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Author: TMFMoosie Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Coverage Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 3913  
Subject: Re: A Question on Amortization Date: 11/10/2011 2:03 AM
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Under GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles), intangibles should be amortized over at least 5 years and not more than 40 years."

Goodwill is no longer amortized, but instead periodically reviewed, and impaired, if necessary. So goodwill needn't ever decline in certain situations like KO's brand.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goodwill_(accounting) :

Goodwill is no longer amortized under U.S. GAAP (FAS 142)[5]. FAS 142 was issued in June 2001. Companies objected to the removal of the option to use pooling-of-interests, so amortization was removed by Financial Accounting Standards Board as a concession. As of 2005-01-01, it is also forbidden under International Financial Reporting Standards. Goodwill can now only be impaired under these GAAP standards.[6]

Instead of deducting the value of goodwill annually over a period of maximal 40 years, companies are now required to determine the fair value of the reporting units, using present value of future cash flow, and compare it to their carrying value (book value of assets plus goodwill minus liabilities.) If the fair value is less than carrying value (impaired), the goodwill value needs to be reduced so the fair value is equal to carrying value. The impairment loss is reported as a separate line item on the income statement, and new adjusted value of goodwill is reported in the balance sheet.[7]
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