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Table of Contents
UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
Form 10-K
(Mark One)
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
    For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2021
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from                     to                     
Commission File Number 1-11689
Fair Isaac Corporation
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Delaware 94-1499887
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
 (I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)
5 West Mendenhall, Suite 105 
Bozeman,Montana 59715
(Address of principal executive offices) (Zip Code)
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code:
406-982-7276
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each ClassTrading Symbol(s)Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Stock, $0.01 par value per shareFICONew York Stock Exchange
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.     Yes      No  
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.     Yes      No  
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes      No   
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).    Yes      No   
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act:
Large Accelerated Filer Accelerated Filer  
Non-Accelerated Filer   Smaller Reporting Company  
Emerging Growth Company
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Act.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).    
Yes
No
As of March 31, 2021, the aggregate market value of the registrant’s common stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant was $11,138,645,215 based on the last transaction price as reported on the New York Stock Exchange on such date. This calculation does not reflect a determination that certain persons are affiliates of the registrant for any other purposes.
The number of shares of common stock outstanding on October 29, 2021 was 27,358,353 (excluding 61,498,430 shares held by the Company as treasury stock).




Table of Contents

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the Registrant’s definitive proxy statement relating to its 2022 Annual Meeting of Stockholders (“2022 Proxy Statement”) are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K where indicated. The 2022 Proxy Statement will be filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days after the end of the fiscal year to which this report relates.



Table of Contents
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
Item 1.
Item 1A.
Item 1B.
Item 2.
Item 3.
Item 4.
Item 5.
Item 6.
Item 7.
Item 7A.
Item 8.
Item 9.
Item 9A.
Item 9B.
Item 10.
Item 11.
Item 12.
Item 13.
Item 14.
Item 15.


1

Table of Contents
FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
Statements contained in this report that are not statements of historical fact should be considered forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the “PSLRA”). In addition, certain statements in our future filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), in press releases, and in oral and written statements made by us or with our approval that are not statements of historical fact constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the PSLRA. Examples of forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: (i) projections of revenue, income or loss, expenses, earnings or loss per share, the payment or nonpayment of dividends, share repurchases, capital structure and other statements concerning future financial performance; (ii) statements of our plans and objectives by our management or Board of Directors, including those relating to products or services, research and development, and the sufficiency of capital resources; (iii) statements of assumptions underlying such statements, including those related to economic conditions; (iv) statements regarding results of business combinations or strategic divestitures; (v) statements regarding business relationships with vendors, customers or collaborators, including the proportion of revenues generated from international as opposed to domestic customers; and (vi) statements regarding products, their characteristics, performance, sales potential or effect in the hands of customers. Words such as “believes,” “anticipates,” “expects,” “intends,” “targeted,” “should,” “potential,” “goals,” “strategy,” “outlook,” “plan,” “estimated,” “will,” variations of these terms and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, but are not the exclusive means of identifying such statements. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those in such statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ from those discussed in the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, those described in Part I, Item 1A, “Risk Factors,” below. The performance of our business and our securities may be adversely affected by these factors and by other factors common to other businesses and investments, or to the general economy. Forward-looking statements are qualified by some or all of these risk factors. Therefore, you should consider these risk factors with caution and form your own critical and independent conclusions about the likely effect of these risk factors on our future performance. Such forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which statements are made, and we undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the date on which such statement is made to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events or circumstances. Readers should carefully review the disclosures and the risk factors described in this and other documents we file from time to time with the SEC, including our Quarterly Reports on Forms 10-Q and Current Reports on Forms 8-K.

2

Table of Contents
PART I
Item 1. Business

GENERAL

Fair Isaac Corporation (NYSE: FICO) (together with its consolidated subsidiaries, the “Company,” which may also be referred to in this report as “we,” “us,” “our,” and “FICO”) is a leading applied analytics company. We were founded in 1956 on the premise that data, used intelligently, can improve business decisions. Today, FICO’s software and the widely used FICO® Score operationalize analytics, enabling thousands of businesses in nearly 120 countries to uncover new opportunities, make timely decisions that matter, and execute them at scale. Most leading banks and credit card issuers rely on our solutions, as do insurers, retailers, telecommunications providers, automotive companies, public agencies, and organizations in other industries. We also serve consumers through online services that enable people to access and understand their FICO Scores, the standard measure in the U.S. of consumer credit risk, empowering them to increase financial literacy and manage their financial health. More information about us can be found on our website, www.fico.com. We make our Annual Reports on Forms 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Forms 10-Q, and Current Reports on Forms 8-K, as well as amendments to those reports, available free of charge through our website as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file them with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). References to our website address in this report do not constitute an incorporation by reference. Information on our website is not part of this report.

PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Our business consists of two operating segments: Scores and Software.
Our Scores segment includes our business-to-business (“B2B”) scoring solutions and services which give our clients access to predictive credit and other scores that can be easily integrated into their transaction streams and decision-making processes. This segment also includes our business-to-consumer (“B2C”) scoring solutions, including our myFICO.com subscription offerings.
Our Software segment includes pre-configured analytic and decision management solutions designed for a specific type of business need or process — such as account origination, customer management, customer engagement, fraud detection, financial crimes compliance, and marketing — as well as associated professional services. This segment also includes FICO® Platform, a modular software offering designed to support advanced analytic and decision use cases, as well as stand-alone analytic and decisioning software that can be configured by our customers to address a wide variety of business use cases. Our offerings are available to our customers as software-as-a-service (“SaaS”) or as on-premises software.

Scores
Our B2B scoring solutions include the FICO® Score, which is the standard measure of consumer credit risk in the U.S. It is used in most U.S. credit decisions, by nearly all major banks, credit card issuers, mortgage lenders, and auto loan originators. Our B2B scoring solutions are primarily distributed through major consumer reporting agencies worldwide. Our B2C scores are sold directly to consumers through our myFICO.com website and other direct-to-consumer channels.
The FICO® Score is a three-digit number ranging from 300-850. Our proprietary analytic algorithms are applied to credit data collected and maintained by the three U.S. national consumer reporting agencies — Experian, TransUnion and Equifax — to produce standard scores that are used across the credit lifecycle, including in origination, account management and consumer marketing. Users of our scores generally pay the consumer reporting agencies a fee for each individual score generated by our algorithms, and the consumer reporting agencies pay an associated fee to us. Except for product development using de-personalized data, FICO does not collect or store the consumer credit data used in the calculation of our scores, and in most cases, we do not sell our scores directly to lenders or other end-users.
Since the introduction of the FICO® Score in the U.S. in 1989, we have regularly updated the score to take advantage of newly available data and enhanced analytics. Our most recent and most predictive scores, FICO® Score 10 and 10T, were introduced in January 2020. To increase its predictive power, FICO Score 10T builds on FICO Score 10 but also incorporates trended credit data. Trended data considers a longer historical view, giving lenders even more insight into how individuals are managing their credit. When we introduced FICO® Score 9 in 2015, it also made use of newly available data such as reported rental payment history, while also de-emphasizing medical debt and disregarding paid collections.
Most of our scores distributed today are FICO® Score 8 and FICO® Score 9. While our newer scores generally provide greater predictive accuracy than the scores they replace, we ensure that new versions of the standard FICO® Score are compatible with prior versions of the FICO Score.
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In addition to the FICO® Score, we offer several other broad-based scores, including specific FICO® Industry Scores. For example, in July 2021 we introduced Bankcard and Auto Industry versions of FICO® Score 10. We also develop various custom scores for our financial services clients.
The FICO® Resilience Index is a recently introduced offering designed to complement FICO® Score models by identifying those consumers who are more resilient to economic stress relative to other consumers within the same FICO Score bands. The FICO Resilience Index is designed to enable lenders to continue to lend and better manage risk by providing a more precise assessment of loan default risk during periods of economic stress.
FICO has invested significant resources in the development of scores that can help expand credit access and lower borrowing costs for consumers that have limited credit history or who have sparse or inactive credit files. These scores use alternative data sources to enhance conventional credit bureau data and generate scores for otherwise un-scorable consumers and in many cases improve the credit scores of scorable consumers.

FICO® Score XD uses public records and property data, and a consumer’s history with mobile phone, landline phone and cable payments, to generate scores on the same 300-850 scale as standard FICO® Scores. FICO Score XD is available to lenders through our distribution partners, LexisNexis Risk Solutions and Equifax.

The UltraFICOTM Score uses consumer-permissioned data such as checking, savings, or money market account data, to generate scores on the same 300-850 scale as standard FICO® Scores. Incorporating consumer-permissioned data helps empower consumers to establish or improve their creditworthiness by using data that reflects sound financial activity, but that is not part of a conventional credit report.

Both scores maintain the same score to risk relationship as standard FICO® Scores, enhancing their compatibility with existing credit underwriting systems and models.
Outside the U.S., we offer FICO® Scores for consumer loans, and in some cases for small and medium business loans. These scores are typically sold to end-users through consumer reporting agencies in those countries, as they are in the U.S. We have also developed client-specific versions of the FICO Score in over ten countries that we sell directly to end-user customers. FICO Scores are currently in use or being implemented in 30 different countries across five continents outside the U.S.
We also provide FICO® Scores to consumers in the U.S. through our B2C scoring solutions. These Scores are distributed directly by us through our myFICO.com subscription offering and indirectly through our licensed distribution partners, including Experian and certain lenders through the FICO® Score Open Access Program. Through myFICO.com and other direct-to-consumer channels, consumers can purchase their FICO Scores, including credit reports associated with the scores, explanations of the factors affecting their scores, and customized educational information on how to manage their scores. Consumers can use products to simulate how taking specific actions could affect their FICO Score. Consumers can also subscribe to credit monitoring, which deliver alerts via email and text when changes to a user’s FICO Scores or other credit report content are detected. In addition, consumers can purchase identity theft monitoring products that alert them to potential risks of identity fraud.

Software

Our software harnesses the power of analytics and digital decisioning technology to help businesses automate, improve, and connect decisions across their enterprise. Most of our solutions address customer engagement, including acquisition and pricing, onboarding, servicing and management, and fraud protection. We also help businesses improve non-customer facing decisions such as supply chain optimization, scheduling management and policy adherence.
FICO provides software solutions to business customers in more than 120 countries around the world. Our software can be deployed in the cloud as SaaS utilizing FICO’s infrastructure or third-party cloud services, or on-premises using our customers’ IT infrastructure. We typically sell our software as multi-year subscriptions, with payments based on usage metrics such as the number of accounts, transactions or decisioning use cases deployed, often subject to contracted minimum payments.
A significant and growing number of our software solutions run natively on FICO® Platform, a modular software offering designed to support advanced analytics and decisioning use cases. While not all our software runs on FICO Platform today, we are investing significant development resources to enable substantially all of our software to run on FICO Platform in the future.

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Principal Areas of Expertise
We specialize in solutions that empower businesses to operationalize analytics to uncover new opportunities, make timely decisions that matter, and execute them at scale. With more than 60 years of analytics and software experience, we have found that bringing human and digital intelligence together allows our customers to target and acquire customers more efficiently, increase customer value, reduce fraud and credit losses, lower operating expenses, and enter new markets more profitably.
Our principal areas of research and development expertise are focused on the following four analytic domains.

Predictive Modeling
Predictive modeling identifies and mathematically represents underlying relationships in historical data to make predictions or classifications about future events. Predictive models typically analyze current and historical data about individuals to produce easily understood metrics such as scores. These scores rank-order individuals or specific transactions against a particular variable such as the likelihood of making credit payments on time, the likelihood of a transaction being fraudulent or the probability of responding to a particular offer for services. Our predictive models are frequently used in mission-critical transactional systems and drive decisions and actions in near real time.

Several analytic methodologies underlie our products in this area. These include proprietary applications of both linear and nonlinear optimization algorithms, advanced neural systems, machine learning and AI. We also apply various statistical techniques for analysis and pattern detection within large datasets and can derive insights and predictive features from various forms of data, including unstructured data.

Decision Analysis and Optimization
Decision analysis refers to the broad quantitative field that deals with modeling, analyzing, and optimizing decisions made by individuals, groups, and organizations. Whereas predictive models analyze multiple aspects of individual behavior to forecast future behavior, decision analysis analyzes multiple aspects of a given decision to identify the most effective action to take to reach a desired result. This is often referred to as prescriptive analytics. Our integrated approach to decision analysis incorporates a decision model that mathematically maps the entire decision structure; proprietary optimization technology that identifies the most effective strategies, given both the performance objective and constraints; testing and simulation required for active, continuous learning; and the robust extrapolation of an optimized strategy to a wider set of scenarios than historically encountered. Our optimization capabilities also include native support for Python modeling, as well as our own proprietary mathematical modeling and programming language, an easy-to-use authoring environment, a configurable business simulation and scenario management interface and a set of pre-built optimization algorithms.

Transaction Profiling
Transaction profiling is a patent-protected technique used to extract meaningful information and reduce the complexity of transaction data used in modeling. Many of our products operate using transactional data, such as credit card purchase transactions, consumer interactions, or other types of data that change over time. In its raw form, this data is very difficult to use in predictive models for several reasons. First, an isolated transaction contains very little information about the behavior of the individual who generated the transaction. Second, transaction patterns change rapidly over time. Third, this type of data can often be highly complex. To overcome these issues, we have developed a set of techniques that transform raw transactional data into a mathematical representation that reveals latent information, and which make the data more usable by predictive models. This profiling technology accumulates data across multiple transactions of many types to create and update profiles of transaction patterns. These profiles enable our neural network models to efficiently and effectively make accurate assessments of, for example, fraud risk and credit risk within real-time transaction streams.

Customer Data Integration
Decisions made about customers or prospects can benefit from data stored in multiple sources, both inside and outside the enterprise. In the areas of analytics and digital decisioning, more data is generally better. We have developed proprietary data ingestion and management tools that are able to assemble and integrate disparate data sources into a unified view of the customer, household, or other subject through the application of persistent keying technology. This data can include structured or unstructured data. In addition, our technology can integrate multiple data sources in real-time and make them available for rapid analysis and decisions such as credit approval, fraud detection and “next best offer” workflows.

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We believe our analytic tools and solutions are among the best commercially available, and that we are uniquely positioned to integrate advanced analytic, software and data technologies into mission-critical business solutions that offer superior returns on investment.

FICO® Platform
FICO® Platform is an analytic and decisioning environment that empowers businesses to configure solutions that orchestrate and operationalize high velocity decisions that matter, at scale. Users of FICO Platform can bring together data from multiple sources, apply advanced analytics to derive insights, and translate those insights into actions and workflows that can be executed in real-time. Based on a modular cloud architecture, FICO Platform can be configured by our customers to solve a vast array of business challenges. FICO Platform delivers increasing value to our customers over time as they add additional analytic capabilities, configure their own solutions or utilize pre-configured solutions to address a diverse set of use cases and integrate disparate analytic and decisioning silos onto a centralized, scalable platform. This drives additional subscription software revenue for FICO over time as customers purchase more FICO Platform capabilities and pay for more usage of those capabilities.
Our goal is to move substantially all of FICO’s current software products onto FICO® Platform. For example, FICO’s industry leading rules-based decisioning engine, FICO® Blaze Advisor® decision rules management system, is now available on FICO Platform as FICO® Decision Modeler. Some FICO pre-configured solutions are now available on FICO Platform, including FICO® Originations Solution and FICO® Strategy Director. We believe this strategy of moving our software products to FICO Platform will result in revenue growth through follow-on “land and expand” sales to existing Platform customers and more sales to medium-sized businesses typically served through value-added resellers and systems integrators.
Our annual recurring revenue (“ARR”) from FICO® Platform based products was $75.2 million as of September 30, 2021, representing 14% of our total software ARR.

Our Offerings
We sell our software primarily as analytic and decisioning software or pre-configured solutions. Our software offerings are sold both individually and as integrated bundles of multiple products.

Analytic and Decisioning Software

FICO analytic and decisioning software offerings use proprietary and open source microservices and capabilities to enable both business users and data scientists to develop and execute advanced analytics and decision modeling. Our key products in this category include:
FICO® Decision Modeler and FICO® Blaze Advisor® are our core decision rules modeling tools, which enable users to flexibly author and manage decision rules and strategies. FICO Decision Modeler delivers the functionality of our industry leading FICO Blaze Advisor product, with the added benefit of seamless integration into FICO® Platform. FICO Blaze Advisor, the predecessor to FICO Decision Modeler, is available as an off-platform product.
FICO® Xpress Optimization provides operations research professionals and business analysts with world-class solvers and productivity tools to determine optimal outcomes for a wide range of industry problems. FICO Xpress Optimization includes a powerful modeling and programming language to quickly model and solve even the largest optimization problems. FICO Xpress Optimization runs on FICO® Platform.
FICO® Analytics WorkbenchTM is a predictive analytics tool that allows businesses to create and deploy explainable machine learning models for use in decisions that typically require strict governance and compliance, often including regulatory oversight. FICO Analytics Workbench runs on FICO® Platform.
FICO® Studio is a powerful, low-code / no-code application development environment that gives users the ability to quickly build enterprise-grade decision applications using FICO® Platform.
FICO® Data Orchestrator is a data retrieval and mapping solution that can access, gather, and transform data from corporate or public facing information services, such as credit reference agencies. FICO Data Orchestrator runs on FICO® Platform.
FICO® DMP Streaming is a real-time and batch data ingestion solution that uniquely delivers in-stream analytics for real-time data insights and complex event processing.
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FICO® Business Outcome Simulator enables business users to run a wide variety of insightful scenarios to assess how their business is likely to perform under varying conditions and assumptions. It unlocks insights into how key outcomes will likely shift in the face of changing competitor strategy, macroeconomic changes, evolving customer preferences, and more. FICO Business Outcome Simulator runs on FICO® Platform.

FICO® Decision Optimizer helps business users understand how different customers will react to a variety of different actions that are being considered. Once that link is understood, FICO Decision Optimizer identifies the combination of actions most likely to lead to the desired portfolio outcomes through decisions such as who to offer a new product, what limit and/or price to offer, or how to treat delinquent customers. FICO Decision Optimizer runs on FICO® Platform.

Pre-Configured Solutions
FICO's pre-configured solutions optimize customer interactions in real-time, driving greater customer engagement and improving business results. They enable acquisition and growth marketing, account activation and management, omni-channel communication, risk assessment, fraud detection and prevention, and financial crime compliance. Key FICO solutions offered today include:
FICO® Fraud and Financial Crimes Solutions help our clients detect and prevent transactional financial fraud and violations of global financial compliance regulations. Our solutions analyze activities such as credit card transactions and account openings to generate real time recommendations for immediate action. These defenses are critical to identifying and mitigating identity fraud, payments fraud and money laundering. Our models that identify transaction fraud are continually improved using a proprietary, global data set of transaction data contributed by more than 9,000 institutions that participate in the FICO® Falcon® Intelligence Network. FICO® Falcon® X is a suite of some of our Fraud and Compliance capabilities that run on FICO® Platform. We plan to offer most of our Fraud and Compliance solutions as platform-native Falcon X products in the future.
FICO® Originations Solution is an application-to-decision credit originations solution. It enables banks, credit unions, finance companies, online lenders, auto lenders, and other companies to automate and improve the processing of requests for credit. Our Originations Solution increases the speed, consistency and efficiency with which requests are handled, reducing losses, and increasing approval rates through the application of sophisticated policies and analytics that assess applicant risk and reduce the need for manual review by underwriters. The current version of FICO Originations Solution runs on FICO® Platform.
FICO® Customer Communication Service is an intelligent omnichannel digital communication manager for resolving customer interactions. It enables businesses to automate individualized customer dialogues with the same consistency and regulatory compliance as their human agents. With Customer Communication Service, businesses can be available 24/7 for one-way or two-way communication through any channel their consumers choose. Businesses can rapidly launch mobile alerts, messaging, virtual agents, self-service options, and other auto-resolution capabilities. It helps make the full customer journey more efficient and raises the level of data-driven digital intelligence behind lifecycle communications. Certain Customer Communication products are available on FICO Platform today, and we plan to make additional Customer Communication products available on FICO® Platform in the future.
FICO® Strategy Director and FICO® TRIAD® Customer Manager enable businesses to automate and improve risk-based decisions for their existing credit customers. These products help businesses apply advanced analytics in credit account and customer decisions to increase portfolio revenue and reduce risk exposure and losses, while improving customer retention. They also allow users to manage risk and communications at both the account and customer level from a single place. FICO Strategy Director runs on FICO® Platform. FICO TRIAD Customer Manager, the predecessor to FICO Strategy Director, is available as an off-platform product.

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FICO® Professional Services
FICO offers a range of professional services designed to help customers install and configure our software, develop and deploy advanced analytics using our software, and improve customer satisfaction and retention.
FICO® Implementation Services. We often sell software implementation and configuration services in conjunction with our software license and SaaS subscriptions. The FICO implementation services team leverages their deep expertise in our products and their extensive industry-specific knowledge to help our customers implement and configure FICO software rapidly and effectively.
FICO® Analytic Services. We build custom analytics, decision models and related analytics, and perform machine learning projects for clients in multiple industries. These analytic services help to improve critical business processes and operationalize analytics using FICO software products. Most of our engagements utilize predictive analytics, decision modeling and optimization to provide greater insight into customer preferences and help predict future customer behavior.
FICO® Advisors. FICO Advisors are business consultants accelerating the practical use of FICO solutions through data-driven analytics, strategic design, and software applications. Our seasoned practitioners are uniquely valued for their credit lifecycle risk and fraud knowledge and can help drive measurable results in an ever-dynamic economic market.
Our professional services are sold on an hourly time and materials basis or for a fixed project fee.


MARKETS AND CUSTOMERS

Our scores and software products and services serve clients in multiple industries, including banking, insurance, retail, healthcare and public agencies. End users of our products include 96 of the 100 largest financial institutions in the U.S., and two-thirds of the largest 100 banks in the world. Our clients also include more than 600 insurers, including nine of the top ten U.S. property and casualty insurers; more than 300 retailers and general merchandisers; and more than 200 government or public agencies. All top ten companies on the 2021 Fortune 500 list use one or more of our solutions. In addition, our consumer solutions are marketed to an estimated 200 million U.S. consumers whose credit relationships are reported to the three major U.S. consumer reporting agencies.
The majority of our scores are marketed and sold through consumer reporting agencies. During fiscal 2021, 2020 and 2019, revenues generated from our agreements with Experian, TransUnion and Equifax collectively accounted for 38%, 33% and 29% of our total revenues, respectively. We also sell our scores and credit monitoring directly to consumers through our myFICO.com on-line subscription offerings. Outside of the U.S., we sell our scores through consumer reporting agencies, other third-party distributors, and in some cases directly to large end-users.
We market our software products and services primarily through our own direct sales organization that is organized around vertical and geographic markets. Sales teams are based in our headquarters and in field offices strategically located around the world. We also market our products through indirect channels, including alliance partners and other resellers. As more of our products are made available on FICO® Platform, we expect our sales through indirect channels to grow. We are investing significant resources to develop our indirect channel relationships.
Our largest market segment is financial services, representing 89% of our total revenue in 2021. Our largest geographic market is the Americas, representing 80% of our total revenue in 2021.

COMPETITION
The market for our solutions is intensely competitive and is constantly changing. Our competitors vary both in size and in the scope of the products and services they offer. We encounter competition from several sources, including:
in-house analytic and systems developers;
neural network developers and artificial intelligence system builders;
fraud and compliance solution providers;
scoring model builders;
providers of credit reports and credit scores;
software companies supplying predictive analytic modeling, rules, or analytic development tools;
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entity resolution and social network analysis solutions providers;
providers of customer engagement and risk management solutions;
providers of account/workflow management software;
business process management and decision rules management providers;
enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management solutions providers;
business intelligence solutions providers;
providers of automated application processing services; and
third-party professional services and consulting organizations.

We believe we offer customers a unique mix of products, expertise and capabilities that allows us to compete effectively in our target markets. However, many of our competitors are larger than FICO, have more development, sales and marketing resources than FICO, and some have larger shares of our target geographic or product markets.
We believe the principal competitive factors affecting our markets include technical performance; access to unique proprietary analytical models and data; product attributes like adaptability, scalability, interoperability, functionality, and ease-of-use; on-premises and SaaS product availability; product price; customer service and support; the effectiveness of sales and marketing efforts; existing market penetration; and reputation. Although we believe our products and services compete favorably with respect to these factors, we may not be able to maintain our competitive position against current and future competitors.

Scores
In our Scores segment, we compete with both outside suppliers and in-house analytics. Primary competitors among outside suppliers of scoring models are the three major consumer reporting agencies in the U.S. and Canada, which are also our partners in offering our scoring solutions, and VantageScore (a joint venture entity established by the major U.S. consumer reporting agencies). Additional competitors include consumer reporting agencies outside the U.S. like CRIF Ratings, which operates in the European Union, and other data providers like LexisNexis and ChoicePoint, some of which also are our partners.
For our offerings that deliver credit scores, credit reports and consumer credit education solutions directly to consumers, we compete with other direct to consumer credit and identity services such as Credit Karma, Credit Sesame, Experian and TransUnion, some of which are also our partners.

Software
The competition in our Software segment varies by application. In the fraud and financial crimes market for banking, we compete primarily with Nice Actimize, Experian, Pegasystems, BAE Systems Applied Intelligence, SAS, ACI Worldwide, IBM, Feedzai and Featurespace. In the customer origination market, we compete with Experian, Equifax, Moody’s, Meridian Link, and CGI, among others. In the customer management market, we compete with Experian and SAS, among others. In the marketing services market, we compete with Pegasystems, Equifax, Experian, SAS, Adobe and Salesforce, among others.


PRODUCT PROTECTION AND TRADEMARKS

We rely on a combination of patent, copyright, trademark and trade secret laws and confidentiality agreements and procedures to protect our proprietary rights.
We retain the title to and protect the suite of models and software used to develop scoring models as a trade secret. We also restrict access to our source code and limit access to and distribution of our software, documentation, and other proprietary information. We have generally relied upon the laws protecting trade secrets and upon contractual nondisclosure safeguards and restrictions on transferability to protect our software and proprietary interests in our product and service methodology and know-how. Our confidentiality procedures include invention assignment and proprietary information agreements with our employees and independent contractors, and nondisclosure agreements with our distributors, strategic partners, and customers. We also claim copyright protection for certain proprietary software and documentation.
We have patents on many of our technologies and have patent applications pending on other technologies. The patents we hold may not be upheld as valid and may not prevent the development of competitive products. In addition, patents may never be issued on our pending patent applications or on any future applications that we may submit. We currently hold 190 U.S. and 18 foreign patents with 82 applications pending.

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Despite our precautions, it may be possible for competitors or users to copy or reproduce aspects of our software or to obtain information that we regard as trade secrets. In addition, the laws of some foreign countries do not protect proprietary rights to the same extent as do the laws of the U.S. Patents and other protections for our intellectual property are important, but we believe our success and growth will depend principally on such factors as the knowledge, ability, experience and creative skills of our personnel, new products, frequent product enhancements and name recognition.
We have developed technologies for research projects conducted under agreements with various U.S. government agencies or their subcontractors. Although we have acquired commercial rights to these technologies, the U.S. government typically retains ownership of intellectual property rights and licenses in the technologies that we develop under these contracts. In some cases, the U.S. government can terminate our rights to these technologies if we fail to commercialize them on a timely basis. In addition, under U.S. government contracts, the government may make the results of our research public, which could limit our competitive advantage with respect to future products based on funded research.
We have used, registered and/or applied to register certain trademarks and service marks for our technologies, products and services. We currently have 31 trademarks registered in the U.S. and select foreign countries.
GOVERNMENTAL REGULATION
We are subject to a number of U.S. federal, state, local and foreign laws and regulations that involve matters central to our business. Laws and governmental regulation affect how our business is conducted and, in some cases, subject us to the possibility of government supervision and future lawsuits arising from our products and services. Laws and governmental regulations also influence our current and prospective customers’ activities, as well as their expectations and needs in relation to our products and services. Laws and regulations that may affect our business and our current and prospective customers’ activities include, but are not limited to, those summarized below.

Many U.S. and foreign jurisdictions have passed, or are currently contemplating, a variety of consumer protection, privacy, and data security laws and regulations that may relate to our business or affect the demand for our products and services. For example, the United Kingdom (“U.K.”) and European Union (“E.U.”) General Data Protection Regulation (the “GDPR”) impose, among other things, strict obligations and restrictions on the ability to collect, analyze and transfer U.K. and E.U. personal data, a requirement for prompt notice of data breaches in certain circumstances, and possible substantial fines for any violations (including possible fines for certain violations of up to the greater of 20 million Euros or 4% of total worldwide annual revenue under the E.U. GDPR and up to the greater of 17.5 million Pounds or 4% of annual global turnover under the U.K. GDPR). A decision in July 2020 by the Court of Justice of the European Union (i.e., Schrems II), called into question certain data transfer mechanisms between the E.U. and the U.S. In June 2021, the European Commission issued new standard contractual clauses (“SCCs”) governing cross-border data transfers and data exchanges among controllers and processors, which reflect more recent data protection laws, such as the GDPR, and account for the analysis in the Schrems II decision. Our transition to the new SCCs, which may involve interpretive issues and may have an adverse impact on cross-border transfers of personal data, may subject us to additional scrutiny from E.U. regulators or may increase our costs of compliance. Brazil, India, South Africa, Japan, China, Israel, Canada, and several other countries have introduced and, in some cases, enacted, similar privacy and data security laws.

The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (“CCPA”) gives California residents certain privacy rights in the collection and disclosure of their personal information and requires businesses to make certain disclosures and take certain other acts in furtherance of those rights. Additionally, effective starting January 1, 2023, the California Privacy Rights Act (the “CPRA”) will revise and significantly expand the scope of the CCPA. The CPRA also creates a new California data protection agency authorized to implement and enforce the CCPA and the CPRA, which could result in increased privacy and information security enforcement. Other U.S. states have considered and/or enacted similar privacy laws, including Virginia and Colorado, which passed new consumer privacy laws in 2021.

The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act ("GLBA") regulates, among other things, the receipt, use, disclosure, and security of non-public personal information of consumers held by “financial institutions” and applies indirectly to companies that provide services to financial institutions. As a provider of services to financial institutions, portions of our business are subject to obligations to comply with certain GLBA provisions, including limitations on the use or disclosure of the underlying data and rules relating to the technological, physical and administrative safeguarding of non-public personal information.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, as amended by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (“HIPAA”) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (“HITECH”) and their respective implementing regulations impose specified requirements relating to the privacy, security and transmission of individually identifiable health information. Among other things, HITECH makes HIPAA’s security standards directly applicable to “business associates.” We function as a business associate for certain of our customers that are HIPAA-covered entities and service providers and, in that context, we are regulated as a business associate for the purposes of HIPAA.
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The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank Act”) prohibits unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices (“UDAAP”) with respect to consumer financial services practices and provides the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the “CFPB”) with enforcement authority to enforce those provisions. In certain circumstances, the CFPB also has examination and supervision powers with respect to service providers who provide a material service to a financial institution offering consumer financial products and services. Further, the CFPB has authority to designate non-depository “larger participants” in certain markets for consumer financial services and products for purposes of the CFPB’s supervisory authority under the Dodd-Frank Act. Such designated “larger participants” are subject to reporting and on-site compliance examinations by the CFPB, which may result in increased compliance costs and potentially greater enforcement risks based on these supervisory activities. In addition, the regulators of some of our largest financial institution customers may require them to exercise greater oversight and perform more rigorous audits of their key service providers such as us.

The Federal Trade Commission Act (the “FTC Act”) prohibits unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices. Under the FTC Act, the FTC’s jurisdiction includes the ability to bring enforcement actions based on the security measures we employ to safeguard the personal data of consumers. Allegations that we failed to safeguard or handle such data in a reasonable manner may subject us to regulatory scrutiny or enforcement action.

The U.S. Fair Credit Reporting Act (the “FCRA”) applies to consumer reporting agencies, as well as data furnishers, and users of consumer reports such as banks and other companies, many of which are our customers. The FCRA provisions govern the accuracy, fairness and privacy of information in the files of consumer reporting agencies that engage in the practice of assembling or evaluating information relating to consumers for certain specified purposes. The FCRA limits the type of information that may be reported by consumer reporting agencies, limits the distribution and use of consumer reports, establishes consumer rights to access and dispute their own credit files, includes provisions designed to prevent identity theft and assist fraud victims, requires consumer reporting agencies to make a free annual credit report available to consumers and imposes many other requirements on consumer reporting agencies, data furnishers and users of consumer report information. These requirements can affect the manner and extent to which our customers use our products and services.

A number of states have enacted requirements similar to the FCRA. Some of these state laws impose additional, or more stringent, requirements than the FCRA, especially in connection with investigations and responses to reported inaccuracies in consumer reports. The FCRA preempts some of these state laws, but the scope of preemption continues to be defined by the courts. Various consumer credit laws and regulations in the foreign countries where we conduct business also affect the products and services we offer to our customers.

The Credit Repair Organizations Act (the “CROA”) regulates companies that claim to be able to assist consumers in improving their credit standing. There have been efforts to apply the CROA to credit monitoring services offered by consumer reporting agencies and others, which may impact certain of our products and services.

Special requirements may apply to us when providing services directly or indirectly to U.S. federal, state and local government agencies. The applicable requirements depend upon the monetary value of the awarded contract, the particular government agency awarding or funding the contract, the scope of services to be delivered, and the level of access that the agency will need to provide to us to enable us to perform the contract. For example, we may need to abide by the Privacy Act of 1974, the Internal Revenue Service’s Publication 4812, and the Federal Acquisition Regulation and associated supplemental contract clauses. Each of these laws, regulations and contract clauses imposes certain requirements, including measures for the protection of personal information or information that is otherwise categorized as sensitive by the government. Government agencies frequently modify or supplement these requirements, and consequences for violations of applicable requirements may include penalties, civil liability and for severe infractions, criminal liability.

Additional laws and regulations that may affect our business and our current and prospective customers’ activities include, but are not limited to, those in the following significant regulatory areas:

Laws and regulations that limit the use of credit scoring models (e.g., state “mortgage trigger” or “inquiries” laws, state insurance restrictions on the use of credit-based insurance scores, and the E.U. Consumer Credit Directive).

Fair lending laws (e.g., the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and Regulation B, and the Fair Housing Act).

The Cybersecurity Act of 2015; the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Cybersecurity Framework; the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act; and identity theft, file freezing, and similar state privacy laws.

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Laws and regulations related to extension of credit to consumers through the Electronic Fund Transfers Act and Regulation E, as well as non‑governmental VISA and MasterCard electronic payment standards.

Laws and regulations applicable to secondary market participants (e.g., The Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”) and The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac”)) that could have an impact on our scoring products and revenues, including 12 CFR Part 1254 (Validation and Approval of Credit Score Models) issued by the Federal Housing Finance Agency in accordance with Section 310 of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (Public Law 115-174), and any regulations, standards or criteria established pursuant to such laws or regulations.

Laws and regulations applicable to our customer communication clients and their use of our products and services (e.g., the Telemarketing Sales Rule, Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the CAN-SPAM Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and regulations promulgated thereunder).

Laws and regulations applicable to our insurance clients and their use of our insurance products and services.

The application or extension of consumer protection laws, including implementing regulations (e.g., the Consumer Financial Protection Act, the Truth In Lending Act and Regulation Z, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, and the Military Lending Act).

Laws and regulations governing the use of the Internet and social media, telemarketing, advertising, endorsements and testimonials.

Anti-money laundering laws and regulations (e.g., the Bank Secrecy Act and the USA PATRIOT Act).

Laws and regulations restricting transactions with sanctioned parties and regarding export controls as they apply to FICO products delivered in non-U.S. countries (e.g., Office of Foreign Asset Control sanctions, and Export Administration Regulations).

We are also subject to federal and state laws that are generally applicable to any U.S. business with national or international operations, such as antitrust laws, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, state unfair or deceptive practices acts and various employment laws.
HUMAN CAPITAL RESOURCES
Our People

As of September 30, 2021, we employed 3,662 persons across 31 countries. Of these, our largest representation includes 1,299 (36%) based in the United States, 1,296 (35%) based in India and 331 (9%) based in the United Kingdom. Other than to the extent mandated by applicable law in certain foreign jurisdictions, none of our employees are covered by a collective bargaining agreement, and no work stoppages were experienced during fiscal 2021.

Our Board of Directors (our “Board”) and executive leadership team believe that our people are vital to our success. The Leadership Development and Compensation Committee (the “LDCC”) of our Board oversees all human capital management policies, programs and strategies, including but not limited to those regarding talent recruitment, development and retention, health and safety, organizational culture, employee engagement, diversity, equity and inclusion, and compensation and benefits. The LDCC also periodically reviews and reports to the Board with respect to succession planning for our Chief Executive Officer and other senior management positions. In addition, our Chief Human Resources Officer reports to our Board periodically on people-focused programs.

Employee Engagement

For much of the past decade, we have conducted quarterly workforce surveys to measure employee engagement and gain feedback and insights from our people about ways to improve the employee experience and the effectiveness of our business operations. The results and insights of these studies are shared with the work team, executive team and our Board and are leveraged to drive positive organizational change.

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Examples of organizational changes that have been driven by the insights from these surveys include investments in expanded workforce capacity, targeted recruiting of under-represented groups, broadened and more frequent company-wide communications, expanded employee stock ownership, expanded benefit programs including paid parental leave, enhanced incentive plan funding and expanded investments in professional development and culture-based initiatives to promote inclusiveness and belonging.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

FICO is committed to building and reinforcing a culture where individual differences and perspectives are valued. We believe that diverse teams can better relate to and deliver against the many and varied needs of our clients. We also believe that promoting a culture where individual differences are both welcomed and valued allows us to attract the best talent while allowing people to reach their full potential.

Foundationally, we have adopted a “Commitment to Inclusion and Belonging Policy” which provides that all employment-related decisions be made in compliance with established equal opportunity statutes. Accordingly, all decisions to employ, transfer, promote, train, compensate or otherwise provide access to benefit programs are to be made in accordance with these statutes. In addition, in the United States we have established an Affirmative Action Program and underlying plans for office locations with 50 or more employees to formally measure, report on and identify needed actions to close any gaps involving the utilization and advancement of women, minorities, disabled persons and veterans. All employees receive mandatory training and testing on this and other foundational and compliance policies during the on-boarding process and every two years thereafter, with people managers receiving training regarding their unique leadership responsibilities. As examples, we have a mandatory training program to identify, prevent and combat prohibited harassment, as well as training and “dialogue sessions” designed to build understanding of unconscious biases and strategies to overcome them.

Building on this foundation, we sponsor and provide dedicated funding to multiple employee resource groups (“ERGs”) that help support our goals of workforce engagement and a strong sense of inclusion and belonging. FICO ERGs focus on women, race/ethnicity, LGBTQ+ and community support groups. Our FICO Cares ERG encourages our people to connect with and contribute to their community. We encourage employees to participate in volunteer activities by providing work schedule flexibility and paid Community Volunteer Leave. We also support employee cash donations to qualified charitable organizations through our Corporate Matching Gift Program.

As one strategy to accelerate progress in expanding workforce diversity, we engaged in targeted campus recruiting efforts. In the United States, we formed a new partnership with the Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT.org) organization, which helped us connect with Black, Latinx and Native American college students for summer internships followed by offers of full-time employment upon graduation.

Additional information on our diversity metrics and programs, including our EEO-1 survey results, will be available soon
on the Corporate Responsibility page of our website at www.fico.com/en/corporate-responsibility. Information contained on our website is not deemed part of or incorporated by reference into this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Talent Recruitment

We leverage our organizational culture as a competitive advantage in our efforts to attract talent from the broadest possible pool. We deploy structured selection practices to ensure strong alignment between candidate qualifications and knowledge and skills needed for success in each role, while avoiding unconscious biases.

Professional Development

To support professional development, we offer a structured onboarding program with training specific to a variety of identified career paths to help new employees become rapidly engaged and productive. We have invested in building the FICO Integrated Learning Organization (“ILO”), which is led by our Chief Learning Officer. The ILO develops customized learning content for colleagues, clients and partners around the world. We deliver high quality, targeted new hire onboarding, technology and product skill training, compliance and management and leadership education through this “FICO Learning” platform. This allows our employees to obtain the knowledge and skills to effectively perform in their current roles, while also preparing them for new opportunities. We also offer financial support for degreed programs through a tuition reimbursement program.

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Compensation and Benefit Programs

We regularly participate in market-based compensation surveys and seek the advice of outside experts to ensure that our base pay and incentive structures are competitive. We create a strong sense of shared purpose by having our CEO and each member of our executive leadership team participate in the same annual cash incentive bonus plan, as all non-sales employees across our organization.

Over the course of the past five years, we’ve steadily and significantly expanded participation in our annual performance-based equity program from 7% to nearly 25% of our workforce. In addition, two years ago, we adopted an Employee Stock Purchase Plan for eligible employees designed to promote even broader equity participation.

We offer competitive health and welfare benefit plans with significant company subsidies to offset premiums, retirement plans with a competitive company match to encourage participation and flexible paid-time-off programs including vacation, sick time and disability time. We have adopted paid Maternity and Parental Leave benefits totaling up to 12 weeks.

Health and Safety

We are committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace. We continuously strive to meet or exceed compliance with all laws, regulations and accepted practices pertaining to workplace safety. All employees and contractors are required to comply with established safety policies, standards and procedures.

As the COVID-19 pandemic persists, our focus remains on promoting employee health and safety, serving our customers and ensuring business continuity. Beginning in March 2020, our employees were instructed to work from home in each country where we operate. As certain offices have reopened due to the lifting of local government restrictions, we have maintained a “Voluntary Work-From-Home Policy” providing our people with valued flexibility. In addition, we have implemented a post-pandemic “Remote Work Policy” permitting our people in countries other than India to elect to work primarily from home on an ongoing basis with 75 percent of eligible employees electing to do so. We have also substantially reduced employee travel to only essential business needs in favor of ongoing video-based meetings.

Item 1A. Risk Factors

Business, Market and Strategy Risks
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have negatively affected how we and our customers are operating our businesses. The duration of these effects, and the extent to which they will impact our future revenues, results of operations and overall financial performance, remain uncertain.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a widespread health crisis that has adversely affected the global economy, leading to reduced consumer spending and lending activities and disruptions and volatility in the global capital markets. COVID-19 has caused shutdowns to businesses and cities worldwide and has disrupted supply chains, business operations, travel, and consumer confidence.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we temporarily closed the majority of our offices (including our corporate headquarters in the United States), but are in the process of re-opening them while extending our company-wide voluntary work from home policy until early January 2022 and allowing the majority of our workforce the flexibility to work remotely on an ongoing basis. In addition, we continue to impose certain travel restrictions where applicable. Both of these actions have disrupted how we operate our business. Due in part to anticipated post-pandemic workforce patterns, in late fiscal 2020 and early fiscal 2021, we permanently closed certain non-core offices, reduced certain other office space and reduced our global workforce. Our operations may be further negatively affected by a range of external factors related to the COVID-19 pandemic that are not within our control. For example, many cities, counties, states, and countries may impose or continue to impose requirements and restrictions related to COVID-19 that affect us, including a wide range of restrictions on our employees’, partners’ and customers’ physical movement to limit the spread of COVID-19. We postponed, canceled or shifted certain of our customer, employee or industry events to virtual-only experiences and may decide to do so in the future. If the COVID-19 pandemic has a substantial impact on our employees’, partners’ or customers’ productivity or ability to collaborate, our results of operations and overall financial performance may be harmed.
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The situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic is constantly evolving and both the short-term and long-term effects remain unknown. Our customers, and therefore our business and revenues, are sensitive to negative changes in general economic conditions and lending activities. The COVID-19 pandemic may affect the rate of spending on our solutions and could adversely affect our customers’ ability or willingness to purchase our products and services, cause prospective customers to change product selections or term commitments, delay or cancel their purchasing decisions, extend sales cycles, and potentially increase payment defaults, all of which could adversely affect our future revenues, results of operations and overall financial performance. COVID-19 has adversely affected certain segments and originations volume, which may impact future revenue. We are unable to accurately predict the complete impact that COVID-19 will have on our future results of operations, financial condition, liquidity and cash flows due to numerous uncertainties, including the severity and transmission rate of the virus and its variants, the duration and any resurgence of the outbreak, the extent and effectiveness of containment actions, the effectiveness and acceptance of any medical treatment and prevention options, and the impact of these and other factors on us, our employees, customers, partners and vendors, and on worldwide and U.S. economic conditions. If we are not able to respond to and manage these impacts effectively, our business may be harmed to a material extent.
We may not be successful in executing our business strategy, which could cause our growth prospects and results of operations to suffer.
We have increasingly focused our business strategy on investing significant development resources to enable substantially all of our software to run on FICO® Platform, our modular software offering designed to support advanced analytics and decisioning use cases. Our business strategy is designed to enable us to increase our business by selling multiple connectable and extensible products to clients, as well as to enable the development of custom client solutions and to allow our clients to more easily expand their usage and the use cases they enable over time. The market may be unreceptive to our general business approach, including being unreceptive to our cloud-based offerings, unreceptive to purchasing multiple products from us, or unreceptive to our customized solutions. As we continue to pursue our business strategy, we may experience volatility in our revenues and operating results caused by various factors, including differences in revenue recognition treatment between our cloud-based offerings and on-premises software licenses, the timing of investments and other expenditures necessary to develop and operate our cloud-based offerings, and the adoption of new sales and delivery methods. If our business strategy is not successful, we may not be able to grow our business, growth may occur more slowly than we anticipate, or our revenues and profits may decline.

We derive a substantial portion of our revenues from a small number of products and services, and if the market does not continue to accept these products and services, our revenues will decline.

We expect that revenues derived from our scoring solutions, fraud solutions, customer communication services, customer management solutions and decision management software will continue to account for a substantial portion of our total revenues for the foreseeable future. Our revenues will decline if the market does not continue to accept these products and services. Factors that might affect the market acceptance of these products and services include the following:

changes in the business analytics industry;
changes in technology;
our inability to obtain or use key data for our products;
saturation or contraction of market demand;
loss of key customers;
industry consolidation;
failure to successfully adopt cloud-based technologies;
our inability to obtain regulatory approvals for our products and services, including credit score models;
the increasing availability of free or relatively inexpensive consumer credit, credit score and other information from public or commercial sources;
failure to execute our selling approach; and
inability to successfully sell our products in new vertical markets.

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Our revenues depend, to a great extent, upon conditions in the banking (including consumer credit) industry. If our clients’ industry experiences uncertainty, it will likely harm our business, financial condition or results of operations.

During fiscal 2021, 89% of our revenues were derived from sales of products and services to the banking industry. Periods of global economic uncertainty experienced in the past have produced substantial stress, volatility, illiquidity and disruption of global credit and other financial markets, resulting in the bankruptcy or acquisition of, or government assistance to, several major domestic and international financial institutions. The potential for future stress and disruptions, including in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, presents considerable risks to our businesses and operations. These risks include potential bankruptcies or credit deterioration of financial institutions, many of which are our customers. Such disruption would result in a decline in the revenue we receive from financial and other institutions. In addition, if consumer demand for financial services and products and the number of credit applications decrease, the demand for our products and services could also be materially reduced. These types of disruptions could lead to a decline in the volumes of services we provide our customers and could negatively impact our revenue and results of operations.

While the rate of account growth in the U.S. bankcard industry has been slow and many of our large institutional customers have consolidated in recent years, we have generated most of our revenue growth from our bankcard-related scoring and account management businesses by selling and cross-selling our products and services to large banks and other credit issuers. As the banking industry continues to experience contraction in the number of participating institutions, we may have fewer opportunities for revenue growth due to reduced or changing demand for our products and services that support customer acquisition programs of our customers. In addition, industry contraction could affect the base of recurring revenues derived from contracts in which we are paid on a per-transaction basis as formerly separate customers combine their operations under one contract. There can be no assurance that we will be able to prevent future revenue contraction or effectively promote future revenue growth in our businesses.

While we are attempting to expand our sales of consumer credit and banking products and services into international markets, the risks are greater as these markets are also experiencing substantial disruption and we are less well-known in them.

We rely on relatively few customers, as well as our contracts with the three major consumer reporting agencies, for a significant portion of our revenues and profits. Many of our customers are significantly larger than we are and may have greater bargaining power. The businesses of our largest customers depend, in large part, on favorable macroeconomic conditions. If these customers are negatively impacted by weak global economic conditions, global economic volatility or the terms of these relationships otherwise change, our revenues and operating results could decline.

Most of our customers are relatively large enterprises, such as banks, credit card issuers, insurers, retailers, telecommunications providers, automotive companies, public agencies, and organizations in other industries. As a result, many of our customers and potential customers are significantly larger than we are and may have sufficient bargaining power to demand reduced prices and favorable nonstandard terms.

In addition, the U.S. and other key international economies are experiencing and have experienced in the past a downturn in which economic activity was impacted by falling demand for a variety of goods and services, restricted credit, poor liquidity, reduced corporate profitability, volatility in credit, equity and foreign exchange markets, bankruptcies and overall uncertainty with respect to the economy. The potential for economic disruption presents considerable risks to our business, including potential bankruptcies or credit deterioration of financial institutions with which we have substantial relationships. Such disruption, whether arising in connection with the current COVID-19 pandemic or otherwise, could result in a decline in the volume of transactions that we execute for our customers.

We also derive a substantial portion of our revenues and operating income from our contracts with the three major consumer reporting agencies in the U.S., Experian, TransUnion and Equifax, and other parties that distribute our products to certain markets. The loss of or a significant change in a relationship with one of the three consumer reporting agencies with respect to their distribution of our products or with respect to our myFICO® offerings, the loss of or a significant change in a relationship with a major customer, the loss of or a significant change in a relationship with a significant third-party distributor (including payment card processors), or the loss of or delay of significant revenues from these sources, could have a material adverse effect on our revenues and results of operations.

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If use of the FICO® Score by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were to cease or decline, it could have a material adverse effect on our revenues, results of operations and stock price.

A significant portion of our revenues in our Scores segment is attributable to the U.S. mortgage market, which includes, for conforming mortgages in that market, a requirement of The Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”) and The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (“Freddie Mac”) that U.S. lenders provide FICO® Scores for each mortgage delivered to them. However, their continued use of the FICO Score is currently subject to validation and approval by those enterprises and the Federal Housing Finance Agency. If Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac approve other credit score models for use by them, or do not approve the FICO Score for continued use by them, it could have a material adverse effect on our revenues, results of operations and stock price.

If we are unable to access new markets or develop new distribution channels, our business and growth prospects could suffer.

We expect that part of the growth that we seek to achieve through our business strategy will be derived from the sale of products and service solutions in industries and markets we do not currently serve. We also expect to grow our business by delivering our solutions through additional distribution channels. If we fail to penetrate these industries and markets to the degree we anticipate utilizing our business strategy, or if we fail to develop additional distribution channels, we may not be able to grow our business, growth may occur more slowly than we anticipate, or our revenues and profits may decline.

If we are unable to develop successful new products or if we experience defects, failures and delays associated with the introduction of new products, our business could suffer serious harm.

Our growth and the success of our business strategy depend upon our ability to develop and sell new products or suites of products, including the development and sale of our cloud-based product offerings. If we are unable to develop new products, or if we are not successful in introducing new products, we may not be able to grow our business or growth may occur more slowly than we anticipate. In addition, significant undetected errors or delays in new products or new versions of products may affect market acceptance of our products and could harm our business, financial condition or results of operations. In the past, we have experienced delays while developing and introducing new products and product enhancements, primarily due to difficulties developing models, acquiring data, and adapting to particular operating environments or certain client or other systems. We have also experienced errors or “bugs” in our software products, despite testing prior to release of the products. Software errors in our products could affect the ability of our products to work with other hardware or software products, could delay the development or release of new products or new versions of products, and could adversely affect market acceptance of our products. Errors or defects in our products that are significant, or are perceived to be significant, could result in rejection of our products, damage to our reputation, loss of revenues, diversion of development resources, an increase in product liability claims, and increases in service and support costs and warranty claims.

Our ability to increase our revenues will depend to some extent upon introducing new products and services. If the marketplace does not accept these new products and services, our revenues may decline.

To increase our revenues, we must enhance and improve existing products and continue to introduce new products and new versions of existing products that keep pace with technological developments, satisfy increasingly sophisticated customer requirements and achieve market acceptance. We believe much of the future growth of our business and the success of our business strategy will rest on our ability to continue to expand into newer markets for our products and services. Such areas are relatively new to our product development and sales and marketing personnel. Products that we plan to market in the future are in various stages of development. We cannot assure you that the marketplace will accept these products. If our current or potential customers are not willing to switch to or adopt our new products and services, either as a result of the quality of these products and services or due to other factors, such as economic conditions, our revenues will decrease.

If we fail to keep up with rapidly changing technologies, our products could become less competitive or obsolete.

In our markets, technology changes rapidly, and there are continuous improvements in computer hardware, network operating systems, programming tools, programming languages, operating systems, database technologies, cloud-based technologies and the use of the Internet. If we fail to enhance our current products and develop new products in response to changes in technology or industry standards, or if we fail to bring product enhancements or new product developments to market quickly enough, our products could rapidly become less competitive or obsolete. Our future success will depend, in part, upon our ability to:

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innovate by internally developing new and competitive technologies;
use leading third-party technologies effectively;
continue to develop our technical expertise;
anticipate and effectively respond to changing customer needs;
initiate new product introductions in a way that minimizes the impact of customers delaying purchases of existing products in anticipation of new product releases; and
influence and respond to emerging industry standards and other technological changes.

Our product and pricing strategies may not be successful. If our competitors introduce new products and pricing strategies, it could decrease our product sales and market share, or could pressure us to reduce our product prices in a manner that reduces our margins.

Demand for our products and services may be sensitive to product and pricing changes we implement, and our product and pricing strategies may not be accepted by the market. If our customers fail to accept our product and pricing strategies, our revenues, results of operations and business may suffer. In addition, we may not be able to compete successfully against our competitors, and this inability could impair our capacity to sell our products. The market for our solutions is intensely competitive and is constantly changing, and we expect competition to persist and intensify. Our regional and global competitors vary in size and in the scope of the products and services they offer, and include:

in-house analytic and systems developers;
neural network developers and artificial intelligence system builders;
fraud and compliance solutions providers;
scoring model builders;
providers of credit reports and credit scores;
software companies supplying predictive analytic modeling, rules, or analytic development tools;
entity resolution and social network analysis solutions providers;
providers of customer engagement and risk management solutions;
providers of account/workflow management software;
business process management and decision rules management providers;
enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management solutions providers;
business intelligence solutions providers;
providers of automated application processing services; and
third-party professional services and consulting organizations.

We expect to experience additional competition from other established and emerging companies. This could include customers of ours that develop their own scoring models or other products, and as a result no longer purchase or reduce their purchases from us. We also expect to experience competition from other technologies. For example, certain of our fraud solutions products compete against other methods of preventing payment card fraud, such as payment cards that contain the cardholder’s photograph; smart cards; cardholder verification and authentication solutions; biometric measures on devices including fingerprint and face matching; and other card authorization techniques and user verification techniques.

Many of our existing and anticipated competitors have greater financial, technical, marketing, professional services and other resources than we do, and industry consolidation is creating even larger competitors in many of our markets. As a result, our competitors may be able to respond more quickly to new or emerging technologies and changes in customer requirements. They may also be able to devote greater resources than we can to develop, promote and sell their products. Many of these companies have extensive customer relationships, including relationships with many of our current and potential customers. Furthermore, new competitors or alliances among competitors may emerge and rapidly gain significant market share. For example, Experian, TransUnion and Equifax have formed an alliance that has developed a credit scoring product competitive with our products. If we are unable to respond as quickly or effectively to changes in customer requirements as our competition, our ability to expand our business and sell our products will be negatively affected.

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Our competitors may be able to sell products competitive to ours at lower prices individually or as part of integrated suites of several related products. This ability may cause our customers to purchase products that directly compete with our products from our competitors. Price reductions by our competitors could negatively impact our margins and could also harm our ability to obtain new long-term contracts and renewals of existing long-term contracts on favorable terms.

We rely on relationships with third parties for marketing, distribution and certain services. If we experience difficulties in these relationships, including competition from these third parties, our future revenues may be adversely affected.

Many of our products rely on distributors, and we intend to continue to market and distribute our products through existing and future distributor relationships. Our Scores segment relies on, among others, Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. Failure of our existing and future distributors to generate significant revenues or otherwise perform their expected services or functions, demands by such distributors to change the terms on which they offer our products, or our failure to establish additional distribution or sales and marketing alliances, could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results and financial condition. In addition, certain of our distributors presently compete with us and may compete with us in the future, either by developing competitive products themselves or by distributing competitive offerings. For example, Experian, TransUnion and Equifax have developed a credit scoring product to compete directly with our products and are collectively selling the product. Competition from distributors or other sales and marketing partners could significantly harm sales of our products and services.

Our reengineering efforts may cause our growth prospects and profitability to suffer.

As part of our management approach, we pursue ongoing reengineering efforts designed to grow revenues through strategic resource allocation and improve profitability through cost reductions. For example, in September 2020, we implemented a course of action designed to reduce our operating costs in lower value, less strategic areas of our business in order to facilitate incremental investment in higher value, more strategic areas while also reducing our facilities footprint in light of anticipated post-pandemic workforce patterns. In September 2021, we further reduced our operating costs primarily through a reduction of headcount. In addition, we have implemented a Remote Work Policy which allows a portion of our workforce to partially or fully work from home. These and other reengineering efforts may not be successful over the long term should we fail to reduce expenses at the anticipated level, should we fail to increase revenues to anticipated levels or at all, or should productivity decline or employees’ ability to collaborate fall as a result of the Remote Work Policy. If our reengineering efforts are not successful over the long term, our revenues, results of operations and business may suffer.

There can be no assurance that strategic divestitures will provide business benefits.

As part of our strategy, we continuously evaluate our portfolio of businesses. We have previously and may in the future make other changes to our portfolio as well, which may be material. Divestitures involve risks, including:

disruption of our operations or businesses;
reductions of our revenues or earnings per share;
difficulties in the separation of operations, services, products and personnel;
finding a suitable purchaser;
disposing of businesses or assets at a price or on terms that are less favorable than we had anticipated, or with purchase price adjustments or the exclusion of assets or liabilities that must be divested, managed or run off separately;
diversion of management's attention from our other businesses;
the potential loss of key personnel;
adverse effects on relationships with our customers, suppliers or their businesses;
the erosion of employee morale or customer confidence; and
the retention of contingent liabilities related to the divested business.

If we do not successfully manage the risks associated with divestitures, our business, financial condition, and results of operations could be adversely affected as the potential strategic benefits may not be realized or may take longer to realize than expected.

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Our acquisition activities may disrupt our ongoing business and may involve increased expenses, and we may not realize the financial and strategic goals contemplated at the time of a transaction.

We have acquired and expect to continue to acquire companies, businesses, products, services and technologies. Acquisitions involve significant risks and uncertainties, including:

our ongoing business may be disrupted and our management’s attention may be diverted by acquisition, transition or integration activities;
an acquisition may not further our business strategy as we expected, we may not integrate acquired operations or technology as successfully as we expected or we may overpay for our investments, or otherwise not realize the expected return, which could adversely affect our business or operating results;
we may be unable to retain the key employees, customers and other business partners of the acquired operation;
we may have difficulties entering new markets where we have no or limited direct prior experience or where competitors may have stronger market positions;
our operating results or financial condition may be adversely impacted by known or unknown claims or liabilities we assume in an acquisition or that are imposed on us as a result of an acquisition, including claims by government agencies or authorities, terminated employees, current or former customers, former stockholders or other third parties;
we could incur material charges in connection with the impairment of goodwill or other assets that we acquire;
a company that we acquire may have experienced a security incident that it has yet to discover, investigate and remediate which we might not be identify in a timely manner and which could spread more broadly to other parts of our company during the integration effort;
we may incur material charges as a result of acquisition costs, costs incurred in combining and/or operating the acquired business, or liabilities assumed in the acquisition that are greater than anticipated;
we may not realize the anticipated increase in our revenues from an acquisition for a number of reasons, including if a larger than predicted number of customers decline to renew their contracts, if we are unable to incorporate the acquired technologies or products with our existing product lines in a uniform manner, if we are unable to sell the acquired products to our customer base or if contract models of an acquired company or changes in accounting treatment do not allow us to recognize revenues on a timely basis;
our use of cash to pay for acquisitions may limit other potential uses of our cash, including stock repurchases, dividend payments and retirement of outstanding indebtedness; and
to the extent we issue a significant amount of equity securities in connection with future acquisitions, existing stockholders may be diluted and earnings per share may decrease.

Because acquisitions are inherently risky, our transactions may not be successful and may have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition or cash flows. Acquisitions of businesses having a significant presence outside the U.S. will increase our exposure to the risks of conducting operations in international markets.

We will continue to rely upon proprietary technology rights, and if we are unable to protect them, our business could be harmed.

Our success depends, in part, upon our proprietary technology and other intellectual property rights. To date, we have relied primarily on a combination of copyright, patent, trade secret, and trademark laws, and nondisclosure and other contractual restrictions on copying and distribution, to protect our proprietary technology. This protection of our proprietary technology is limited, and our proprietary technology could be used by others without our consent. In addition, patents may not be issued with respect to our pending or future patent applications, and our patents may not be upheld as valid or may not prevent the development of competitive products. Any disclosure, loss, invalidity of, or failure to protect our intellectual property could negatively impact our competitive position, and ultimately, our business. There can be no assurance that our protection of our intellectual property rights in the U.S. or abroad will be adequate or that others, including our competitors, will not use our proprietary technology without our consent. Furthermore, litigation may be necessary to enforce our intellectual property rights, to protect our trade secrets, or to determine the validity and scope of the proprietary rights of others. Such litigation could result in substantial costs and diversion of resources and could harm our business, financial condition or results of operations.

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Some of our technologies were developed under research projects conducted under agreements with various U.S. government agencies or subcontractors. Although we have commercial rights to these technologies, the U.S. government typically retains ownership of intellectual property rights and licenses in the technologies developed by us under these contracts, and in some cases can terminate our rights in these technologies if we fail to commercialize them on a timely basis. Under these contracts with the U.S. government, the results of research may be made public by the government, limiting our competitive advantage with respect to future products based on our research.

Operational Risks

If our cybersecurity measures are compromised or unauthorized access to customer or consumer data is otherwise obtained, our products and services may be perceived as not being secure, customers may curtail or cease their use of our products and services, our reputation may be damaged and we could incur significant liabilities.

Because our business requires the storage, transmission and utilization of sensitive consumer and customer information, we will continue to routinely be the target of attempted cybersecurity and other security threats by outside third parties, including technically sophisticated and well-resourced bad actors attempting to access or steal the data we store. Many of our products are provided by us through the Internet. We may be exposed to additional cybersecurity threats as we migrate our data from our legacy systems to cloud-based solutions. We operate in an environment of significant risk of cybersecurity incidents resulting from unintentional events or deliberate attacks by third parties or insiders, which may involve exploiting highly obscure security vulnerabilities or sophisticated attack methods. These threats include phishing attacks on our email systems and other cyber-attacks, including state-sponsored cyber-attacks, industrial espionage, insider threats, denial-of-service attacks, computer viruses, ransomware and other malware, payment fraud or other cyber incidents. As a software and technology vendor, we may incorporate or distribute software or other materials from third parties. Attacks or other threats to our supply chain for such software and materials may render us unable to provide assurances of the origin of such software and materials, and could put us at risk of distributing software or other materials that may cause harm to ourselves, our customers or other third parties.

Cybersecurity breaches could expose us to a risk of loss, the unauthorized disclosure of consumer or customer information, significant litigation, regulatory fines, penalties, loss of customers or reputational damage, indemnity obligations and other liability. If our cybersecurity measures are breached as a result of third-party action, employee error, malfeasance or otherwise, and as a result, someone obtains unauthorized access to our systems or to consumer or customer information, sensitive data may be accessed, stolen, disclosed or lost, our reputation may be damaged, our business may suffer and we could incur significant liability. Because the techniques used to obtain unauthorized access, disable or degrade service or to sabotage systems change frequently and generally are not recognized until launched against a target, or even for some time after, we may be unable to anticipate these techniques, implement adequate preventative measures or remediate any intrusion on a timely or effective basis. Because a successful breach of our computer systems, software, networks or other technology asset could occur and persist for an extended period of time before being detected, we may not be able to immediately address the consequences of a cybersecurity incident.

Malicious third parties may also conduct attacks designed to temporarily deny customers, distributors and vendors access to our systems and services. Cybersecurity breaches experienced by our vendors, by our distributors, by our customers, by companies that we acquire, or by us may trigger governmental notice requirements and public disclosures, which may lead to widespread negative publicity. Any such cybersecurity breach, whether actual or perceived, could harm our reputation, erode customer confidence in the effectiveness of our security measures, negatively impact our ability to attract new customers, cause existing customers to curtail or cease their use of our products and services, cause regulatory or industry changes that impact our products and services, or subject us to third-party lawsuits, regulatory fines or other action or liability, all of which could materially and adversely affect our business and operating results. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic may cause increased cybersecurity risk, as cybercriminals attempt to capitalize from the disruption, including remote working arrangements.

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If we experience business interruptions or failure of our information technology and communication systems, the availability of our products and services could be interrupted which could adversely affect our reputation, business and financial condition.

Our ability to provide reliable service in our businesses depends on the efficient and uninterrupted operation of our data centers, information technology and communication systems, and increasingly those of our external service providers, including Amazon Web Services. As we continue to grow our SaaS business, our dependency on the continuing operation and availability of these systems increases. Our systems and data centers, and those of our external service providers, could be exposed to damage or interruption. These interruptions can include software or hardware malfunctions, communication failures, outages or other failures of third-party environments or service providers, fires, floods, earthquakes, pandemics (including the COVID-19 pandemic), war, terrorist acts or civil unrest, power losses, equipment failures, computer viruses, denial-of-service or other cybersecurity attacks, employee or insider malfeasance, human error and other events beyond our control. Although we have taken steps to prevent system failures and we have installed back-up systems and procedures to prevent or reduce disruption, such steps may not be sufficient to prevent an interruption of services and our disaster recovery planning may not account for all eventualities.

An operational failure or outage in any of these systems, or damage to or destruction of these systems, which causes disruptions in our services, could result in loss of customers, damage to customer relationships, reduced revenues and profits, refunds of customer charges and damage to our brand and reputation and may require us to incur substantial additional expense to repair or replace damaged equipment and recover data loss caused by the interruption. Any one or more of the foregoing occurrences could have a material adverse effect on our reputation, business, financial condition, cash flows and results of operations.

The failure to recruit and retain additional qualified personnel could hinder our ability to successfully manage our business.

Our business strategy and our future success will depend in large part on our ability to attract and retain experienced sales, consulting, research and development, marketing, technical support and management personnel. The complexity of our products requires highly trained personnel for research and development and to assist customers with product installation, deployment, maintenance and support. The labor market for these individuals is very competitive due to the limited number of people available with the necessary technical skills and understanding and may become more competitive with general market and economic improvement. We cannot be certain that our compensation strategies will be perceived as competitive by current or prospective employees. This could impair our ability to recruit and retain personnel. We have experienced difficulty in recruiting qualified personnel, especially technical, sales and consulting personnel, and we may need additional staff to support new customers and/or increased customer needs. We may also recruit skilled technical professionals from other countries to work in the U.S., and from the U.S. and other countries to work abroad. Limitations imposed by immigration laws in the U.S. and abroad and the availability of visas in the countries where we do business could hinder our ability to attract necessary qualified personnel and harm our business and future operating results. There is a risk that even if we invest significant resources in attempting to attract, train and retain qualified personnel, we will not succeed in our efforts, and our business could be harmed. The failure of the value of our stock to appreciate may adversely affect our ability to use equity and equity-based incentive plans to attract and retain personnel, and may require us to use alternative and more expensive forms of compensation for this purpose.

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The failure to obtain certain forms of model construction data from our customers or others could harm our business.

Our business requires that we develop or obtain a reliable source of sufficient amounts of current and statistically relevant data to analyze transactions and update our products. In most cases, these data must be periodically updated and refreshed to enable our products to continue to work effectively in a changing environment. We do not own or control much of the data that we require, most of which is collected privately and maintained in proprietary databases. Customers and key business partners provide us with the data we require to analyze transactions, report results and build new models. Our business strategy depends in part upon our ability to access new forms of data to develop custom and proprietary analytic tools. If we fail to maintain sufficient data sourcing relationships with our customers and business partners, or if they decline to provide such data due to privacy, security, competition or regulatory concerns, prohibitions or a lack of permission from their customers or partners, we could lose access to required data and our products, and the development of new products, might become less effective. We could also become subject to increased legislative, regulatory or judicial restrictions or mandates on the collection, disclosure, transfer or use of such data, in particular if such data is not collected by our providers in a way that allows us to legally use the data. Third parties have asserted copyright and other intellectual property interests in these data, and these assertions, if successful, could prevent us from using these data. We may not be successful in maintaining our relationships with these external data source providers or in continuing to obtain data from them on acceptable terms or at all. Any interruption of our supply of data could seriously harm our business, financial condition or results of operations.

Global Operational Risks

Material adverse developments in global economic conditions, or the occurrence of certain other world events, could affect demand for our products and services and harm our business.

Purchases of technology products and services and decisioning solutions are subject to adverse economic conditions. When an economy is struggling, companies in many industries delay or reduce technology purchases, and we experience softened demand for our decisioning solutions and other products and services. Global economic uncertainty in the past, and currently as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, has produced substantial stress, volatility, illiquidity and disruption of global credit and other financial markets. The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected the global economy, leading to reduced consumer spending and lending activities and disruptions and volatility in the global capital markets. The pandemic has also caused shutdowns to businesses and cities worldwide and has disrupted supply chains, business operations, travel, and consumer confidence.

Economic uncertainty has and could continue to negatively affect the businesses and purchasing decisions of companies in the industries we serve. Such disruptions present considerable risks to our businesses and operations. As global economic conditions experience stress and negative volatility, or if there is an escalation in regional or global conflicts or terrorism, we will likely experience reductions in the number of available customers and in capital expenditures by our remaining customers, longer sales cycles, deferral or delay of purchase commitments for our products and increased price competition, which may adversely affect our business, results of operations and liquidity.

We are subject to risks and uncertainties associated with the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union (“E.U.”), commonly referred to as “Brexit,” including implications for the free flow of labor and goods in the United Kingdom (“U.K.”) and the E.U. and other economic, financial, legal, tax and trade implications. The post-Brexit relationship between the U.K. and the E.U. continues to evolve, which could cause disruptions to and create uncertainty surrounding our business in the U.K., including affecting our relationships with our existing and future customers, suppliers and employees, and could contribute to long-term instability in financial, stock and currency exchange markets, any of which could have an adverse effect on our business, financial results and operations. Further, any continuing legal or economic disruptions resulting from Brexit may negatively impact our clients with operations in the U.K., which may cause them to reduce their spending budget on our products and services.

As a result of these conditions, risks and uncertainties, we may need to modify our strategies, businesses or operations, and we may incur additional costs in order to compete in a changed business environment. Given the volatile nature of the global economic environment and the uncertainties underlying efforts to stabilize it, we may not timely anticipate or manage existing, new or additional risks, as well as contingencies or developments, which may include regulatory developments and trends in new products and services. Our failure to do so could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects.

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In operations outside the U.S., we are subject to additional risks that may harm our business, financial condition or results of operations.

A large portion of our revenues is derived from international sales. During fiscal 2021, 28% of our revenues were derived from business outside the U.S. As part of our growth strategy, we plan to continue to pursue opportunities outside the U.S., including opportunities in countries with economic systems that are in early stages of development and that may not mature sufficiently to result in growth for our business. Accordingly, our future operating results could be negatively affected by a variety of factors arising out of international commerce, some of which are beyond our control. These factors include:

general economic and political conditions in countries where we sell our products and services;
difficulty in staffing and efficiently managing our operations in multiple geographic locations and in various countries;
effects of a variety of foreign laws and regulations, including restrictions on access to personal information;
data privacy and consumer protection laws and regulations;
import and export licensing requirements;
longer payment cycles;
difficulties in enforcing contracts and collecting accounts receivable;
reduced protection for intellectual property rights;
currency fluctuations;
unfavorable tax rules or changes in tariffs and other trade barriers;
the presence and acceptance of varying levels of business corruption in international markets;
terrorism, war, natural disasters and pandemics, including the COVID-19 pandemic; and
difficulties and delays in translating products and related documentation into foreign languages.

There can be no assurance that we will be able to successfully address each of these challenges. Additionally, some of our business will be conducted in currencies other than the U.S. dollar. Foreign currency transaction gains and losses are not currently material to our cash flows, financial position or results of operations. However, an increase in our foreign revenues could subject us to increased foreign currency transaction risks in the future.

In addition to the risk of depending on international sales, we have risks incurred in having research and development personnel located in various international locations. We currently have a substantial portion of our product development staff in international locations, some of which have political and developmental risks. If such risks materialize, our business could be damaged.

Legal, Regulatory and Compliance Risks

Laws and regulations in the U.S. and abroad that apply to us or to our customers may expose us to liability, cause us to incur significant expense, affect our ability to compete in certain markets, limit the profitability of or demand for our products, or render our products obsolete. If these laws and regulations require us to change our products and services, it could adversely affect our business and results of operations. New legislation or regulations, or changes to existing laws and regulations, may also negatively impact our business and increase our costs of doing business.

Laws and governmental regulation affect how our business is conducted and, in some cases, subject us to the possibility of government supervision and future lawsuits arising from our products and services. Laws and governmental regulations also influence our current and prospective customers’ activities, as well as their expectations and needs in relation to our products and services. Laws and regulations that may affect our business and our current and prospective customers’ activities include, but are not limited to, those in the following significant regulatory areas:

Privacy and security laws and regulations that limit the use and disclosure of personally identifiable information, require security procedures, or otherwise apply to the collection, processing, storage, use and transfer of protected data (e.g., the U.S. Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999, also known as the Gramm Leach Bliley Act; the General Data Protection Regulation (the “GDPR”) and country-specific data protection laws enacted to supplement the GDPR; and identity theft, file freezing, security breach notification and similar state privacy laws);
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Laws and regulations relating to the privacy, security and transmission of individually identifiable health information, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, as amended by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (“HIPAA”) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (“HITECH”) and their respective implementing regulations;
Financial regulatory reform stemming from the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and the many regulations mandated by that Act, including regulations issued by, and the supervisory and investigative authority of, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau;
The application or extension of consumer protection laws, including implementing regulations (e.g., the Consumer Financial Protection Act, the Federal Trade Commission Act, the Truth In Lending Act and Regulation Z, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, the Military Lending Act, and the Credit Repair Organizations Act);
Use of data by creditors and consumer reporting agencies (e.g., the U.S. Fair Credit Reporting Act and similar state laws);
Special requirements that may apply when we provide services directly or indirectly to U.S. federal, state and local government agencies (e.g., the Privacy Act of 1974, the Internal Revenue Service’s Publication 4812 and the Federal Acquisition Regulation);
Laws and regulations that limit the use of credit scoring models (e.g., state “mortgage trigger” or “inquiries” laws, state insurance restrictions on the use of credit-based insurance scores, and the E.U. Consumer Credit Directive);
Fair lending laws (e.g., the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and Regulation B, and the Fair Housing Act);
The Cybersecurity Act of 2015; the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Cybersecurity Framework; the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act; and identity theft, file freezing, and similar state privacy laws;
Laws and regulations related to extension of credit to consumers through the Electronic Fund Transfers Act and Regulation E, as well as non‑governmental VISA and MasterCard electronic payment standards;
Laws and regulations applicable to secondary market participants (e.g., Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) that could have an impact on our scoring products and revenues, including 12 CFR Part 1254 (Validation and Approval of Credit Score Models) issued by the Federal Housing Finance Agency in accordance with Section 310 of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (Public Law 115-174), and any regulations, standards or criteria established pursuant to such laws or regulations;
Laws and regulations applicable to our customer communication clients and their use of our products and services (e.g., the Telemarketing Sales Rule, Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the CAN-SPAM Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and regulations promulgated thereunder);
Laws and regulations applicable to our insurance clients and their use of our insurance products and services;
Laws and regulations governing the use of the Internet and social media, telemarketing, advertising, endorsements and testimonials;
Anti-money laundering laws and regulations (e.g., the Bank Secrecy Act and the USA PATRIOT Act);
Laws and regulations restricting transactions with sanctioned parties and regarding export controls as they apply to FICO products delivered in non-U.S. countries (e.g., Office of Foreign Asset Control sanctions and Export Administration Regulations);
Anti-bribery and corruption laws and regulations (e.g., the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the UK Bribery Act 2010);
Financial regulatory standards (e.g., Sarbanes-Oxley Act requirements to maintain and verify internal process controls, including controls for material event awareness and notification); and
Regulatory requirements for managing third parties (e.g., vendors, contractors, suppliers and distributors).


In addition, many U.S. and foreign jurisdictions have passed, or are currently contemplating, a variety of consumer protection, privacy, and data security laws and regulations that may relate to our business or affect the demand for our products and services. For example, the U.K and E.U. GDPR impose, among other things, strict obligations and restrictions on the ability to collect, analyze and transfer U.K. and E.U. personal data, a requirement for prompt notice of data breaches in certain circumstances, and possible substantial fines for any violations (including possible fines for certain violations of up to the greater of 20 million Euros or 4% of total worldwide annual revenue under the E.U. GDPR and up to the greater of 17.5 million Pounds or 4% of annual global turnover under the U.K. GDPR). A decision in July 2020 by the Court of Justice of the European Union (i.e., Schrems II), called into question certain data transfer mechanisms between the E.U. and the U.S. In June 2021, the European Commission issued new standard contractual clauses (“SCCs”) governing cross-border data transfers and data exchanges among controllers and processors, which reflect more recent data protection laws, such as the GDPR, and account for the analysis in the Schrems II decision. Our transition to the new SCCs, which may involve interpretive issues and may have an adverse impact on cross-border transfers of personal data, may subject us to additional scrutiny from E.U. regulators or may increase our costs of compliance.
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Brazil, India, South Africa, Japan, China, Israel, Canada, and several other countries have introduced and, in some cases, enacted, similar privacy and data security laws.

The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (“CCPA”) gives California residents certain privacy rights in the collection and disclosure of their personal information and requires businesses to make certain disclosures and take certain other acts in furtherance of those rights. Additionally, effective starting January 1, 2023, the California Privacy Rights Act (the “CPRA”) will revise and significantly expand the scope of the CCPA. The CPRA also creates a new California data protection agency authorized to implement and enforce the CCPA and the CPRA, which could result in increased privacy and information security enforcement. Other U.S. states have considered and/or enacted similar privacy laws, including Virginia and Colorado, which passed new consumer privacy laws in 2021.

The costs and other burdens of compliance with privacy and data security laws and regulations could negatively impact the use and adoption of our solutions and reduce overall demand for them. Additionally, concerns regarding data privacy may cause our customers, or their customers and potential customers, to resist providing the data necessary to allow us to deliver our solutions effectively. Even the perception that the privacy of personal information is not satisfactorily protected or does not meet regulatory requirements could inhibit sales of our solutions and any failure to comply with such laws and regulations could lead to significant fines, penalties or other liabilities. Any such decrease in demand or incurred fines, penalties or other liabilities could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial condition.

In addition to existing laws and regulations, changes in the U.S. or foreign legislative, judicial, regulatory or consumer environments could harm our business, financial condition or results of operations. The laws and regulations above, and changes to them or their interpretation by the courts, could affect the demand for or profitability of our products, including scoring and consumer products. New laws and regulations pertaining to our customers could cause them to pursue new strategies, reducing the demand for our products.

If we are subject to infringement claims, it could harm our business.

We expect that products in the industry segments in which we compete, including software products, will increasingly be subject to claims of patent and other intellectual property infringement as the number of products and competitors in our industry segments grow. We may need to defend claims that our products infringe intellectual property rights, and as a result we may:

incur significant defense costs or substantial damages;
be required to cease the use or sale of infringing products;
expend significant resources to develop or license a substitute non-infringing technology;
discontinue the use of some technology; or
be required to obtain a license under the intellectual property rights of the third-party claiming infringement, which license may not be available or might require substantial royalties or license fees that would reduce our margins.

Moreover, in recent years, individuals and groups that are non-practicing entities, commonly referred to as “patent trolls,” have purchased patents and other intellectual property assets for the purpose of making claims of infringement in order to extract settlements. From time to time, we may receive threatening letters or notices or may be the subject of claims that our solutions and underlying technology infringe or violate the intellectual property rights of others. Responding to such claims, regardless of their merit, can be time consuming, costly to defend in litigation, divert management's attention and resources, damage our reputation and brand, and cause us to incur significant expenses.

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Financial Risks

Our products have long and variable sales cycles. If we do not accurately predict these cycles, we may not forecast our financial results accurately, and our stock price could be adversely affected.

We experience difficulty in forecasting our revenues accurately because the length of our sales cycles makes it difficult for us to predict the quarter in which sales will occur. In addition, our selling approach is complex as we look to sell multiple products and services across our customers’ organizations. This makes forecasting of revenues in any given period more difficult. For example, the sales cycle of our products can extend to greater than a year and as a result, revenues and operating results may vary significantly from period to period. Customers are often cautious in making decisions to acquire our products because purchasing our products typically involves a significant commitment of capital and may involve shifts by the customer to a new software and/or hardware platform or changes in the customer’s operational procedures. This may cause customers, particularly those experiencing financial stress, to make purchasing decisions more cautiously. Delays in completing sales can arise while customers complete their internal procedures to approve large capital expenditures and test and accept our applications. Consequently, we face difficulty predicting the quarter in which sales to expected customers will occur and experience fluctuations in our revenues and operating results. If we are unable to accurately forecast our revenues, our stock price could be adversely affected.

We typically have revenue-generating transactions concentrated in the final weeks of a quarter, which may prevent accurate forecasting of our financial results and cause our stock price to decline.

Large portions of our customer agreements are consummated in the weeks immediately preceding quarter end. Before these agreements are consummated, we create and rely on forecasted revenues for planning, modeling and earnings guidance. Forecasts, however, are only estimates and actual results may vary for a particular quarter or longer periods of time. Consequently, significant discrepancies between actual and forecasted results could limit our ability to plan, budget or provide accurate guidance, which could adversely affect our stock price. Any publicly-stated revenue or earnings projections are subject to this risk.

Our financial results and key metrics fluctuate within each quarter and from quarter to quarter, making our future revenue, annual recurring revenue (“ARR”), and financial results difficult to predict, which may cause us to miss analyst expectations and may cause the price of our common stock to decline.

Our quarterly financial results and key metrics have fluctuated in the past and will continue to do so in the future, and therefore period-to-period comparisons should not be relied upon as an indication of future performance. These fluctuations could cause our stock price to change significantly or experience declines. We also may provide investors with quarterly and annual financial forward-looking guidance that could prove to be inaccurate as a result of these fluctuations and other factors. In addition to the other risks described in these risk factors, some of the factors that could cause our financial results and key metrics to fluctuate include:

variability in demand from our existing customers;
failure to meet the expectations of market analysts;
changes in recommendations by market analysts;
the lengthy and variable sales cycle of many products, combined with the relatively large size of orders for our products, increases the likelihood of short-term fluctuation in revenues;
consumer or customer dissatisfaction with, or problems caused by, the performance of our products;
the timing of new product announcements and introductions in comparison with our competitors;
the level of our operating expenses;
changes in demand and competitive and other conditions in the consumer credit, banking and insurance industries;
fluctuations in domestic and international economic conditions, such as those which have occurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic;
our ability to complete large installations, and to adopt and configure cloud-based deployments, on schedule and within budget;
announcements relating to litigation or regulatory matters;
changes in senior management or key personnel;
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acquisition-related expenses and charges; and
timing of orders for and deliveries of software systems.

Our operating expenses are based in part on our expectations for future revenue and many are fixed and cannot be quickly adjusted as revenue changes. Accordingly, any revenue shortfall below expectations has had, and in the future could have, an immediate and significant adverse effect on our operating results and profitability. Greater than anticipated expenses or a failure to maintain rigorous cost controls would also negatively affect profitability.

General Risk Factors

Our stock price has been subject to fluctuations, and will likely continue to be subject to fluctuations, or may decline, regardless of our operating performance.

Our stock price has been subject to fluctuations due to a number of factors, including variations in our revenues and operating results. The financial markets have at various times experienced significant price and volume fluctuations that have particularly affected the stock prices of many technology companies and financial services companies, and these fluctuations sometimes have been unrelated to the operating performance of these companies. Broad market fluctuations, as well as industry-specific and general economic conditions, may negatively affect our business and require us to record an impairment charge related to goodwill, which could adversely affect our results of operations, stock price and business.

Our anti-takeover defenses could make it difficult for another company to acquire control of FICO, thereby limiting the demand for our securities by certain types of purchasers or the price investors are willing to pay for our stock.

Certain provisions of our Restated Certificate of Incorporation, as amended, could make a merger, tender offer or proxy contest involving us difficult, even if such events would be beneficial to the interests of our stockholders. These provisions include giving our board the ability to issue preferred stock and determine the rights and designations of the preferred stock at any time without stockholder approval. The rights of the holders of our common stock will be subject to, and may be adversely affected by, the rights of the holders of any preferred stock that may be issued in the future. The issuance of preferred stock, while providing flexibility in connection with possible acquisitions and other corporate purposes, could have the effect of making it more difficult for a third-party to acquire, or discouraging a third-party from acquiring, a majority of our outstanding voting stock. These factors and certain provisions of the Delaware General Corporation Law may have the effect of deterring hostile takeovers or otherwise delaying or preventing changes in control or changes in our management, including transactions in which our stockholders might otherwise receive a premium over the fair market value of our common stock.

If we experience changes in tax laws or adverse outcomes resulting from examination of our income tax returns, it could adversely affect our results of operations.

We are subject to federal and state income taxes in the U.S. and in certain foreign jurisdictions. Significant judgment is required in determining our worldwide provision for income taxes. Our future effective tax rates could be adversely affected by changes in tax laws (including any changes that result from the comprehensive corporate tax reform proposed by the current administration), by our ability to generate taxable income in foreign jurisdictions in order to utilize foreign tax losses, and by the valuation of our deferred tax assets. In addition, we are subject to the examination of our income tax returns by the Internal Revenue Service and other tax authorities. We regularly assess the likelihood of adverse outcomes resulting from such examinations to determine the adequacy of our provision for income taxes. There can be no assurance that the outcomes from such examinations will not have an adverse effect on our operating results and financial condition.

Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments
Not applicable.
Item 2. Properties
The Company’s headquarters are located in Bozeman, Montana. As of September 30, 2021, the Company leased office facilities in geographically dispersed locations primarily for corporate functions, sales, research and development, data centers and other purposes. The Company believes its existing facilities, which are used by both reportable segments, are in good operating condition and are suitable to meet operating needs.
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Item 3. Legal Proceedings
Not applicable.
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures
Not applicable.
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PART II
Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Market Information
Our common stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol: FICO. According to records of our transfer agent, at October 29, 2021, we had 301 stockholders of record of our common stock.
Unregistered Sales of Equity Securities and Use of Proceeds
Not applicable.
Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
PeriodTotal Number
of Shares
Purchased (1)
Average
Price Paid
per Share
Total
Number of
Shares
Purchased
as Part of
Publicly
Announced
Plans or
Programs (2)
Maximum Dollar
Value of Shares
that May Yet Be
Purchased Under
the Plans or
Programs (2)
July 1, 2021 through July 31, 20211,373 $528.56 — $221,344,762 
August 1, 2021 through August 31, 2021689,649 $448.14 685,420 $243,139,026 
September 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021160,256 $437.29 160,000 $173,176,417 
Total851,278 $446.23 845,420 $173,176,417 
(1)Includes 5,858 shares delivered in satisfaction of the tax withholding obligations resulting from the vesting of restricted stock units held by employees during the quarter ended September 30, 2021.
(2)In March 2021, our Board of Directors approved a stock repurchase program following the completion of our previous program. This program was open-ended and authorized repurchases of shares of our common stock up to an aggregate cost of $500.0 million in the open market or in negotiated transactions. As part of the broader share repurchase program, we entered into the accelerated share repurchase agreement (“ASR Agreement”) with a financial institution in June 2021 to repurchase $200.0 million of our common stock. Pursuant to the ASR Agreement, we paid $200.0 million to the financial institution and received an initial delivery of 319,400 shares of common stock, which approximated 80% of the total number of expected shares to be repurchased under the ASR Agreement. In August 2021, we settled the ASR Agreement and received 70,127 additional shares. In total, 389,527 shares were repurchased under the ASR Agreement. In August 2021, our Board of Directors approved a new stock repurchase program following the termination of the March 2021 program. This new program is open-ended and authorizes repurchases of shares of our common stock up to an aggregate cost of $500.0 million in the open market or in negotiated transactions. In August 2021, we entered into a stock repurchase agreement with an institutional shareholder, pursuant to which we repurchased 515,293 shares of our common stock for $225.0 million.
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Performance Graph
The following graph shows the total stockholder return of an investment of $100 in cash on September 30, 2016, in (a) the Company’s common stock, (b) the Standard & Poor’s 500 Stock Index and (c) the Standard & Poor’s 500 Application Software Index, in each case with reinvestment of dividends. Our past performance may not be indicative of future performance.
https://cdn.kscope.io/04de806b1e495e85959e169362e2d9f4-fico-20210930_g1.jpg
Item 6. [Reserved]
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Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
Our Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations (“MD&A”) includes the following: a business overview that provides a high-level summary of our strategies and initiatives, highlights from fiscal year 2021 and key performance metrics for our Software segment; a more detailed analysis of our results of operations; our capital resources and liquidity, which discusses key aspects of our statements of cash flows, changes in our balance sheets and our financial commitments; and a summary of our critical accounting policies and estimates we believe are important to understanding the assumptions and judgments incorporated in our reported financial results. Our MD&A should be read in conjunction with Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. The following discussion contains forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ from those referred to herein due to a number of factors, including but not limited to risks described in Item 1A, Risk Factors, in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
BUSINESS OVERVIEW
Strategies and Initiatives

In fiscal 2021, our B2B scoring solutions, including the flagship FICO® Score, continued to be the standard measure of consumer credit risk in the U.S. In January 2020 we introduced our most predictive scores, FICO® Score 10 and 10T. We also created the FICO® Resilience Index, a complement to FICO Scores that identifies consumers who are more resilient to economic stress relative to other consumers within the same FICO Score bands. We continued to develop scores that use alternative data to enhance conventional credit bureau data and generate scores for otherwise un-scorable consumers.
During fiscal 2021, we continued to advance our platform-first, cloud delivered strategy in our Software segment. This led us to exit less strategic areas of our business in order to facilitate incremental investment in higher value, more strategic areas. As part of this process, we divested the non-platform-based Collections and Recovery (“C&R”) business, sold all assets related to our cyber risk score operations, and sold certain assets related to our Software operations to an affiliated joint venture in China.
During fiscal 2020, we changed our business practice of selling term software licenses with separate license and maintenance components to a single software subscription contract with license and maintenance bundled. This transition was substantially completed by the end of the first quarter of our fiscal 2021. The timing of our revenue recognition on these subscription sales changed, resulting in less revenue recognized upfront and more revenue recognized over the term of these subscriptions. This change led to a negative impact of our revenue recognized from term software licenses in our fiscal 2021 but does not affect total revenue recognized over the life of a contract. In addition, this change does not negatively impact our cash flows.
We also continue to enhance stockholder value by returning cash to stockholders through our stock repurchase programs. In June 2021, following the divestiture of our C&R business, we entered into an accelerated share repurchase agreement (“ASR Agreement”) to repurchase $200.0 million of our common stock. In August 2021, we entered into a stock repurchase agreement with an institutional shareholder pursuant to which we repurchased $225.0 million of our common stock. We also repurchased shares in other open market transactions under our stock repurchase programs. During fiscal 2021, we repurchased 1.9 million shares at a total repurchase price of $882.2 million. As of September 30, 2021, we had $173.2 million remaining under our current stock repurchase program.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to conduct business with substantial modifications to employee travel and work locations and also the virtualization of sales and marketing events. We expect these modifications to remain in place throughout calendar year 2021, along with substantially modified interactions with customers and suppliers, among other adjustments. As certain offices reopened due to the lifting of local government restrictions and a small number of employees started returning to work locations on a limited basis during fiscal 2021, we have maintained a “Voluntary Work-From-Home Policy” providing our people with valued flexibility. While we have not experienced material disruptions to our operations from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are unable to predict the full impact that the COVID-19 pandemic will have on our operations and future financial performance, including demand for our offerings, impact to our customers and partners, actions that may be taken by governmental authorities, and other factors identified in “Risk Factors” in Part I, Item 1A of this Report.
Highlights from Fiscal Year 2021
Total GAAP revenue was $1.32 billion during fiscal year 2021, a 2% increase from fiscal year 2020.
Total revenue for our Scores segment was $654.1 million during fiscal year 2021, a 24% increase from fiscal year 2020.
Annual Recurring Revenue for our Software segment as of September 30, 2021 was $524.0 million, a 6% increase from September 30, 2020, excluding divestitures.
Dollar-Based Net Retention Rate for our Software segment during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 was 106%, excluding divestitures.
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Cash and cash equivalents was $195.4 million as of September 30, 2021, compared with $157.4 million as of September 30, 2020.
Operating income, which included $100.1 million gains on product line asset sales and business divestiture, was $505.5 million during fiscal year 2021, a 71% increase from fiscal 2020.
Net income was $392.1 million during fiscal year 2021, a 66% increase from fiscal 2020.
Cash flow from operations was $423.8 during fiscal year 2021, compared with $364.9 million generated during the prior year.
Total debt balance was $1.268 billion as of September 30, 2021, compared with $845 million as of September 30, 2020.
$882.2 million was spent on share repurchases, compared with $235.2 million spent during the prior year.
Key performance metrics for Software segment
Annual Contract Value Bookings (“ACV Bookings”)
Management regards ACV Bookings as an important indicator of future revenues, but they are not comparable to, nor are they a substitute for, an analysis of, our revenues. We define ACV Bookings as the average annualized value of software contracts signed in the current reporting period that generate current and future on-premises and SaaS software revenue. We only include contracts with an initial term of at least 24 months and we exclude perpetual licenses and other revenues that are non-recurring in nature. For renewals of existing software subscription contracts, we count only incremental annual revenue expected over the current contract as ACV Bookings.
ACV Bookings is calculated by dividing the total expected contract value by the contract term in years. The expected contract value equals the fixed amount — including guaranteed minimums — stated in the contract, plus estimates of future usage-based fees. We develop estimates from discussions with our customers and examinations of historical data from similar products and customer arrangements. Differences between estimates and actual results occur due to variability in the estimated usage. This variability is primarily caused by the economic trends in our customers’ industries; individual performance of our customers relative to their competitors; and regulatory and other factors that affect the business environment in which our customers operate.
We disclose estimated revenue expected to be recognized in the future related to remaining performance obligations in Note 12 to the accompanying consolidated financial statements. However, we believe ACV Bookings is a more meaningful measure of our business as it includes estimated revenues and future billings excluded from Note 12, such as usage-based fees and guaranteed minimums derived from our on-premises software licenses, among others.
The following table summarizes our ACV Bookings during the periods indicated:
Quarter Ended September 30,Year Ended September 30,
2021202020212020
(In millions)
Total on-premises and SaaS software *$25.8 $28.9 $62.8 $58.3 
(*) During fiscal 2021, we sold all assets related to our cyber risk score operations, sold certain assets related to our Software segment to an affiliated joint venture in China, and divested our C&R business. The amounts above exclude these divested product lines and businesses for all periods presented.

Annual Recurring Revenue (“ARR”)
Accounting Standards Codification 606 requires us to recognize a significant portion of revenue from our on-premises software subscriptions at the point in time when the software is first made available to the customer, or at the beginning of the subscription term, despite the fact that our contracts typically call for billing these amounts ratably over the life of the subscription. The remaining portion of our on-premises software subscription revenue including maintenance and usage-based fees are recognized over the life of the contract. This point-in-time recognition of a portion of our on-premises software subscription revenue creates significant variability in the revenue recognized period to period based on the timing of the subscription start date and the subscription term. Furthermore, this point-in-time revenue recognition can create a significant difference between the timing of our revenue recognition and the actual customer billing under the contract. We use ARR to measure the underlying performance of our subscription-based contracts and mitigate the impact of this variability. ARR is defined as the annualized revenue run-rate of on-premises and SaaS software agreements within a quarterly reporting period, and as such, is different from the timing and amount of revenue recognized. All components of our software licensing and subscription arrangements that are not expected to recur (primarily perpetual licenses) are excluded. We calculate ARR as the quarterly recurring revenue run-rate multiplied by four.
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The following table summarizes our ARR at each of the dates presented:
December 31, 2019March 31, 2020June 30,
 2020
September 30, 2020December 31, 2020March 31, 2021June 30,
 2021
September 30, 2021
ARR (*)
(In millions)
Platform (**)
$40.0$41.1$43.8$47.7$55.1$60.2$67.7$75.2
Non-Platform446.9450.3438.5443.6439.9437.1445.9448.8
Total on-premises and SaaS software$486.9$491.4$482.3$491.3$495.0$497.3$513.6$524.0
Percentage
Platform%%%10 %11 %12 %13 %14 %
Non-Platform92 %92 %91 %90 %89 %88 %87 %86 %
Total on-premises and SaaS software100 %100 %100 %100 %100 %100 %100 %100 %
YoY Change
Platform45 %48 %44 %45 %38 %47 %54 %58 %
Non-Platform%%(3)%(2)%(2)%(3)%%%
Total on-premises and SaaS software%%— %%%%%%
(*) During fiscal 2021, we sold all assets related to our cyber risk score operations, sold certain assets related to our Software segment to an affiliated joint venture in China, and divested our C&R business. The amounts above exclude these divested product lines and businesses for all periods presented.
(**) The FICO platform software is a set of interoperable services which use software assets owned and/or governed by FICO for building solutions and which conform to FICO architectural standards based on key elements of Cloud Native Computing design principles. These standards encompass shared security context and pre-integration using FICO standard application programming interfaces for all services.

Dollar-Based Net Retention Rate (“DBNRR”)
We consider DBNRR to be an important measure of our success in retaining and growing revenue from our existing customers. To calculate DBNRR for any period, we compare the ARR at the end of the prior comparable quarter (base ARR) to the ARR from that same cohort of customers at the end of the current quarter (retained ARR); we then divide the retained ARR by the base ARR to arrive at the DBNRR. Our calculation includes the positive impact among this cohort of customers of selling additional products, price increases and increases in usage-based fees, and the negative impact of customer attrition, price decreases and decreases in usage-based fees during the period. However, the calculation does not include the positive impact from sales to any customers acquired during the period. Our DBNRR may increase or decrease from period to period as a result of various factors, including the timing of new sales and customer renewal rates.
The following table summarizes our DBNRR for each of the periods presented:
Quarter Ended
December 31, 2019March 31, 2020June 30,
 2020
September 30, 2020December 31, 2020March 31, 2021June 30,
2021
September 30, 2021
DBNRR (*)
Platform110 %112 %108 %116 %123 %130 %137 %143 %
Non-Platform101 %103 %95 %96 %97 %96 %100 %100 %
Total on-premises and SaaS software103 %105 %98 %99 %100 %100 %105 %106 %
(*) During fiscal 2021, we sold all assets related to our cyber risk score operations, sold certain assets related to our Software segment to an affiliated joint venture in China, and divested our C&R business. The amounts above exclude these divested product lines and businesses for all periods presented.
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RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
We are organized into the following two reportable segments: Software and Scores. Although we sell solutions and services into a large number of end user product and industry markets, our reportable business segments reflect the primary method in which management organizes and evaluates internal financial information to make operating decisions and assess performance.
During the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021, we reevaluated our operating segments to better align with how our chief operating decision maker (“CODM”) evaluates performance and allocates resources, which resulted in a change from three operating segments, Applications, Decision Management Software and Scores, to two operating segments, Software and Scores, by merging Applications and Decision Management Software segments into the new Software segment. As a result, we modified the presentation of our segment financial information with retrospective application to all prior periods presented. In addition, effective beginning in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021, we changed the classification of revenue from transactional and maintenance, professional services, and license to on-premises and SaaS software, professional services and scores on our consolidated statements of income and comprehensive income, as well as our disclosures on disaggregation of revenue, to better align with our business strategy. Previously reported amounts have been adjusted to conform to the current presentation.
Segment revenues, operating income, and related financial information, including disaggregation of revenue, for the years ended September 30, 2021, 2020 and 2019 are set forth in Note 12 and Note 18 to the accompanying consolidated financial statements.

Revenues
The following tables set forth certain summary information on a segment basis related to our revenues for fiscal 2021, 2020 and 2019: 
 Revenues
Year Ended September 30,
Period-to-Period ChangePeriod-to-Period
Percentage Change
Segment2021202020192021 to 20202020 to 20192021 to 20202020 to 2019
 (In thousands)(In thousands)  
Scores$654,147 $528,547 $421,177 $125,600 $107,370 24 %25 %
Software662,389 766,015 738,906 (103,626)27,109 (14)%%
     Total $1,316,536 $1,294,562 $1,160,083 21,974 134,479 %12 %
 Percentage of Revenues
Year Ended September 30,
Segment202120202019
Scores50 %41 %36 %
Software50 %59 %64 %
      Total100 %100 %100 %

Scores 
Scores segment revenues increased $125.6 million in fiscal 2021 from 2020 due to an increase of $64.6 million in our business-to-business scores revenue and $61.0 million in our business-to-consumer revenue. The increase in business-to-business scores revenue was primarily attributable to a higher unit price across several business-to-business offerings, as well as higher volumes. The increase in business-to-consumer revenue was attributable to an increase in both royalties derived from scores sold indirectly to consumers through consumer reporting agencies and direct sales generated from the myFICO.com website.
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Scores segment revenues increased $107.4 million in fiscal 2020 from 2019 due to an increase of $79.8 million in our business-to-business scores revenue and $27.6 million in our business-to-consumer revenue. The increase in business-to-business scores was primarily attributable to an increase in mortgage volumes, a higher unit price across several business-to-business offerings, a large royalty true-up as well as a large annual license deal recognized during fiscal 2020. The increase was partially offset by a decrease in unsecured originations volume. The increase in business-to-consumer revenue was attributable to an increase in both royalties derived from scores sold indirectly to consumers through consumer reporting agencies and direct sales generated from the myFICO.com website.
Revenues collectively generated by agreements with the three major consumer reporting agencies, TransUnion, Equifax and Experian, accounted for 38%, 33% and 29% of our total revenues in fiscal 2021, 2020 and 2019, respectively, with all three consumer reporting agencies contributing more than 10% of our total revenues in fiscal 2021, and Experian contributing more than 10% of our total revenues in fiscal 2020 and 2019. Revenues from these customers included amounts recorded in our Software segment.
Software
 Year Ended September 30,Period-to-Period ChangePeriod-to-Period
Percentage Change
 2021202020192021 to 20202020 to 20192021 to 20202020 to 2019
 (In thousands)(In thousands)  
On-premises and SaaS software
$517,888 $584,576 $556,968 $(66,688)$27,608 (11)%%
Professional services144,501 181,439 181,938 (36,938)(499)(20)%— %
Total$662,389 $766,015 $738,906 (103,626)27,109 (14)%%
Year Ended September 30,Period-to-Period ChangePeriod-to-Period
Percentage Change
2021202020192021 to 20202020 to 20192021 to 20202020 to 2019
(In thousands)(In thousands)
Software recognized at a point time (1)
$59,024 $127,666 $111,308 $(68,642)$16,358 (54)%15 %
Software recognized over contract term (2)
458,864 456,910 445,660 1,954 11,250 — %%
     Total$517,888 $584,576 $556,968 $(66,688)27,608 (11)%%
(1)Includes license portion of our on-premises subscription software and perpetual license, both of which are recognized when the software is made available to the customer, or at the start of the subscription.
(2)Includes maintenance portion and usage-based fees of our on-premises subscription software, maintenance revenue on perpetual licenses, as well as SaaS revenue.
Software segment revenues decreased $103.6 million in fiscal 2021 from 2020 due to a $66.7 million decrease in on-premises and SaaS software revenue and a $36.9 million decrease in services revenue. The decrease in on-premises and SaaS software revenue was attributable to a $68.6 million decrease in revenue recognized at a point in time, partially offset by a $1.9 million increase in revenue recognized over time. The decrease in point-in-time recognition was primarily attributable to the shift in the timing of revenue recognition on our term license subscription sales as a result of changing our business practice of selling term licenses with separate license and maintenance components to a single software subscription contract with license and maintenance bundled, as well as a decrease in the number and size of term license deals signed or renewed during fiscal 2021. The increase in over-time recognition was primarily attributable to an increase in SaaS subscription revenue, partially offset by the divestiture of our C&R business in June 2021. The decrease in services revenue was primarily due to our recent strategic shift to emphasize software over services, as well as the divestiture of our C&R business. In total, $21.7 million of the year-over-year decrease in our Software segment revenue was attributable to the divestiture of our C&R business.
Software segment revenues increased $27.1 million in fiscal 2020 from 2019 primarily attributable to a $27.6 million increase in on-premises and SaaS software revenue, comprised of a $16.4 million increase in license portion of our on-premises subscription software and perpetual license revenue recognized at a point in time, and a $11.3 million increase in revenue recognized over time, primarily attributable to an increase in SaaS subscription revenue.
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Operating Expenses and Other Income, Net
The following tables set forth certain summary information related to our consolidated statements of income and comprehensive income for fiscal 2021, 2020 and 2019:
 Year Ended September 30,Period-to-Period ChangePeriod-to-Period
Percentage Change
 2021202020192021 to 20202020 to 20192021 to 20202020 to 2019
 (In thousands, except employees)(In thousands, except
employees)
 
Revenues$1,316,536 $1,294,562 $1,160,083 $21,974 $134,479 %12 %
Operating expenses:
Cost of revenues332,462 361,142 336,845 (28,680)24,297 (8)%%
Research and development171,231 166,499 149,478 4,732 17,021 %11 %
Selling, general and administrative396,281 420,930 414,086 (24,649)6,844 (6)%%
Amortization of intangible assets3,255 4,993 6,126 (1,738)(1,133)(35)%(18)%
Restructuring and impairment charges7,957 45,029 — (37,072)45,029 (82)%— %
Gains on product line asset sales and business divestiture(100,139)— — (100,139)— — %— %
Total operating expenses811,047 998,593 906,535 (87,407)92,058 (9)%10 %
Operating income505,489 295,969 253,548 209,520 42,421 71 %17 %
Interest expense, net(40,092)(42,177)(39,752)2,085 (2,425)(5)%%
Other income, net7,745 3,208 2,276 4,537 932 141 %41 %
Income before income taxes473,142 257,000 216,072 216,142 40,928 84 %19 %
Provision for income taxes81,058 20,589 23,948 60,469 (3,359)294 %(14)%
Net income$392,084 $236,411 $192,124 155,673 44,287 66 %23 %
Number of employees at fiscal year-end3,650 4,003 4,009 (353)(6)(9)%— %
 
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 Percentage of Revenues
Year Ended September 30,
 202120202019
Revenues100 %100 %100 %
Operating expenses:
Cost of revenues25 %28 %29 %
Research and development13 %13 %13 %
Selling, general and administrative30 %33 %35 %
Amortization of intangible assets— %— %%
       Restructuring and impairment charges%%— %
Gains on product line asset sales and business divestiture(7)%— %— %
Total operating expenses62 %77 %78 %
Operating income38 %23 %22 %
Interest expense, net(3)%(3)%(3)%
Other income, net%— %— %
Income before income taxes36 %20 %19 %
Provision for income taxes%%%
Net income30 %18 %17 %

Cost of Revenues
Cost of revenues consists primarily of employee salaries, incentives, and benefits for personnel directly involved in delivering software products, operating SaaS infrastructure, and providing support, implementation and consulting services; allocated overhead, facilities and data center costs; software royalty fees; credit bureau data and processing services; third-party hosting fees related to our SaaS services; travel costs; and outside services.
The fiscal 2021 from 2020 decrease of $28.7 million in cost of revenues was primarily attributable to an $18.8 million decrease in personnel and labor costs, a $9.2 million decrease in allocated facilities and infrastructure costs and a $3.7 million decrease in travel costs, partially offset by an increase in direct materials costs. The decreases in personnel and labor costs, and in allocated facilities and infrastructure costs were both largely driven by our strategic cost initiative implemented in September 2020, in which we reduced our workforce, consolidated office space and abandoned certain property and equipment; as well as the divestiture of our C&R business in June 2021. The decrease in travel costs was primarily attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic. The increase in direct materials costs was primarily attributable to increased third-party data costs related to increased Scores revenue. Cost of revenues as a percentage of revenues decreased to 25% during fiscal 2021 from 28% during fiscal 2020, primarily due to increased sales of our higher-margin Scores products.
The fiscal 2020 over 2019 increase of $24.3 million in cost of revenues was primarily attributable to an $11.1 million increase in allocated facilities and infrastructure costs, a $10.3 million increase in personnel and labor costs and a $7.6 million increase in direct materials cost, partially offset by a $4.9 million decrease in travel costs. The increase in facilities and infrastructure costs was primarily attributable to increased resource requirements due to expansion in our cloud infrastructure operations. The increase in personnel and labor costs was primarily attributable to an increase in our average headcount. The increase in direct materials cost was primarily attributable to an increase in license and Scores revenues that incur third-party royalties and data costs, as well as an increase in telecommunication cost. The decrease in travel costs was primarily attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic. Cost of revenues as a percentage of revenues was 28% during fiscal 2020, materially consistent with that incurred during fiscal 2019.
Research and Development
Research and development expenses include personnel and related overhead costs incurred in the development of new products and services, including research of mathematical and statistical models and development of new versions of software products.
The fiscal 2021 over 2020 increase of $4.7 million in research and development expenses was primarily attributable to an increase in personnel and labor costs, driven by increased average headcount and our continued investments in new product development. Research and development expenses as a percentage of revenues was 13% during fiscal 2021, consistent with that during fiscal 2020.
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The fiscal 2020 over 2019 increase of $17.0 million in research and development expenses was primarily attributable to an increase in personnel and labor costs and an increase in allocated facilities and infrastructure costs, both driven by increased average headcount and our continued investments in new product development. Research and development expenses as a percentage of revenues was 13% during fiscal 2020, consistent with that incurred during fiscal 2019.

Selling, General and Administrative
Selling, general and administrative expenses consist principally of employee salaries, incentives, commissions and benefits; travel costs; overhead costs; advertising and other promotional expenses; corporate facilities expenses; legal expenses; and business development expenses.
The fiscal 2021 from 2020 decrease in selling, general and administrative expenses of $24.6 million was primarily attributable to a $7.4 million decrease in travel costs, a $6.8 million decrease in marketing costs, a $5.0 million decrease in outside services, and a $4.6 million decrease in allocated facilities and infrastructure costs. The decrease in travel costs was a result of a decrease in travel activity due to COVID-19. The decrease in marketing costs was primarily driven by a company-wide marketing event during fiscal 2020. The decrease in outside services was attributable to a decrease in legal and consulting fees associated with several company initiatives during fiscal 2020. The decrease in allocated facilities and infrastructure costs was largely driven by our strategic cost initiative implemented in September 2020, in which we consolidated office space and abandoned certain property and equipment. Selling, general and administrative expenses as a percentage of revenues decreased to 30% during fiscal 2021 from 33% during fiscal 2020 primarily due to increased sales of our high-margin Scores products.
The fiscal 2020 over 2019 increase of $6.8 million was primarily attributable to an increase in personnel and labor costs as a result of increased average headcount, higher share-based compensation and higher non-capitalizable commission cost. The increase was partially offset by a decrease in marketing and travel costs as a result of a decrease in travel activity due to COVID-19. Selling, general and administrative expenses as a percentage of revenues decreased to 33% during fiscal 2020 from 35% during fiscal 2019 primarily due to increased sales of our high-margin Scores and software products.
Amortization of Intangible Assets
Amortization of intangible assets consists of expense related to intangible assets recorded in connection with our acquisitions. Our finite-lived intangible assets consist primarily of completed technology and customer contracts and relationships, which are being amortized using the straight-line method over periods ranging from four to fifteen years.
Amortization expense was $3.3 million, $5.0 million and $6.1 million for fiscal 2021, 2020 and 2019, respectively.
Restructuring and Impairment Charges
During the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021, we incurred charges of $8.0 million in employee separation costs due to the elimination of 160 positions throughout the Company. Cash payments for all the employee separation costs will be paid by the end of our fiscal 2022. There were no impairment charges incurred during fiscal 2021.
During fiscal 2020, we incurred net charges totaling $45.0 million consisting of $28.0 million in impairment loss on operating lease assets, $5.2 million in impairment loss on abandonment of property and equipment and $11.8 million in restructuring charges. The impairment losses were associated with closing certain non-core offices and reducing office space in other locations to better align with anticipated needs in light of post-pandemic workforce patterns. The restructuring charges related to employee separation costs as a result of eliminating 209 positions throughout the Company. Cash payments for all the employee separation costs were fully paid before the end of our fiscal 2021.
There were no restructuring and impairment charges incurred during fiscal 2019.
Gains on Product Line Asset Sales and Business Divestiture
The $100.1 million gain on product line asset sales and business divestiture during fiscal 2021 was attributable to a $92.8 million gain on the sale of the C&R business in June 2021, a $7.3 million gain on the sale of all assets related to our cyber risk score operations in October 2020, and the sale of certain assets related to our Software operations to an affiliated joint venture in China in December 2020.
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Interest Expense, Net
Interest expense includes primarily interest on the senior notes issued in December 2019, May 2018, and July 2010 (which July 2010 senior notes were paid in full at maturity in July 2020), as well as interest and credit facility fees on the revolving line of credit. On our consolidated statements of income and comprehensive income, interest expense is netted with interest income, which is derived primarily from the investment of funds in excess of our immediate operating requirements.
The fiscal 2021 from 2020 decrease in net interest expense of $2.1 million was primarily attributable to a lower average outstanding debt balance during fiscal 2021.
The fiscal 2020 over 2019 increase in net interest expense of $2.4 million was primarily attributable to a higher average outstanding debt balance during fiscal 2020.
Other Income, Net
Other income, net consists primarily of realized investment gains/losses and unrealized gains/losses on certain investments classified as trading securities, exchange rate gains/losses resulting from re-measurement of foreign-currency-denominated receivable and cash balances held by our various reporting entities into their respective functional currencies at period-end market rates, net of the impact of offsetting foreign currency forward contracts, and other non-operating items.
The fiscal 2021 over 2020 increase in other income, net of $4.5 million was primarily attributable to an increase in net unrealized gains on our supplemental retirement and savings plan, as well as a decrease in foreign currency exchange losses.
The fiscal 2020 over 2019 increase in other income, net of $0.9 million was primarily attributable to an increase in net unrealized gains on our supplemental retirement and savings plan, partially offset by an increase in foreign currency exchange losses.
Provision for Income Taxes
Our effective tax rates were 17.1%, 8.0% and 11.1% in fiscal 2021, 2020 and 2019, respectively.
The increase in our income tax provision in fiscal 2021 compared to fiscal 2020 was due to an increase in pretax book income, of which a large amount was due to the gain on divestiture of C&R business, as well as a decrease in excess tax benefits related to share-based compensation.
The decrease in our income tax provision in fiscal 2020 compared to fiscal 2019 was due to the excess tax benefits related to share-based compensation.
As of September 30, 2021, we had approximately $141.5 million of unremitted earnings of non-U.S. subsidiaries. The Company generates substantial cash flow in the U.S. and does not have a current need for the cash to be returned to the U.S. from the foreign entities. In the event these earnings are later remitted to the U.S., any estimated withholding tax and state income tax due upon remittance of those earnings is expected to be immaterial to the income tax provision.
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Operating Income
The following tables set forth certain summary information on a segment basis related to our operating income for fiscal 2021, 2020 and 2019: 
 Year Ended September 30,Period-to-Period
Change
Period-to-Period
Percentage Change
Segment2021202020192021 to 20202020 to 20192021 to 20202020 to 2019
 (In thousands)(In thousands)  
Scores$560,684 $454,310 $361,356 $106,374 $92,954 23 %26 %
Software105,147 130,066 126,046 (24,919)4,020 (19)%%
Unallocated corporate expenses(136,812)(144,704)(144,755)7,892 51 (5)%— %
Total segment operating income529,019 439,672 342,647 89,347 97,025 20 %28 %
Unallocated share-based compensation(112,457)(93,681)(82,973)(18,776)(10,708)20 %13 %
Unallocated amortization expense(3,255)(4,993)(6,126)1,738 1,133 (35)%(18)%
Unallocated restructuring and impairment charges(7,957)(45,029)— 37,072 (45,029)— %— %
Gains on product line asset sales and business divestiture100,139 — — 100,139 — — %— %
Operating income$505,489 $295,969 $253,548 209,520 42,421 71 %17 %
Scores
 
 Year Ended September 30,Percentage of Revenues
 202120202019202120202019
 (In thousands)   
Segment revenues$654,147 $528,547 $421,177 100 %100 %100 %
Segment operating expenses(93,463)(74,237)(59,821)(14)%(14)%(14)%
Segment operating income$560,684 $454,310 $361,356 86 %86 %86 %
Software
 
 Year Ended September 30,Percentage of Revenues
 202120202019202120202019
 (In thousands)   
Segment revenues$662,389 $766,015 $738,906 100 %100 %100 %
Segment operating expenses(557,242)(635,949)(612,860)(84)%(83)%(83)%
Segment operating income$105,147 $130,066 $126,046 16 %17 %17 %

The fiscal 2021 over 2020 increase in operating income of $209.5 million was primarily attributable to a $100.1 million gain on product line asset sales and business divestiture during fiscal 2021, a $59.5 million decrease in segment operating expenses, a $37.1 million decrease in restructuring and impairment charges, a $22.0 million increase in segment revenues and a $7.8 million decrease in corporate expenses, partially offset by an $18.8 million increase in share-based compensation expense.
At the segment level, the $89.3 million increase in segment operating income was the result of a $106.4 million increase in our Scores segment operating income and a $7.8 million decrease in corporate expenses, partially offset by a $24.9 million decrease in our Software segment operating income.
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The $106.4 million increase in our Scores segment operating income was attributable to a $125.6 million increase in segment revenue, partially offset by a $19.2 million increase in segment operating expenses. Segment operating income as a percentage of segment revenue for Scores was 86%, consistent with fiscal 2020.
The $24.9 million decrease in our Software segment operating income was attributable to a $103.6 million decrease in segment revenue, partially offset by a $78.7 million decrease in segment operating expenses. Segment operating income as a percentage of segment revenue for Software was 16%, materially consistent with fiscal 2020.
The fiscal 2020 over 2019 increase in operating income of $42.4 million was attributable to a $134.5 million increase in segment revenues and a $1.1 million decrease in amortization expense, partially offset by a $45.0 million increase in restructuring and impairment charges, a $37.5 million increase in segment operating expenses, and a $10.7 million increase in share-based compensation expense.
At the segment level, the $97.0 million increase in segment operating income was the result of a $93.0 million increase in our Scores segment operating income and a $4.0 million increase in our Software segment operating income.
The $93.0 million increase in our Scores segment operating income was attributable to a $107.4 million increase in segment revenue, partially offset by a $14.4 million increase in segment operating expenses. Segment operating income as a percentage of segment revenue for Scores was 86%, consistent with fiscal 2019.
The $4.0 million increase in our Software segment operating income was attributable to a $27.1 million increase in segment revenue, partially offset by a $23.1 million increase in segment operating expenses. Segment operating income as a percentage of segment revenue for Software was 17%, consistent with fiscal 2019.

CAPITAL RESOURCES AND LIQUIDITY
Outlook
As of September 30, 2021, we had $195.4 million in cash and cash equivalents, which included $158.8 million held by our foreign subsidiaries. Our cash position could be affected by various risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and other risks detailed in Part I, Item 1A titled “Risk Factors” of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. However, based on our current business plan and revenue prospects, we believe our cash and cash equivalents balances, as well as available borrowings from our $600 million revolving line of credit and anticipated cash flows from operating activities, will be sufficient to fund our working and other capital requirements for at least the next 12 months and thereafter for the foreseeable future. Under our current financing arrangements, we have no significant debt obligations maturing over the next twelve months. Our undistributed earnings outside the U.S. are deemed to be permanently reinvested in foreign jurisdictions. We currently do not foresee a need to repatriate cash and cash equivalents held by our foreign subsidiaries. If these funds are needed for our operations in the U.S., we may be required to accrue for state income or foreign withholding taxes on the distributed foreign earnings, which we expect to be immaterial.
In the normal course of business, we evaluate the merits of acquiring technology or businesses, or establishing strategic relationships with or investing in these businesses. We may elect to use available cash and cash equivalents to fund such activities in the future. In the event additional needs for cash arise, or if we refinance our existing debt, we may raise additional funds from a combination of sources, including the potential issuance of debt or equity securities. Additional financing might not be available on terms favorable to us, or at all. If adequate funds were not available or were not available on acceptable terms, our ability to take advantage of unanticipated opportunities or respond to competitive pressures could be limited.
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Summary of Cash Flows 
 Year Ended September 30,
 202120202019
 (In thousands)
Cash provided by (used in):
Operating activities$423,817 $364,916 $260,350 
Investing activities137,850 (24,583)(42,760)
Financing activities(523,571)(289,424)(200,047)
Effect of exchange rate changes on cash(136)59 (1,140)
Increase in cash and cash equivalents$37,960 $50,968 $16,403 
Cash Flows from Operating Activities
Our primary method for funding operations and growth has been through cash flows generated from operating activities. Net cash provided by operating activities totaled $423.8 million in fiscal 2021 compared to $364.9 million in fiscal 2020. The $58.9 million increase was primarily attributable to a $155.7 million increase in net income and a $28.6 million increase that resulted from timing of receipts and payments in our ordinary course of business, partially offset by a $125.4 million decrease in non-cash items, including a $100.1 million gain on product line asset sales and a business divestiture in fiscal 2021.
Net cash provided by operating activities totaled $364.9 million in fiscal 2020 compared to $260.4 million in fiscal 2019. The $104.5 million increase was attributable to a $44.3 million increase in net income, a $46.1 million increase in non-cash items, including a $28.0 million increase in impairment loss on operating lease assets as well as a $20.0 million increase in operating lease costs, and a $14.2 million increase that resulted from timing of receipts and payments in our ordinary course of business.
Cash Flows from Investing Activities
Net cash provided by investing activities totaled $137.9 million in fiscal 2021 compared to net cash used of $24.6 million in fiscal 2020. The $162.5 million change was primarily attributable to $147.4 million in cash proceeds from the product line asset sales and a business divestiture during fiscal 2021 and a $14.4 million decrease in purchases of property and equipment.
Net cash used in investing activities totaled $24.6 million in fiscal 2020 compared to $42.8 million in fiscal 2019. The $18.2 million decrease was primarily attributable to a $15.9 million decrease in net cash used for acquisitions and a $2.0 million decrease in net cash used for purchases of property and equipment.
Cash Flows from Financing Activities
Net cash used in financing activities totaled $523.6 million in fiscal 2021 compared to $289.4 million in fiscal 2020. The $234.2 million increase was primarily attributable to a $639.0 million increase in repurchases of common stock and a $350.0 million decrease in proceeds from issuance of senior notes, partially offset by a $419.0 million increase in proceeds from our revolving line of credit, a $254.0 million decrease in payments on our revolving line of credit, and an $85.0 million decrease in payments on senior notes.
Net cash used in financing activities totaled $289.4 million in fiscal 2020 compared to $200.0 million in fiscal 2019. The $89.4 million increase was primarily due to a $338.0 million increase in payments, net of proceeds, on our revolving line of credit and a $49.9 million increase in taxes paid related to net share settlement of equity awards, partially offset by a $293.0 million increase in proceeds, net of payments, from our senior notes.
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Repurchases of Common Stock
In July 2020, our Board of Directors approved a stock repurchase program following the completion of the previously authorized program. This program was open-ended and authorized repurchases of shares of our common stock up to an aggregate cost of $250.0 million in the open market or in negotiated transactions. In March 2021, our Board of Directors approved another stock repurchase program following the completion of the July 2020 program. This program was open-ended and authorized repurchases of shares of our common stock up to an aggregate cost of $500.0 million in the open market or in negotiated transactions. As part of the broader share repurchase program, we entered into an accelerated share repurchase agreement (“ASR Agreement”) with a financial institution in June 2021 to repurchase $200.0 million of our common stock. Pursuant to the ASR Agreement, we paid $200.0 million to the financial institution and received an initial delivery of 319,400 shares of common stock, which approximated 80% of the total number of expected shares to be repurchased under the ASR Agreement. In August 2021, we settled the ASR Agreement and received 70,127 additional shares. In total, 389,527 shares were repurchased under the ASR Agreement. In August 2021, our Board of Directors approved a new stock repurchase program following the termination of the March 2021 program. This new program is open-ended and authorizes repurchases of shares of our common stock up to an aggregate cost of $500.0 million in the open market or in negotiated transactions. In August 2021, we entered into a stock repurchase agreement with an institutional shareholder, pursuant to which we repurchased 515,293 shares of our common stock for $225.0 million. As of September 30, 2021, we had $173.2 million remaining under our current stock repurchase program. During fiscal 2021, 2020 and 2019, we expended $882.2 million, $235.2 million and $228.9 million, respectively, under these and previously authorized stock repurchase programs.
Revolving Line of Credit
On August 19, 2021, we amended our credit agreement with a syndicate of banks, increasing our borrowing capacity under the unsecured revolving line of credit to $600 million, and extended its maturity to August 19, 2026. Borrowings under the credit facility can be used for working capital and general corporate purposes and may also be used for the refinancing of existing debt, acquisitions, and the repurchase of our common stock. Interest on amounts borrowed under the credit facility is based on (i) an adjusted base rate, which is the greatest of (a) the prime rate and (b) the Federal Funds rate plus 0.500% and (c) the one-month LIBOR rate plus 1.000%, plus, in each case, an applicable margin, or (ii) an adjusted LIBOR rate plus an applicable margin. The applicable margin for base rate borrowings ranges from 0% to 0.750% and for LIBOR borrowings ranges from 1.000% to 1.750% and is determined based on our consolidated leverage ratio. In addition, we must pay credit facility fees. The credit facility contains certain restrictive covenants including maintaining a maximum consolidated leverage ratio of 3.50, subject to a step up to 4.00 following certain permitted acquisitions; and a minimum interest coverage ratio of 3.00. The credit agreement also contains other covenants typical of unsecured facilities. As of September 30, 2021, we had $518.0 million in borrowings outstanding at a weighted-average interest rate of 1.212% and we were in compliance with all financial covenants under this credit facility.
On October 20, 2021, we entered into an amendment to our credit agreement that provides for an unsecured term loan that will mature on August 19, 2026 in the aggregate principal amount of $300 million, with an option for us to request additional incremental term loans from time to time, in each case subject to the terms and conditions of the credit agreement. The term loan is in addition to the $600 million revolving loan facility. The term loan is subject to the same pricing and covenants as the revolving line of credit. We are obligated to repay the term loan in consecutive quarterly installments equal to $3.75 million commencing March 31, 2022, subject to certain adjustments under the credit agreement.
Senior Notes
On May 8, 2018, we issued $400 million of senior notes in a private offering to qualified institutional investors (the “2018 Senior Notes”). The 2018 Senior Notes require interest payments semi-annually at a rate of 5.25% per annum and will mature on May 15, 2026. On December 6, 2019, we issued $350 million of senior notes in a private offering to qualified institutional investors (the “2019 Senior Notes,” and with the 2018 Senior Notes, the “Senior Notes”). The 2019 Senior Notes require interest payments semi-annually at a rate of 4.00% per annum and will mature on June 15, 2028. The indentures for the 2018 Senior Notes and the 2019 Senior Notes contain certain covenants typical of unsecured obligations. As of September 30, 2021, the carrying value of the Senior Notes was $750.0 million and we were in compliance with all financial covenants under these obligations, and we do not believe we are at material risk of not meeting these covenants due to COVID-19.
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Contractual Obligations
The following table presents a summary of our contractual obligations at September 30, 2021: 
 Year Ending September 30,ThereafterTotal
 20222023202420252026
 (In thousands)
Senior notes (1)$— $— $— $— $400,000 $350,000 $750,000 
Revolving line of credit— — — — 518,000 — 518,000 
Interest due on debt obligations (2)35,000 35,000 35,000 35,000 35,000 28,000 203,000 
Operating lease obligations24,441 19,621 14,025 8,639 7,602 7,522 81,850 
Unrecognized tax benefits (3)— — — — — — 10,897 
Total commitments$59,441 $54,621 $49,025 $43,639 $960,602 $385,522 $1,563,747 
(1)Represents the unpaid principal amount of the Senior Notes.
(2)Represents interest payments on the Senior Notes.
(3)Represents unrecognized tax benefits related to uncertain tax positions. As we are not able to reasonably estimate the timing of the payments or the amount by which the liability will increase or decrease over time, the related balances have not been reflected in the section of the table showing payment by fiscal year.
CRITICAL ACCOUNTING POLICIES AND ESTIMATES
We prepare our consolidated financial statements in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles. These accounting principles require management to make certain judgments and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and the disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities as of the date of the financial statements, and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. We periodically evaluate our estimates including those relating to revenue recognition, goodwill and other intangible assets resulting from business acquisitions, share-based compensation, income taxes and contingencies and litigation. We base our estimates on historical experience and various other assumptions that we believe to be reasonable based on the specific circumstances, the results of which form the basis for making judgments about the carrying value of certain assets and liabilities that are not readily apparent from other sources. Actual results may differ from these estimates.

We believe the following critical accounting policies involve the most significant judgments and estimates used in the preparation of our consolidated financial statements:
Revenue Recognition
Contracts with Customers
Our revenue is primarily derived from on-premises software and SaaS subscriptions, professional services and scoring services. For contracts with customers that contain various combinations of products and services, we evaluate whether the products or services are distinct — distinct products or services will be accounted for as separate performance obligations, while non-distinct products or services are combined with others to form a single performance obligation. For contracts with multiple performance obligations, the transaction price is allocated to each performance obligation on a relative standalone selling price (“SSP”) basis. Revenue is recognized when control of the promised goods or services is transferred to our customers.
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Our on-premises software is primarily sold on a subscription basis, which includes a term-based license and post-contract support or maintenance, both of which generally represent distinct performance obligations and are accounted for separately. The transaction price is either a fixed fee, or a usage-based fee — sometimes subject to a guaranteed minimum. When the amount is fixed, including the guaranteed minimum in a usage-based fee, license revenue is recognized at the point in time when the software is made available to the customer. Maintenance revenue is recognized ratably over the contract period as customers simultaneously consume and receive benefits. Any usage-based fees not subject to a guaranteed minimum or earned in excess of the minimum amount are recognized when the subsequent usage occurs. We occasionally sell software arrangements consisting of on-premises perpetual licenses and maintenance. License revenue is recognized at a point in time when the software is made available to the customer and maintenance revenue is recognized ratably over the contract term.
Our SaaS products provide customers with access to and standard support for our software on a subscription basis, delivered through our own infrastructure or third-party cloud services. The SaaS transaction contracts typically include a guaranteed minimum fee per period that allows up to a certain level of usage and a consumption-based variable amount in excess of the minimum threshold; or a consumption-based variable fee not subject to a minimum threshold. The nature of our SaaS arrangements is to provide continuous access to our hosted solutions in the cloud, i.e., a stand-ready obligation that comprises a series of distinct service periods (e.g., a series of distinct daily, monthly or annual periods of service). We estimate the total variable consideration at contract inception — subject to any constraints that may apply — and update the estimates as new information becomes available and recognize the amount ratably over the SaaS service period, unless we determine it is appropriate to allocate the variable amount to each distinct service period and recognize revenue as each distinct service period is performed.
Our professional services include software implementation, consulting, model development and training. They are sold either standalone, or together with other products or services and generally represent distinct performance obligations. The transaction price can be a fixed amount or a variable amount based upon the time and materials expended. Revenue on fixed-price services is recognized using an input method based on labor hours expended which we believe provides a faithful depiction of the transfer of services. Revenue on services provided on a time and materials basis is recognized by applying the “right-to-invoice” practical expedient as the amount to which we have a right to invoice the customer corresponds directly with the value of our performance to the customer.
Our scoring services include both business-to-business and business-to-consumer offerings. Our business-to-business scoring services typically include a license that grants consumer reporting agencies the right to use our scoring solutions in exchange for a usage-based royalty. Revenue is generally recognized when the usage occurs. Business-to-consumer offerings provide consumers with access to their FICO® Scores and credit reports, as well as other value-add services. These are provided as either a one-time or ongoing subscription service renewed monthly or annually, all with a fixed consideration. The nature of the subscription service is a stand-ready obligation to generate credit reports, provide credit monitoring, and other services for our customers, which comprises a series of distinct service periods (e.g., a series of distinct daily, monthly or annual periods of service). Revenue from one-time or monthly subscription services is recognized during the period when service is performed. Revenue from annual subscription services is recognized ratably over the subscription period.
Significant Judgments
Our contracts with customers often include promises to transfer multiple products and services to a customer. Determining whether products and services are considered distinct and should be accounted for separately may require significant judgment. Specifically, when implementation service is included in the original software or SaaS offerings, judgment is required to determine if the implementation service significantly modifies or customizes the software or SaaS service in such a way that the risks of providing it and the customization service are inseparable. In rare instances, contracts may include significant modification or customization of the software of SaaS service and will result in the combination of software or SaaS service and implementation service as one performance obligation.
We determine the SSPs using data from our historical standalone sales, or, in instances where such information is not available (such as when we do not sell the product or service separately), we consider factors such as the stated contract prices, our overall pricing practices and objectives, go-to-market strategy, size and type of the transactions, and effects of the geographic area on pricing, among others. When the selling price of a product or service is highly variable, we may use the residual approach to determine the SSP of that product or service. Significant judgment may be required to determine the SSP for each distinct performance obligation when it involves the consideration of many market conditions and entity-specific factors discussed above.
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Significant judgment may be required to determine the timing of satisfaction of a performance obligation in certain professional services contracts with a fixed consideration, in which we measure progress using an input method based on labor hours expended. In order to estimate the total hours of the project, we make assumptions about labor utilization, efficiency of processes, the customer’s specification and IT environment, among others. For certain complex projects, due to the risks and uncertainties inherent with the estimation process and factors relating to the assumptions, actual progress may differ due to the change in estimated total hours. Adjustments to estimates are made in the period in which the facts requiring such revisions become known and, accordingly, recognized revenues are subject to revisions as the contract progresses to completion.
Capitalized Commission Costs
We capitalize incremental commission fees paid as a result of obtaining customer contracts. Capitalized commission costs are amortized on a straight-line basis over ten years — determined using a portfolio approach — based on the transfer of goods or services to which the assets relate, taking into consideration both the initial and future contracts as we do not typically pay a commission on a contract renewal. The amortization costs are included in selling, general, and administrative expenses of our consolidated statements of income and comprehensive income.
We apply a practical expedient to recognize the incremental costs of obtaining contracts as an expense when incurred if the amortization period of the assets that we otherwise would have recognized is one year or less. These costs are recorded within selling, general, and administrative expenses.
Business Combinations
Accounting for our acquisitions requires us 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 over the net of the acquisition-date fair values of the assets acquired and the liabilities assumed. While we use our best estimates and assumptions to accurately value assets acquired and liabilities assumed at the acquisition date, our 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, we 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 our consolidated statements of income and comprehensive income.
Accounting for business combinations requires our management to make significant estimates and assumptions, especially at the acquisition date, including our estimates for intangible assets, contractual obligations assumed, pre-acquisition contingencies and contingent consideration, where applicable. If we cannot reasonably determine the fair value of a pre-acquisition contingency (non-income tax related) by the end of the measurement period, we will recognize an asset or a liability for such pre-acquisition contingency if: (i) it is probable that an asset existed or a liability had been incurred at the acquisition date and (ii) the amount of the asset or liability can be reasonably estimated. Although we believe the assumptions and estimates we have made in the past have been reasonable and appropriate, they are based in part on historical experience and information obtained from the management of the acquired companies and are inherently uncertain. Subsequent to the measurement period, changes in our estimates of such contingencies will affect earnings and could have a material effect on our consolidated results of operations and financial position.
Examples of critical estimates in valuing certain of the intangible assets we have acquired include but are not limited to: (i) future expected cash flows from software license sales, support agreements, consulting contracts, other customer contracts and acquired developed technologies and patents; (ii) expected costs to develop the in-process research and development into commercially viable products and estimated cash flows from the projects when completed; and (iii) the acquired company’s brand and competitive position, as well as assumptions about the period of time the acquired brand will continue to be used in the combined company’s product portfolio. Unanticipated events and circumstances may occur that may affect the accuracy or validity of such assumptions, estimates or actual results. Historically, there have been no significant changes in our estimates or assumptions. To the extent a significant acquisition is made during a fiscal year, as appropriate we will expand the discussion to include specific assumptions and inputs used to determine the fair value of our acquired intangible assets.
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In addition, uncertain tax positions and tax-related valuation allowances assumed in connection with a business combination are initially estimated as of the acquisition date. We reevaluate these items quarterly based upon facts and circumstances that existed as of the acquisition date with any adjustments to our preliminary estimates being recorded to goodwill provided that we are within the measurement period. Subsequent to the measurement period or our final determination of the tax allowance’s or contingency’s estimated value, whichever comes first, changes to these uncertain tax positions and tax-related valuation allowances will affect our provision for income taxes in our consolidated statements of income and comprehensive income and could have a material impact on our consolidated results of operations and financial position. Historically, there have been no significant changes in our valuation allowances or uncertain tax positions as it relates to business combinations. We do not believe there is a reasonable likelihood there will be a material change in the future estimates.
Goodwill, Acquisition Intangibles and Other Long-Lived Assets - Impairment Assessment
Goodwill represents the excess of cost over the fair value of identifiable assets acquired and liabilities assumed in business combinations. We assess goodwill for impairment for each of our reporting units on an annual basis during our fourth fiscal quarter using a July 1 measurement date unless circumstances require a more frequent measurement.
During the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021, we reevaluated our operating segments to better align with how our CODM evaluates performance and allocates resources, which resulted in a change from three operating segments, Applications, Decision Management Software and Scores, to two operating segments, Software and Scores. As part of this reevaluation, we determined our operating segments continue to represent our reporting units. When evaluating goodwill for impairment, we may first perform an assessment qualitatively whether it is more likely than not that a reporting unit's carrying amount exceeds its fair value, referred to as a “step zero” approach. If, based on the review of the qualitative factors, we determine it is not more likely than not that the fair value of a reporting unit is less than its carrying value, we would bypass the two-step impairment test. Events and circumstances we consider in performing the “step zero” qualitative assessment include macro-economic conditions, market and industry conditions, internal cost factors, share price fluctuations, and the operational stability and overall financial performance of the reporting units. If we conclude that it is more likely than not that a reporting unit's fair value is less than its carrying amount, we would perform the first step (“step one”) of the two-step impairment test and calculate the estimated fair value of the reporting unit by using discounted cash flow valuation models and by comparing our reporting units to guideline publicly-traded companies. These methods require estimates of our future revenues, profits, capital expenditures, working capital, and other relevant factors, as well as selecting appropriate guideline publicly-traded companies for each reporting unit. We estimate these amounts by evaluating historical trends, current budgets, operating plans, industry data, and other relevant factors. Alternatively, we may bypass the qualitative assessment described above for any reporting unit in any period and proceed directly to performing step one of the goodwill impairment test.
We performed a step one quantitative impairment test on the Software and Scores reporting units before and immediately following the change in reporting units. There was a substantial excess of fair value over carrying value for the reporting units and we determined goodwill was not impaired for any of our reporting units before or after the change for fiscal 2021. For fiscal 2019 and 2020, we performed a step zero qualitative analysis for our annual assessment of goodwill impairment. After evaluating and weighing all relevant events and circumstances, we concluded that it is not more likely than not that the fair value of any of our reporting units was less their carrying amounts. Consequently, we did not perform a step one quantitative analysis and determined goodwill was not impaired for any of our reporting units for fiscal 2019 and 2020.
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Our intangible assets that have finite useful lives and other long-lived assets are assessed for potential impairment when there is evidence that events and circumstances related to our financial performance and economic environment indicate the carrying amount of the assets may not be recoverable. When impairment indicators are identified, we test for impairment using undiscounted cash flows. If such tests indicate impairment, then we measure and record the impairment as the difference between the carrying value of the asset and the fair value of the asset. Significant management judgment is required in forecasting future operating results used in the preparation of the projected cash flows. Should different conditions prevail, material write downs of our intangible assets or other long-lived assets could occur. We review the estimated remaining useful lives of our acquired intangible assets at each reporting period. A reduction in our estimate of remaining useful lives, if any, could result in increased annual amortization expense in future periods. We did not recognize any impairment charges on intangible assets that have finite useful lives or other long-lived assets in fiscal 2021, 2020 and 2019.
As discussed above, while we believe that the assumptions and estimates utilized were appropriate based on the information available to management, different assumptions, judgments and estimates could materially affect our impairment assessments for our goodwill, acquired intangibles with finite lives and other long-lived assets. Historically, there have been no significant changes in our estimates or assumptions that would have had a material impact for our goodwill or intangible assets impairment assessment. We believe our projected operating results and cash flows would need to be significantly less favorable to have a material impact on our impairment assessment. However, based upon our historical experience with operations, we do not believe there is a reasonable likelihood of a significant change in our projections.
Share-Based Compensation
We measure share-based compensation cost at the grant date based on the fair value of the award and recognize it as expense, net of estimated forfeitures, over the vesting or service period, as applicable, of the stock award (generally three to four years). We use the Black-Scholes valuation model to determine the fair value of our stock options and a Monte Carlo valuation model to determine the fair value of our market share units. Our valuation models and generally accepted valuation techniques require us to make assumptions and to apply judgment to determine the fair value of our awards. These assumptions and judgments include estimating the volatility of our stock price, expected dividend yield, employee turnover rates and employee stock option exercise behaviors. Historically, there have been no material changes in our estimates or assumptions. We do not believe there is a reasonable likelihood there will be a material change in the future estimates or assumptions. See Note 16 to the accompanying consolidated financial statements for further discussion of our share-based employee benefit plans.
Income Taxes
We estimate our income taxes based on the various jurisdictions where we conduct business, which involves significant judgment in determining our income tax provision. We estimate our current tax liability using currently enacted tax rates and laws and assess temporary differences that result from differing treatments of certain items for tax and accounting purposes. These differences result in deferred tax assets and liabilities recorded on our balance sheet using the currently enacted tax rates and laws that will apply to taxable income for the years in which those tax assets are expected to be realized or settled. We then assess the likelihood our deferred tax assets will be realized and to the extent we believe realization is not more likely than not, we establish a valuation allowance. When we establish a valuation allowance or increase this allowance in an accounting period, we record a corresponding income tax expense in our consolidated statements of income and comprehensive income. In assessing the need for the valuation allowance, we consider future taxable income in the jurisdictions we operate; our ability to carry back tax attributes to prior years; an analysis of our deferred tax assets and the periods over which they will be realizable; and ongoing prudent and feasible tax planning strategies. An increase in the valuation allowance would have an adverse impact, which could be material, on our income tax provision and net income in the period in which we record the increase.
We recognize and measure benefits for uncertain tax positions using a two-step approach. The first step is to evaluate the tax position taken or expected to be taken in a tax return by determining if the technical merits of the tax position indicate it is more likely than not that the tax position will be sustained upon audit, including resolution of any related appeals or litigation processes. For tax positions more likely than not of being sustained upon audit, the second step is to measure the tax benefit as the largest amount more than 50% likely of being realized upon settlement. Significant judgment is required to evaluate uncertain tax positions and they are evaluated on a quarterly basis. Our evaluations are based upon a number of factors, including changes in facts or circumstances, changes in tax law, correspondence with tax authorities during the course of audits and effective settlement of audit issues. Changes in the recognition or measurement of uncertain tax positions could result in material increases or decreases in our income tax expense in the period in which we make the change, which could have a material impact on our effective tax rate and operating results.
A description of our accounting policies associated with tax-related contingencies and valuation allowances assumed as part of a business combination is provided under “Business Combinations” above.
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