Thursday, June 18, 2009

Push Down Accounting

Push down accounting is a method of accounting in which the financial statements of a subsidiary are presented to reflect the costs incurred by the parent company in buying the subsidiary instead of the subsidiary's historical costs. The purchase costs of the parent company are shown in the subsidiary's statements.

Push-down accounting works like this:
Company A buys Company B and borrows to make the acquisition.

Company A pays more than Company B’s book value for the following:

$1,000 Property, plant and equipment and definite lived intangibles
$ 500 Goodwill

Instead of making the entry for the fair market value increments (i.e. excluding book value) to Company A’s books for the purchase, which (simplified) would be--

Dr PP&E $1,000
Dr Goodwill $ 500
Cr Debt $1,500

--Company A makes the above entry in Company B’s legal entity books, instead of its own books.

The entry being made in Company B’s books makes no difference to the consolidated financial statements.

The entry above is generally attributable to the subsidiary, Company B, but was originally, and still likely legally, the parent's entry. U.S. GAAP requires push down accounting.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued a bulletin stating that debt should be pushed down if "(1) Company B is to assume the debt of Company A either presently or in a planned transaction in the future; (2) the proceeds of a debt or equity offering of Company B will be used to retire all or a part of Company A's debt; or (3) Company B guarantees or pledges its assets as collateral for Company A's debt." "Push Down" Basis of Accounting for Parent Company Debt Related to Subsidiary Acquisition, SEC Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 73 (Dec. 30, 1987).

In situations where a corporation has incurred debt in connection with its acquisition of stock of another corporation and these criteria are not met or where the SEC rules are not applicable to the transaction, push down of debt, while not required, is still an acceptable accounting method.

Some corporations have, as an accounting practice, simply placed Company A's interest expense on B’s books. This is generally not acceptable for tax purposes, although could be acceptable in some circumstances. The rules and related jurisprudence are complex.

One common reason for push down accounting is more for management accounting purposes, since Company B would take deductions from income for depreciation, amortization on the fair market value increments and for interest expense.

Push down accounting may not be acceptable under IFRS on transition. So if a company has pushed down fair market value increments into subsidiaries, because the IFRS 1 business combination exemption is available only for business combinations in which the reporting entity is the acquirer, if the reporting entity is itself a subsidiary and its balance sheet reflects the effects of push down accounting from prior acquisitions, those amounts may have to be reversed upon adoption of IFRS. However, a previous revaluation done for purposes of push down accounting can be used as deemed cost in the case of property, plant and equipment, investment property, and certain intangible assets.

More on this topic later.


rlabey said...

Thanks for information as an accountant i know how informations are helpful thanks again
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Anonymous said...

If the Company B have operating Sub X and Y, should the goodwill be push down to X and Y or B?

Faby said...

Thanks for this great note. I'm consulting a MNC headquartered in non-US territory where push-down concept is still far from practice. Buying subsidiaries with new debts are not always the case (normally they just use their cash bullets), adopting the debt-push-down concept for managerial purpose would be a great idea.

aliah said...

It nice post shared here on ""Push Down Accounting""
the advantages to push-down accounting is that..the financial position and results of operations of the acquiree will be reported on the same economic basis in both the consolidated statements and its own separate entity statements..
Small Business Accounting

Larry & Rita said...

The comment "U.S. GAAP requires push-down accounting" is incorrect. Push-down accounting is permitted by U.S. GAAP, but is not required.

Malcolm McKay said...

In response to the previous comment, the FASB requirement for push down accounting is 805-50-S99-1. Readers of this part of the Codification will need to pay careful attention to the answer in question1, and not jump to conclusions that push down accounting is allowed (see question 2). The following is the text of SAB Topic 5.J, New Basis of Accounting Required in Certain Circumstances.
Facts: Company A (or Company A and related persons) acquired substantially all of the common stock of Company B in one or a series of purchase transactions.
Question 1: Must Company B's financial statements presented in either its own or Company A's subsequent filings with the Commission reflect the new basis of accounting arising from Company A's acquisition of Company B when Company B's separate corporate entity is retained?
Interpretive Response: Yes. The staff believes that purchase transactions that result in an entity becoming substantially wholly owned (as defined in Rule 1-02(aa) of Regulation S-X) establish a new basis of accounting for the purchased assets and liabilities.
When the form of ownership is within the control of the parent the basis of accounting for purchased assets and liabilities should be the same regardless of whether the entity continues to exist or is merged into the parent's operations. Therefore, Company B's separate financial statements should reflect the new basis of accounting recorded by Company A upon acquisition (i.e., "pushed down" basis).

Anonymous said...

The "requirement" is for public (ie SEC registrants) - not nonpublic companies - the Codification does not specifically require push-down accounting for nonpublic companies - but does provide basis for nonpublic companies to "elect" push-down accounting. ACIPA task force is planning to meet to further clarify rules on push-down accounting with regards to nonpublic companies

Anonymous said...

meant AICPA emerging issues task force..not ACIPA

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