February 2012

FASB Issues ASU No. 2011-08 – Testing Goodwill for Impairment

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued Accounting Standards Update No. 2011-08, Intangibles – Goodwill and Other (Topic 350): Testing for Goodwill Impairment.

Update 2011-08 simplifies how entities, both public and nonpublic, test goodwill for impairment. The amendments in the Update permit an entity to first assess qualitative factors to determine whether it is more likely than not that the fair value of a reporting unit is less than its carrying amount as a basis for determining whether it is necessary to perform the two-step goodwill impairment test described in Topic 350. The more-likely-than-not threshold is defined as having a likelihood of more than 50 percent.

If, after assessing the totality of events or circumstances, an entity determines it is not more likely than not that the fair value of a reporting unit is less than its carrying amount, then performing the two-step impairment test is unnecessary. However, if an entity concludes otherwise, then it is required to perform the first step of the two-step impairment test by calculating the fair value of the reporting unit and comparing the fair value with the carrying amount of the reporting unit, as described in paragraph 350-20-35-4. If the carrying amount of a reporting unit exceeds its fair value, then the entity is required to perform the second step of the goodwill impairment test to measure the amount of the impairment loss, if any, as described in paragraph 350-20-35-9. Under the amendments in this Update, an entity has the option to bypass the qualitative assessment for any reporting unit in any period and proceed directly to performing the first step of the two-step goodwill impairment test. An entity may resume performing the qualitative assessment in any subsequent period.

Previous guidance under Topic 350 required an entity to test goodwill for impairment, on at least an annual basis, by comparing the fair value of a reporting unit with its carrying amount, including goodwill (step one). If the fair value of a reporting unit is less than its carrying amount, then the second step of the test must be performed to measure the amount of the impairment loss, if any. Under the amendments in this Update, an entity is not required to calculate the fair value of a reporting unit unless the entity determines that it is more likely than not that its fair value is less than its carrying amount.

The amendments are effective for annual and interim goodwill impairment tests performed for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2011. Early adoption is permitted, including for annual and interim goodwill impairment tests performed as of a date before September 15, 2011, if an entity’s financial statements for the most recent annual or interim period have not yet been issued or, for nonpublic entities, have not yet been made available for issuance.

Accounting Standards Update No. 2011-08

Please contact your client service partner or the following member of the ParenteBeard Manufacturing, Distribution and Technology Practice Group for more information about this communication and to discuss the services we offer.

Jeffrey J. Vrabel, Partner
Manufacturing, Distribution and Technology Practice Leader
Jeffrey.Vrabel@ParenteBeard.com
717.236.1100