FASB Nears Conclusion of M&A Project

The Financial Accounting Standards Board voted unanimously on Tuesday to support two measures for accounting standards for mergers and acquisitions. The formal vote to approve these measures is scheduled for late June.

The two statements, Business Combinations and Goodwill and Intangible Assets, represent formalization of 1999 proposals which have been carefully analyzed by the Board. The FASB has held hearings and received comments on these issues since 1996.

The Statement on Business Combinations will require the use of the purchase method of accounting for all mergers initiated after June 30, 2001, eliminating the use of the pooling-of-interest method of accounting for combinations.

The Statement on Goodwill and Intangible Assets will require that goodwill as part of an acquisition can no longer be amortized. The non-amortization of goodwill will be effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2001.

Businesses may elect to adopt the non-amortization of goodwill for fiscal years beginning after March 15, 2001, as long as first quarter financials have not been issued by the time of adoption.

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