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M&A activity in recent years has led to historic levels of goodwill being added to companies’ balance sheets. Now a number of brand-name companies have recently taken multi-billion dollar impairments on goodwill arising from those acquisitions. These impairments are part of a larger trend of goodwill and intangible asset write-offs. In parallel, the SEC’s Division of Enforcement is scrutinizing how, when and why companies record changes to the value of goodwill and intangible assets, and test the assets for impairment. These are areas that are technically complex and require significant accounting judgment. Now with the SEC’s increased focus on these issues, it is critical for companies to know how the SEC evaluates these questions and where the principal risks lie.
This presentation will discuss:
- Basics of goodwill impairment testing
- Recent trends in goodwill impairments and accounting
- Why the SEC cares about goodwill impairments
- Key areas of risk and SEC focus
The panelists are Richard W. Grime and Jason H. Smith of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP and Charles R. Lundelius of Berkeley Research Group, LLC. They have significant experience representing and advising companies in SEC investigations involving valuations and asset impairments.
Program Level: Overview
Intended Audience: CFOs, controllers and their staff, partners of public accounting firms and their staff, investor relations professionals, audit committee members, those involved in the preparation of SEC filings as well as attorneys, general counsel, and in-house counsel
Advanced Preparation: None