2016 U.S. Goodwill Impairment Study

Duff & Phelps and the Financial Executives Research Foundation (FERF) first published the results of their comprehensive Goodwill Impairment Study in 2009. This inaugural study examined U.S. publicly-traded companies’ recognition of goodwill impairment at the height of the financial crisis (the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009), and featured a comparative analysis of the goodwill impairments of over 5,000 companies (by industry), as well as the findings of a survey of Financial Executives International (FEI) members.

Now in its eighth year of publication, the 2016 U.S. Goodwill Impairment Study (the “2016 Study”) continues to examine general and industry goodwill impairment trends of 8,500+ U.S. publicly-traded companies through December 2015. The 2016 Study also reports the results of this year’s annual survey of FEI members, which continues to track the level of usage of the optional qualitative goodwill impairment test (a.k.a. “Step 0”) by its members.

The accounting model for goodwill under U.S. GAAP is currently being simplified. The 2016 Study features an article by Erik Bradbury, FEI and FERF Professional Accounting Fellow, outlining a brief history of the existing goodwill impairment model, as well as the current status of FASB proposals to make changes to that model. This year’s survey also asked FEI members their opinion on these proposed changes.