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Business Combinations: The Simplification with Accounting Standard Update (ASU) No. 2015-16

Audit|Construction

By Trevor Warren

The Financial Accounting Standards Board just released Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2015-16 – Business Combinations – Simplifying the Accounting for Measurement Period Adjustments. The amendments in this ASU apply to all entities that have reported provisional amounts for items in a business combination for which the accounting is incomplete by the end of the reporting period in which the combination occurs; and during the measurement period have had an adjustment to provisional amounts recognized.

The amendments in this ASU require that an acquirer recognize adjustments to provisional amounts that are identified during the measurement period in the reporting period in which the adjustment amounts are determined. This ASU also requires that the acquirer record, in the same period’s financial statements, the effect on earnings of changes in depreciation, amortization, or other income effects, if any, as a result of the change to the provisional amounts, calculated as if the accounting had been completed at the acquisition date.

The amendments in this ASU require an entity to present separately on the face of the income statement or disclose in the notes the portion of the amount recorded in current-period earnings by line item that would have been recorded in previous reporting periods if the adjustment to the provisional amounts had been recognized as of the acquisition date.

Generally accepted accounting principles require that during the measurement period, the acquirer retrospectively adjust the provisional amounts recognized at the acquisition date with a corresponding adjustment to goodwill. Those adjustments are required when new information is obtained about facts and circumstances that existed as of the acquisition date that, if known, would have affected the measurement of the amounts initially recognized or would have resulted in the recognition of additional assets or liabilities. The acquirer also must revise comparative information for prior periods presented in financial statements as needed, including revising depreciation, amortization, or other income effects as a result of changes made to provisional amounts.

To simplify the accounting for adjustments made to provisional amounts recognized in a business combination, this ASU eliminates the requirement to retrospectively account for those adjustments.

For public business entities, the amendments in this ASU are effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2015, including interim periods within those fiscal years. The amendments in this ASU should be applied prospectively to adjustments to provisional amounts that occur after the effective date of this ASU with earlier application permitted for financial statements that have not been issued.

For all other entities, the amendments in this ASU are effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2016, and interim periods within fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2017. The amendments in this ASU should be applied prospectively to adjustments to provisional amounts that occur after the effective date of this ASU with earlier application permitted for financial statements that have not yet been made available for issuance.

Contact us if your organization needs assistance in applying adjustments in response to the new ASU and visit our Construction Industry Group webpage to learn about the services that we offer the construction industry.

Material discussed is meant for informational purposes only, and it is not to be construed as investment, tax, or legal advice. Please note that individual situations can vary. Therefore, this information should be relied upon when coordinated with individual professional advice.

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