Acquisition Accounting


DEFINITION of 'Acquisition Accounting'

A set of formal guidelines describing how assets, liabilities, noncontrolling interest and goodwill of a target company must be reported by a purchasing company on its Consolidated Statement of Financial Position. With acquisition accounting the fair market value of the acquired firm is allocated between the net tangible and intangible assets portion of the balance sheet of the acquiring firm; any difference is regarded as goodwill. Also called "business combination accounting."

BREAKING DOWN 'Acquisition Accounting'

International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and International Accounting Standards (IAS) require all business combinations to be treated as acquisitions for accounting purposes, meaning that one company must be identified as an acquirer and one company must be identified as an acquiree even if the transaction creates a new company. In the past, a method called "purchase accounting" was used in business combination accounting, but standard changes made acquisition accounting the only acceptable method.

  1. Acquisition

    A corporate action in which a company buys most, if not all, ...
  2. Goodwill

    An account that can be found in the assets portion of a company's ...
  3. Continuity Of Interest Doctrine ...

    A doctrine which stipulates that a corporate acquisition can ...
  4. Pooling Of Interests

    A method of accounting that allows the balance sheets of two ...
  5. Merger

    The combining of two or more companies, generally by offering ...
  6. Book Value

    1. The value at which an asset is carried on a balance sheet. ...
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  1. Can working capital be depreciated?

    Working capital as current assets cannot be depreciated the way long-term, fixed assets are. In accounting, depreciation ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Do working capital funds expire?

    While working capital funds do not expire, the working capital figure does change over time. This is because it is calculated ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How much working capital does a small business need?

    The amount of working capital a small business needs to run smoothly depends largely on the type of business, its operating ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What does high working capital say about a company's financial prospects?

    If a company has high working capital, it has more than enough liquid funds to meet its short-term obligations. Working capital, ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How can working capital affect a company's finances?

    Working capital, or total current assets minus total current liabilities, can affect a company's longer-term investment effectiveness ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What can working capital be used for?

    Working capital is used to cover all of a company's short-term expenses, including inventory, payments on short-term debt ... Read Full Answer >>

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