This week we begin our fixed asset toolkit series with a focus on the differences between acquiring an asset and the acquisition of a business.
In our Toolkit podcast series, we are taking a deep dive into one accounting topic each month that goes beyond the basics and into areas that require judgment. This month, we are covering fixed assets – from acquisitions and capitalization to disposals.
In this episode, Heather Horn was joined by Beth Paul from PwC’s National Office to discuss the accounting guidance for asset acquisitions, including distinguishing an acquisition of an asset from the acquisition of a business, along with complexities that may be faced when accounting for asset acquisitions.
In this episode, you will hear:
  • 1:24 - An overview of the asset acquisition and business combination models
  • 4:17 - How to use the screen test to identify asset acquisitions
  • 9:21 - How to record asset acquisitions, and related transactions recognized separately
  • 18:03 - Complexities faced by the buyer, including contingent consideration
  • 24:06 - Key reminders for a seller when accounting for the disposal of an asset
  • 26:01 - Final advice for those beginning the asset acquisition process
Want to learn more? Listen to our podcast discussing the complexities faced in business combinations and asset acquisitions, and read our chapters on asset acquisitions in our PP&E and other assets guide and how to identify a business using the screen test in our Business combinations guide.
About our guest
Beth Paul is a Deputy Chief Accountant in PwC’s National Office responsible for a team of consultants that specialize in business combinations and related areas, such as consolidations, disposals, impairments, and segment reporting. Prior to this role, Beth was the Strategic Thought Leader in PwC’s National office, working closely with firm leadership to determine PwC’s position on emerging trends in auditing, accounting, and financial reporting matters.
About our host
Heather Horn is PwC’s National Office thought leader, responsible for developing our communications strategy and conveying firm positions on accounting and financial reporting matters. She is the engaging host of PwC’s accounting and reporting weekly podcast and quarterly webcast series. With over 30 years of experience, Heather’s accounting and auditing expertise includes financial instruments and rate-regulated accounting.
Transcripts available upon request for individuals who may need a disability-related accommodation. Please send requests to
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