Industry Focus On SFAS No. 121: Why Charges Occur: Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 121, "Accounting for the Impairment of Long-Lived Assets and for Long-Lived Assets to Be Disposed Of" is required practice for most companies starting in the first quarter of 1996 - but it has already caused a flurry of reported charges before earnings for the fourth quarter of 1995 have been released. Some of those charges have occurred in industries where SFAS No. 121-related charges would not be expected. More notorious standards, such as SFAS No. 106, had widespread applicability to firms of all stripes. SFAS No. 121 has gone largely unnoticed in the popular press, but it should likely have broad-ranging effects as well - mostly in the year in which the standard is implemented. Therefore it behooves analysts to understand the implications of such charges: why they will occur, where they might occur, and their consequences for earnings and performance measurement.