FASB Issues Statement No. 144, Accounting for the Impairment or Disposal of Long-Lived Assets

Norwalk, CT, October 3, 2001—Today the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued Statement No. 144, Accounting for the Impairment or Disposal of Long-Lived Assets, that replaces FASB Statement No. 121, Accounting for the Impairment of Long-Lived Assets and for Long-Lived Assets to Be Disposed Of. The primary objectives of this project were to develop one accounting model, based on the framework established in Statement 121, for long-lived assets to be disposed of by sale and to address significant implementation issues. The publication can be obtained by placing an order on-line or by contacting the FASB's Order Department at 800-748-0659.

The accounting model for long-lived assets to be disposed of by sale applies to all long-lived assets, including discontinued operations, and replaces the provisions of APB Opinion No. 30, Reporting Results of Operations-Reporting the Effects of Disposal of a Segment of a Business, for the disposal of segments of a business. Statement 144 requires that those long-lived assets be measured at the lower of carrying amount or fair value less cost to sell, whether reported in continuing operations or in discontinued operations. Therefore, discontinued operations will no longer be measured at net realizable value or include amounts for operating losses that have not yet occurred.

Statement 144 also broadens the reporting of discontinued operations to include all components of an entity with operations that can be distinguished from the rest of the entity and that will be eliminated from the ongoing operations of the entity in a disposal transaction. In commenting on the new statement, Linda A. MacDonald, Project Manager, stated that, "The new reporting requirements for discontinued operations will allow an entity to more clearly communicate in the financial statements a change in its business that results from a decision to dispose of operations and, thus, provide users with information needed to better focus on the ongoing activities of the entity."

The provisions of Statement 144 are effective for financial statements issued for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2001 and, generally, are to be applied prospectively. Early application is encouraged.

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