Goodwill accounting Essay

Switch from IAS 22 to IFRS 3: Evaluation of theDeductions for Financial Reporting

  1. Introduction

The Oxford Dictionary of Law ( 2006 ) defines good will as “the advantage originating from the repute and trade connexions of a concern, in peculiar the likeliness that bing clients will go on to sponsor it” . Goodwill is a significant point to be taken into history on the sale of a concern and may necessitate to be protected by forbiding the seller from puting up in the same concern for a declared period in competition with the concern he has sold. ( Oxford Dictionary of Law, 2006 ) . Until the recent issue of IFRS 3 by the IASB, which now governs the intervention of good will, good will was originally treated under IAS 22. This paper provides an rating of the deductions for fiscal coverage from the alteration from IAS 22 to IFRS 3 every bit far as the intervention of good will under both criterions is concerned.

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  1. Overview of Goodwill Treatment Under IAS 22 and IFRS 3

The International Accounting Standards Committee ( IASC ) issued Exposure Draft 32,Comparison of Financial Statementson the 1stof January 1989. The exposure bill of exchange proposed amendments to IAS 22,Accounting for Business Combinations,which besides governs the regulations for the intervention of good will. ( Brunovs and Kirsch, 1991 ) .

Harmonizing to Brunovs and Kirsch, ( 1991: pp. 136-137 ) mentioning The ED ( 32 parities 164-175 ) the Proposed intervention for good will under the above Exposure bill of exchange was as follows:

  1. That for positive good will any surplus of cost over just value of net assets acquired be given plus acknowledgment as good will on the amalgamate balance sheet ;
  2. That good will be amortised to income on a systematic footing over its utile life ; the amortization period should non transcend five old ages unless the company justifies and explains a longer utile life ; the maximal utile life should non transcend twenty old ages ; and
  3. That for negative good will, two interventions be permitted: ( a ) it should be allocated over single non-monetary assets acquired in proportion to their just values with any extra treated as deferred income and consistently amortised in income, over five old ages ; and ( B ) it may be treated as deferred income and amortised to income consistently, usually over five old ages, but non to transcend twenty old ages.

When the criterion was eventually adopted, it required good will to be recognised as an plus and amortised over its utile life, which was non to transcend five old ages unless a longer period non to transcend twenty old ages could be justified. ( Dinging et al. , 2008 ) . IAS 22 hence eliminated the impression to instantly bear down good will to equity and required good will to be capitalised and amortised. ( Harris and Mueller, 1999 ) . In add-on, point ( 3a ) in the exposure bill of exchange above was retained every bit far as the intervention of negative good will is concerned. That is, IAS 22 required negative good will to be reduced by the just value of non-monetary assets with any balance being recognised as a liability and amortised into income over its expected utile life. ( Harris and Mueller, 1999 ) .

In March 2004, the International Accounting Standards Board ( IASB ) the replacement of the IASC adopted IFRS 3Business Combinations,which replaces IAS 22 issued by the IASC in 1993 and the revised IAS 38 issued by the IASB in 2004. IFRS 3 trades with the accounting for concern combinations including good will. Consequently, IFRS 3 requires that good will acquired separately to be recognised as an plus. ( Dinging et al. , 2008 ) . However unlike IAS 22 which requires the amortization of good will over its utile life, good will is considered to hold an indefinite utile life under IFRS 3 and as such IFRS 3 prohibits the amortization of good will. ( Dinging et al. , 2008 ; Epstein and Jermakowicz, 2007 ) . Goodwill is required to be tested yearly for damage and if there is an indicant that its value has decreased, so it should be written down by the sum of the impairment loss. ( Dinging et al. , 2008 ; Epstein and Jermakowicz, 2007 ) . Like IAS 22, IFRS 3 requires initial acknowledgment of good will to be the difference between the purchase consideration and the surplus over just value of the acquiree’s identifiable net assets. IFRS 3 requires negative good will to be treated as a deal purchase in the income statement. ( Deloitte Touche Tomatsu, 2008 ) .

  1. Evaluation of the Implications for Financial Reporting

The chief alterations from the acceptance of IFRS 3 alternatively of IAS 22 every bit far as the intervention of good will is concerned is that good will is considered under IFRS 3 as an intangible plus with an indefinite utile life while it was considered under IFRS as an intangible plus with a definite utile life usually five old ages or a upper limit of twenty old ages if companies could warrant the usage of a longer utile life. In add-on, another of import alteration is that amortization of good will is non permitted under IFRS 3, instead it is to be tested yearly for damage and if there is an indicant that its value has deteriorated, an impairment loss should be recognised by composing down the value of good will and go throughing the loss in the income statement of the twelvemonth of the damage.

The chief deduction for following the new IFRS 3 is that it will do fiscal studies of companies more comparable particularly in the international scene. U.S GAAP besides requires the damage of good will instead than amortization. This indicates that fiscal statements prepared under IFRS will be more comparable to those prepared under U.S GAAP. This will cut down the sum of clip and resources spent by IFRS compliant companies that are listed in the U.S to repeat their fiscal statements in conformity to U.S GAAP in order to follow with the demands of the Securities and Exchange Commission ( SEC [ 1 ] ) . This is in line with the statement that a shared set of criterions would do it easier to compare fiscal public presentation of companies across different states as it would heighten the effectivity of competition for international financess and do international capital markets more efficient, taking to lower cost of capital for houses. ( Jeanjean and Stolowy, 2008 ) . Given that good will is no longer traveling to be amortised, it reduces the possibility of direction to utilize conservative accounting methods in fiscal statements. Companies frequently use accelerated depreciation and amortization methods which enable them to understate net incomes in early old ages merely for these net incomes to resurface in ulterior old ages. ( Penman, 2003 ) . Companies frequently use these methods to pull off net incomes to follow with certain public presentation marks. Necessitating damage instead than amortization will ensue to fiscal statements that are free from direction judgement and discretion. That is, fiscal statements that reflect the true economic substance of minutess. It will hence ensue to fiscal statements that are more apprehensible among a broad scope of users and which can be relied upon by these users. However, the inquiry so arises as to how the impairment loss on good will is to be determined. It appears as though direction will still hold some laxness on how to find whether the value of good will has deteriorated or non. If this be the instance, so there is still room for net incomes direction. The alteration from IAS 22 to IFRS 3 besides implies that fiscal statements will reflect the true value of a company. Given that good will is no longer traveling to be amortised and that it has an indefinite utile life indicates that it can merely be written off if there is sufficient grounds that it is no longer present. Under IAS 22 good will was to last for a upper limit of five old ages or twenty old ages if the company could warrant the usage of 20 old ages. In consequence good will could merely last in the company’s books for a upper limit of 20 old ages. This implies that after twenty old ages the good will must hold been written off wholly. Under such fortunes, companies had to compose down the value of good will to zero even when it was still present and as such, the true value of a company was non reported in fiscal statements. Given that good will is no longer traveling to be amortised, fiscal statements will reflect more the value of a company than would be the instance if good will had been amortised.


Brunovs, R. , Kirsch,R. J. ( 1991 ) . Goodwill Accounting in Selected Countries and the Harmonization of International Accounting Standards,ABACUS,Vol. 27, No. 2.

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu ( 2008 ) . IFRS 3Business Combinations. Retrieved from:

hypertext transfer protocol: //

Ding, Y. Richard, J. , Stolowy, H. ( 2008 ) Towards an apprehension of the stages of good will accounting in four Western capitalist states: From stakeholder theoretical account to stockholder theoretical accountAccounting, Organizations and Society, Vol. 33, Nos. 7-8, pp. 718-755

Epstein, B. J. , Jermakowicz, E. ( 2007 ) . Interpretation and application of International Financial Reporting Standards, Wiley and Sons Inc.

Harris, M. S. Muller K. A. III ( 1999 ) . The market rating of IAS versus US-GAAP accounting steps utilizing Form 20-F rapprochementsJournal ofAccountingand Economicss, Vol. 26, Nos. 1-3, pp. 285-312

Jeanjean, T. , Stolowy, H. ( 2008 ) . Do accounting criterions affair? An explorative analysis of net incomes direction before and after IFRS acceptance,Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, Vol. 27, No. 6, pp. 480-494

Oxford Dictionary of Law ( 2006 ) . “ good will. ” Ed. Elizabeth A. Martin and Jonathan Law. Oxford University Press, 2006. Oxford Reference Online.

Penman, S. ( 2003 ) Financial Statements Analysis and Securities Valuation. 2neodymiumEdition. McGraw-Hill.


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