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Little Global Consensus on Drawn-Out Goodwill Accounting Debate

Aug. 3, 2021, 9:22 PM

When U.S. and international accounting rulemakers finally figure out what to do with accounting for goodwill, not all companies, accountants, or academics will be happy, representatives of both boards said Tuesday.

The accounting for the intangible asset that a company records when it buys another business has bedeviled accountants on both sides of the Atlantic for years—and likely will continue to do so, two rulemakers said.

“We are never going to build a broad-based consensus about the subsequent accounting for goodwill,” International Accounting Standards Board member Mary Tokar said at an American Accounting Association conference.

Tokar’s U.S. ...