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What different types of assets exist?
--> identifiable & separable
--> unidentifiable & inseperable
An extremely important accounting topic
Went through many changes in the past 20 years
Still many disagreements among different accounting regimes
Goodwill remains a major difference between Swiss GAAP FER, IFRS, and US GAAP
May see more changes in the future
What are intangible assets? (other than goodwill)
Lack physical substance, non-monetary in nature (not financial assets)
Arise from contractual or other legal rights (most intangibles in business combinations meet the contractual-legal criterion).
Is capable of being sold or otherwise separated from the acquired enterprise
Financial reporting only shows acquired intangibles, very rarely internally-generated intangibles (except some software)
What are different types of intangible assets (other than goodwill) ?
Marketing-related: trademarks, trade names, newspaper mastheads, internet domain names, etc.
Customer-related: customer lists, customer orders or contracts, customer relationships, etc.
Artistic-related: plays, operas, ballets, books, magazines, newspapers, musical works, pictures, videos, etc.
Contract-based: license, royalty, contracts, franchise, construction permits, etc.
Technology-based: patents, computer software, databases, etc.
Regarded as a kind of intangible asset
Unidentifiable and inseparable from other assets
Can never be internally generated!!!
Only arises during business combination
The amount equals the excess of consideration transferred over the sum of fair values of all other net identifiable assets
Typically captures synergy, market power, etc.
Reporting of intangible assets: what are the steps.
1. before M&A?
3. after M&A?
During regular business (before M&A):
Will be recorded and reported at fair market value
If fair value is attributed to identifiable assets, record as the identified asset; if not, record as goodwill
Intangibles recorded during M&A will be amortized (if with finite life) and tested for impairment
New intangibles will be expensed as incurred.
• Goodwill is allocated to cash-generating units – at a level much lower than an operating segment.
• Goodwill subsequent to acquisition is required to be tested for impairment, rather than to be amortized.
• Goodwill is reduced for any excess carrying value, down to zero, and then other assets are reduced pro-rata.
• Goodwill impairment cannot be reversed.
Goodwill - US GAAP?
• Goodwill is allocated to reporting units, usually operating segments, expected to benefit from it.
• If the carrying amount of goodwill is more than its implied value, an impairment loss is recognized.
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