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R&D & Intangibles. San Francisco Academy Thursday, February 19, 2004 Professor Paul Zarowin, PhD New York University Stern School of Business KMEC 10-90 44 West 4th Street New York, NY 10012 Tel (212) 998-0015 / Fax (212) 995-4004 [email protected] Presentation Outline.

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R d intangibles

R&D & Intangibles

San Francisco Academy

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Professor Paul Zarowin, PhD

New York University

Stern School of Business

KMEC 10-90

44 West 4th Street

New York, NY 10012

Tel (212) 998-0015 / Fax (212) 995-4004

[email protected]


Presentation outline
Presentation Outline

  • 1. Introduction

  • 2. The problem/issue

  • 3. How we got here: FASB and barriers to change

  • 4. Capital market consequences

  • 5. Solutions

  • 6. Management accounting issues

  • 7. New Accounting Rules

  • 8. Summary



2 the problem issue
2. The Problem/Issue

  • Growth in R&D

  • BAD Accounting

  • Paucity of R&D disclosures

  • hinders evaluation

  • SUMMARY: Bad Accounting and Insufficient Disclosure,

  • when good accounting and more disclosure are needed most









7 new accounting rules
7. New Accounting Rules

Purchase Method for Acquisitions and Goodwill Impairment


Accounting rules acquisitions
Accounting Rules - Acquisitions

  • Pooling of interest versus purchase.

  • The purchase method led to “Goodwill”, which had to be amortized over a period not to exceed 40 years.

  • Companies tried avoiding the purchase method because future earnings were negatively impacted.

  • The new accounting rules eliminated pooling and required purchase for all acquisitions.



New accounting rules
New Accounting Rules

  • Upon acquisition, break the excess of acquisition price over fair market value of assets purchased into specifically-identifiable intangible assets.

  • The remainder is “goodwill”.

  • Goodwill is not to be amortized, but has to be tested for impairment in value.

    • Test annually and whenever conditions may warrant.

    • Write down goodwill if impaired.


Amortization and impairment
Amortization and Impairment

  • Assess whether intangible assets have finite or indefinite lives.

  • Finite-life intangible assets should be amortized, typically on a straight-line basis.

  • Other intangible assets are subject to (at least) annual impairment testing:

  • If impaired, asset write-down is required with a negative effect on income in the same period.


Impairment test
Impairment Test

  • Intangible assets subject to amortization should be reviewed according to SFAS No. 121, i.e., if the carrying amount exceeds fair value and is not recoverable, write the asset down.

  • Undiscounted cash flows are less than carrying amount.

  • Goodwill: Compare the fair value of the reporting unit to its carrying amount (including goodwill). If carrying amount is higher, goodwill is likely to have impaired. Fair value is the amount that can be obtained in a sale of the reporting unit. Best evidence is market prices. Otherwise, use comparables, present value techniques.


Impairment amount
Impairment Amount

  • Allocate the fair value (as determined before) to tangible and intangible assets of the unit, excluding goodwill.

  • The excess of the fair value of the reporting unit over the amount assigned to its individual assets and liabilities is the implied fair value of goodwill.

  • Goodwill should be written down to the implied fair value or zero, whichever is greater.


Example wellman wlm
Example- Wellman (WLM)

  • The company manufactures and markets polyester products and PET resins. It also recycles PET plastics.

  • In the first quarter of 2002, the company adopted SFAS No. 142. The adoption resulted in a charge against income of $197 million!

  • The earnings from continuing operations were $5.6 million, on sales of $239.4 million.

  • Stockholders equity declined from $612.7 at the beginning of the quarter to $397.0 at the end.

  • Goodwill declined from $230.5 million to $33.3 million at the end of the quarter.


Example wellman wlm1
Example- Wellman (WLM)

  • The company used the two-step process; first testing for impairment in its reporting units, and then reducing the goodwill to its implied value in the Fibers and Recycled Products Group, which accounted for about 48% of quarterly revenues.

  • The fair value was based on the present value of estimated future discounted cash flows.

  • The entire goodwill related to this segment was written off.

  • Goodwill in the other segment was left intact, with no amortization charge.

  • Goodwill amortization in Q1/01 was $2.1 million.

  • Other assets which were intended to be sold were written down to fair value less than cost of disposal (another charge of $19 million to earnings), consistent with SFAS No. 144.

  • Net Earnings from continuing operations in the second quarter of 2002 were $12.8 million.