The Financial Reporting Blog

A weekly update on financial reporting topics curated by Mercer Capital’s Financial Reporting Valuation professionals.


Fair Value & Bankruptcy: Fresh-Start Accounting

Perhaps because most CFOs would rather not need to be familiar with the special accounting rules that apply in the event of bankruptcy, the standards regarding so-called “fresh-start” accounting receive relatively little attention. For management teams working through a bankruptcy, there are a number of valuation-related considerations.

2013 Mergers and IPOs: A Year of Growth and Opportunities

M&A and IPO activity in the U.S. ended on a high note in 2013. Merger volume picked up in the second half of the year as companies took advantage of a low interest rate environment. Greater competition for deals and rising valuations in the United States have led some private equity firms to seek returns through less expensive (and non-conventional) minority investments and partnerships rather than buyouts. With a strong finish to 2013, there is renewed optimism that the momentum achieved in M&A and the IPO markets will carry on into 2014.

What Exactly is a Private Company, Anyway?

On the heels of the FASB’s recent approval of certain GAAP exceptions for private companies, the FASB is re-evaluating the definition of a public company. This post summarizes the FASB proposed definition of a public company, as well as the CFA Institute’s comment letter on the topic issued October 28, 2013.

A Buyer’s Market: Accounting for Bargain Purchases

The volatility of the commercial banking industry during the financial crisis resulted in a number of banks recognizing bargain purchase gains as they acquired distressed banks. Indeed, as industries undergo cyclical changes and consolidation trends, the likelihood of strategic buyers recognizing a bargain purchase gain increases. Reviewing the methodologies and assumptions used in the initial purchase price allocation to value intangible assets and contingent liabilities is a crucial step in determining whether or not a transaction meets the criteria to be categorized as a bargain purchase.

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