Training Center and Guangzhou Angye Education ‎Consulting Co. Ltd.‎


All historical operating results for its China operations are included in a loss from discontinued operations, net of tax, in the accompanying consolidated statement of operations. For the year ended December 31, 2019, loss from discontinued operations was approximately ($1,256,000) compared to a loss of ($1,405,000) for the year ended December 31, 2018.


Assets and liabilities of China operations are now included in current assets and long-term assets from discontinued operations, and current liabilities and long-term liabilities from discontinued operations. As of December 31, 2019, current assets from discontinued operations were approximately $76,000, compared to approximately $1,392,000 as of December 31, 2018, and long-term assets from discontinued operations were approximately $3,109,000 at December 31, 2019, compared to approximately $298,000 as of December 31, 2018. As of December 31, 2019, current liabilities from discontinued operations were approximately $564,000, compared to approximately $1,006 as of December 31, 2018.


Noble Voice


On May 25, 2018, the Company sold Noble Voice to a long-time customer of the Company and exited the business segment previously conducted by Noble Voice. The sales included all property, equipment, intangible assets, and other long-term assets. The Company retained cash, receivables, payables, and other current and non-current assets and liabilities. The purchase price was $200,000 and the gain on the transaction was approximately $64,000.


All historical operating results for Noble Voice are included in a loss from discontinued operations, net of tax, in the accompanying consolidated statement of operations. For the year ended December 31, 2019, income from discontinued operations was approximately $204,000, compared to a loss of approximately $509,000 for the year ended December 31, 2018.


Assets and liabilities that the Company retained, which were previously reported in the Noble Voice operating segment, are now included in current assets from discontinued operations, and current liabilities from discontinued operations. As of December 31, 2019, current assets from discontinued operations were $0, compared to approximately $126,000 as of December 31, 2018. As of December 31, 2019, current liabilities from discontinued operations were $0, compared to approximately $347,000 as of December 31, 2018.


Operating Results of Discontinued Operations


The following table represents the components of operating results from discontinued operations, as presented in the consolidated statements of operations and comprehensive loss for the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018:


    Year Ended  
    December 31,  
    2019     2018  
    (in thousands)  
Revenues   $ 107,584     $ 3,207,415  
Cost of sales     33,803       1,627,759  
Depreciation and amortization     16,626       52,691  
Sales and marketing     315,713       1,296,953  
General and administrative     842,667       2,472,241  
Non-operating income (expense)     195,593       65,781  
Loss from discontinued operations before income tax     (905,632 )     (2,176,448  
Income tax expense (benefit)     146,702       (262,517 )
Net loss from discontinued operations   $ (1,052,334 )   $ (1,913,931 )


Advertising and Marketing Expenses Advertising and marketing expenses are expensed as incurred or the first time the advertising takes place. The production costs of advertising are expensed the first time the advertising takes place. For the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018, the Company incurred advertising and marketing expenses of approximately $649,000 and $1,375,000, respectively. These amounts are included in sales and marketing expenses in the accompanying consolidated statements of operations. At December 31, 2019 and 2018, there were no prepaid advertising expenses recorded in the accompanying consolidated balance sheets.


Concentrations of Credit Risk - Financial instruments, which potentially subject the Company to concentration of credit risk, consist principally of cash and cash equivalents and accounts receivable. The Company places its cash with high credit quality institutions. At times, such amounts may be in excess of the FDIC insurance limits. The Company has not experienced any losses in such accounts and believes that it is not exposed to any significant credit risk on the account.


Income Taxes - The Company accounts for income taxes in accordance with ASC 740, Income Taxes, which requires that the Company recognize deferred tax liabilities and assets based on the differences between the financial statement basis and tax basis of assets and liabilities, using enacted tax rates in effect for the year in which the differences are expected to reverse. The Company estimates the degree to which tax assets and credit carryforwards will result in a benefit based on expected profitability by tax jurisdiction. A valuation allowance for such tax assets and loss carryforwards is provided when it is determined to be more likely than not that the benefit of such deferred tax asset will not be realized in future periods. If it becomes more likely than not that a tax asset will be used, the related valuation allowance on such assets would be reduced.


ASC 740 clarifies the accounting for uncertainty in income taxes recognized in an enterprise’s financial statements in accordance with ASC 740-20 and prescribes a recognition threshold and measurement process for financial statement recognition and measurement of a tax position taken or expected to be taken in a tax return. For those benefits to be recognized, a tax position must be more-likely-than-not to be sustained upon examination by taxing authorities. There were no unrecognized tax benefits as of December 31, 2019. The Company is currently not aware of any issues under review that could result in significant payments, accruals or material deviation from its position.


The Company may be subject to potential income tax examinations by federal or state authorities. These potential examinations may include questioning the timing and amount of deductions, the nexus of income among various tax jurisdictions and compliance with federal and state tax laws. Management does not expect that the total amount of unrecognized tax benefits will materially change over the next twelve months. Tax years that remain open for assessment for federal and state tax purposes include the years ended December 31, 2013 through 2019.


The Company’s policy for recording interest and penalties associated with audits is to record such expense as a component of income tax expense. There were no amounts accrued for penalties or interest as of December 31, 2019.


Fair Value of Financial Assets and Liabilities - Financial instruments, including cash and cash equivalents, short-term investments and accounts payable, are carried at cost. Management believes that the recorded amounts approximate fair value due to the short-term nature of these instruments.


Net Loss per Share - The Company computes basic net loss per share by dividing net loss available to common stockholders by the weighted average number of common shares outstanding for the period and excludes the effects of any potentially dilutive securities. Diluted earnings per share, if presented, would include the dilution that would occur upon the exercise or conversion of all potentially dilutive securities into common stock using the “treasury stock” and/or “if converted” methods as applicable. The computation of basic net loss per share for the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018 excludes the potentially dilutive securities summarized in the table below because their inclusion would be anti-dilutive.


    2019     2018  
Warrants to purchase common stock     125,000       170,314  
Stock options     295,793       499,439  
Unvested restricted stock     27,319       60,651  
      448,112       730,404  


Recently Issued Accounting Pronouncements


In February 2016, the FASB issued new lease accounting guidance ASU No. 2016-02, “Leases” (“ASU 2016-02”), as amended by ASU 2018-10, “Codification Improvements to Topic 842, Leases” and ASU 2018-11, “Leases (Topic 842): Targeted Improvements.” Under the new guidance, at the commencement date, lessees will be required to recognize a lease liability, which is a lessee’s obligation to make lease payments arising from a lease, measured on a discounted basis; and a right-of-use asset, which is an asset that represents the lessee’s right to use, or control the use of, a specified asset for the lease term. The new guidance is not applicable for leases with a term of 12 months or less. Lessor accounting is largely unchanged. Public business entities should apply the amendments in ASU 2016-02 for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2018, including interim periods within those fiscal years. Early application is permitted upon issuance. ASC 842 was previously required to be adopted using the modified retrospective approach. However, in July 2018, the FASB issued ASU 2018-11, which allows for retrospective application with the recognition of a cumulative-effect adjustment to the opening balance of retained earnings in the period of adoption. Under this option, entities would not need to apply ASC 842 (along with its disclosure requirements) to the comparative prior periods presented. Management expects that most of its operating leases (primarily office space) will be recognized as operating lease liabilities and right of use assets on its consolidated balance sheet. The Company has elected to adopt certain of the optional practical expedients, including the package of practical expedients, which, among other things, gives the option to not reassess: 1) whether expired or existing contracts are or contain leases; 2) the lease classification for expired or existing leases; and 3) initial direct costs for existing leases. The Company adopted ASC 842, effective January 1, 2019.