ABSTRACT

The Graeber Companies, Inc. case illustrates the implications of the Fair Value Measurements Standard (FASB ASC 820 or IFRS 13) and the Fair Value Option for Financial Assets and Financial Liabilities (FASB ASC 825 or IAS 39) on the accounting and auditing issues regarding fair value accounting. Based on an actual company's experience, the case provides an application of the new standards on fair value measurement, which is one major achievement of the FASB/IASB convergence project. Graeber Companies, Inc. is a 100-year-old financial boutique firm that, through its wholly owned and partially owned subsidiaries, is engaged in financial service activities. One of Graeber's proprietary investments is an equity investment in Advisor Group, Inc. (AGI)β€”an early stage development company. Students evaluate AGI's financial performance and strategic activities, including operating losses, issuance of preferred stock and proposed acquisitions by another investor company relative to its materiality, and potential impairment of Graeber Companies' equity-owned investment. The case study requires a determination of materiality of the equity investment and introduces students to the different valuation techniques such as Discounted Cash Flow Analysis, Public Market Analysis, Precedent Transaction Analysis, and the waterfall schedule method. The usefulness of these methods is then analyzed in determining the fair value of an investment in the situation where there have been no recent market transactions. Through analysis of the financial statements, relevant footnotes, and obtaining/obtained fair market value using different valuation approaches, students make a recommendation on materiality and on the fairness of the Graeber Companies management conclusion that no impairment of its investment in Advisor Group has taken place.

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