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Goodwill Accounting Needs Overhaul, Or Not, Rulemaker Hears

Nov. 15, 2019, 11:49 PM

U.S. accounting rulemakers have their work cut out for them next year when they start tackling whether to overhaul the way companies account for the intangible asset known as goodwill.

Sharp disagreements on the topic between investors, auditors, and businesses emerged during two roundtable discussions at the Financial Accounting Standards Board on Nov. 15.

In six hours of debate, investors said they glean important information when companies announce they have to take big write-downs because a merger didn’t go as planned. But the businesses dealing with routine, non-headline-making impairments find the accounting exercise expensive, subjective, and complex.

“The costs are ...

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