Media Advisory 09-15-11


FASB Issues Accounting Standards Update to Simplify Testing Goodwill for Impairment

Norwalk, CT, September 15, 2011—The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) today issued Accounting Standards Update No. 2011-08, Intangibles—Goodwill and Other (Topic 350): Testing Goodwill for Impairment. The Update simplifies how an entity tests goodwill for impairment.

As announced in August, the amendments contained in the Update are intended to address concerns expressed by private companies about the cost and complexity of the goodwill impairment test. The amendments allow both public and nonpublic entities an option to first assess qualitative factors to determine whether it is necessary to perform the two-step quantitative goodwill impairment test. Under that option, an entity no longer would be required to calculate the fair value of a reporting unit unless the entity determines, based on that qualitative assessment, that it is more likely than not that its fair value is less than its carrying amount. The guidance also includes examples of the types of events and circumstances to consider in conducting the qualitative assessment. (More information is available in the August 12, 2011 edition of FASB in Focus.)

The amendments will be effective for annual and interim goodwill impairment tests performed for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2011. Early adoption is permitted.

About the Financial Accounting Standards Board

Since 1973, the Financial Accounting Standards Board has been the designated organization in the private sector for establishing standards of financial accounting and reporting. Those standards govern the preparation of financial reports and are officially recognized as authoritative by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Such standards are essential to the efficient functioning of the economy because investors, creditors, auditors, and others rely on credible, transparent, and comparable financial information. For more information about the FASB, visit our website at