Volume 8, No. 13


Re-engineering Business Combination Accounting:  The FASB began its reconsideration of accounting for business combinations over three years ago, in August 1996. In September, it released its exposure draft of a proposed standard that would provide a new blueprint for recording business combinations. This proposal would cause radical departures from the way the business combination accounting is handled today. The general press has relentlessly seized on two of these departures: the demise of the pooling-of-interests method of recording mergers, and the presentation of earnings without goodwill amortization. What has been completely missed by the press has been the proposal's potential for changing the recognition of intangible assets, and the revised disclosures about combinations and intangible assets. These little-noticed changes may cause companies to behave much differently than in the past when inking a union.


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