Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 141 (R), Business Combinations, issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board, promises to change how companies approach planning and reporting around mergers, acquisitions and ownership changes.The statement, effective for companies with fiscal years beginning after Dec. 15, 2008, covers how an acquirer should recognize and measure the identifiable assets acquired, liabilities assumed, and any noncontrolling interest in the acquiree; recognize and measure the goodwill acquired in the business combination or a gain from a bargain purchase; and determine what information to disclose to statement users.

In a poll by Deloitte of more than 1,850 executives, 40 percent said that the standard would cause them to rethink deal strategy or have an impact on planned deal activity. Only 4 percent said that their companies had finished assessing the impact of the standard.

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