Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has adopted certain recommendations from the Private Company Council (the PCC) and in January 2014 issued Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2014-02, Intangibles – Goodwill and Other (Topic 350), Accounting for Goodwill a consensus of the Private Company Council (ASU 2014-02) and ASU 2014-03, Derivatives and Hedging (Topic 815): Accounting for Certain Receive-Variable, Pay-Fixed Interest Rate Swaps – Simplified Hedge Accounting Approach (ASU 2014-3). The ASUs will be effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2014 and interim periods thereafter, early adoption will also be permitted, including application to any period for which the entity's annual or interim financial statements have not yet been made available for issuance. This allows a private company to adopt the ASUs in their 2013 financial statements.
ASU 2014-02 allows private companies to adopt a simplified alternative for the subsequent accounting for goodwill that includes the following:
- Amortizing goodwill over a period not to exceed 10 years instead of not amortizing it
- Choosing to test goodwill for impairment at either the entity level or the reporting unit level instead of having to test goodwill at the reporting unit level
- Testing goodwill for impairment only when there is a triggering event instead of testing it every year
- Testing and measuring goodwill for impairment by comparing the fair value of the entity (or reporting unit) to its carrying amount instead of performing a two-step goodwill impairment test that requires hypothetical business combination accounting for purposes of measuring an impairment loss