FASB extends two private co. alternatives to nonprofits

FASB, GASB and FAF logos on the wall at headquarters in Norwalk, Connecticut
FASB, GASB and FAF logos on the wall at headquarters in Norwalk, Connecticut

The Financial Accounting Standards Board issued an accounting standards update Thursday that reduces the cost of accounting for goodwill and measuring certain identifiable intangible assets for not-for-profit organizations. The update is effective immediately.

The Private Company Council had worked with FASB in 2014 to issue two private company alternatives on accounting for goodwill and accounting for identifiable intangible assets in a business combination, which stakeholders told the board would also benefit not-for-profit organizations. This update extends the scope of these alternatives to nonprofits, enabling organizations to recognize fewer items as separate intangible assets in acquisitions and to account for goodwill in a more cost-effective manner.

The standards update also makes it so that, instead of testing goodwill for impairment annually at the reporting unit level, a not-for-profit organization that elects the accounting alternative will:

  • Amortize goodwill over 10 years or less, on a straight-line basis;
  • Test for impairment upon a triggering event; and,
  • Have the option to elect to test for impairment at the entity level.

The full accounting standards update is available on the FASB website.

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