Accounting for goodwill has long been a theoretical problem for accountants. Although most businesses possess some goodwill, accountants record it only when a premium is paid in the acquisition of another company. Subsequent to acquisition, valuing goodwill becomes a problem. Statement of Financial Accounting No. 142, Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets (FASB 2001), is the current standard for testing goodwill for impairment. This case is designed to introduce you to the “real‐world” problems that many practitioners are likely to encounter while implementing this new standard.
The case involves two antagonists: an auditor eager to record an impairment of goodwill and a client even more eager to avoid recording any impairment. You must tactfully address both individuals' arguments and determine the correct method for accounting for goodwill and the standard for testing for impairment per SFAS No. 142.