There are no prerequisites.

Course Description

The typical accountant is well-versed in the accounting for daily operational transactions but finds the accounting for business combinations and consolidations to be quite foreign. In some cases, they may outsource this work to experts, rather than taking the risk of making a mistake. This Business Combinations and Consolidations course is designed to improve the accountant's familiarity with the topic by addressing business combinations, the equity method, goodwill accounting, and consolidations. As a bonus, we have also included a discussion of the tasks needed to fully integrate the accounting operations of the acquirer and the acquiree.

You'll find answers to many questions, including:

  • What steps are required to complete the acquisition method?
  • Which intangible assets can be recognized as part of a business combination?
  • How do I account for a bargain purchase?
  • How do I account for an investment under the equity method?
  • Under what circumstances can I amortize goodwill?
  • What steps are involved in the consolidation of financial statements?
  • When can I consolidate a variable interest entity?


Steven M. Bragg, CPA

Steven M. Bragg, CPA, is a full-time book and course author who has written more than 70 business books. He provides Western CPE with self-study courses in the areas of accounting and finance, with an emphasis on the practical application of accounting standards and management techniques. A sampling of his courses include the The New Controller Guidebook, The GAAP Guidebook, Accountants’ Guidebook, and Closing the Books: An Accountant’s Guide. He also manages the Accounting Best Practices podcast.

Steven has been the CFO or controller of both public and private companies and has been a consulting manager with Ernst & Young and an auditor with Deloitte & Touche. He holds an MBA from Babson College, a Master of Finance from Bentley College, and a BA from the University of Maine (summa cum laude).

Course Specifics

Feb 26, 2018
There are no prerequisites.

Compliance Information

Qualifies for CA Fraud: No

Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, participants will be able to:

Chapter 1

  • Identify the circumstances under which step and reverse acquisitions occur.

Chapter 2

  • Note the calculations required to determine the amount of ownership in an investee under the equity method.

Chapter 3

  • Recognize the situations in which impairment testing is to be conducted, and when goodwill amortization can be used.

Chapter 4

  • Identify the situations in which a controlling financial interest cannot be determined, as well as the types of eliminations used when conducting a consolidation.
  • Recognize when financial statements are considered to be special-use.

Chapter 5

  • Recognize the actions needed to centralize accounting activities following a business combination.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 – Business Combinations

Learning Objectives


Overview of Business Combinations

Identifiable Assets and Liabilities, and Noncontrolling Interests

Goodwill or Gain from Bargain Purchase

Goodwill Calculation

Bargain Purchase

Reverse Acquisitions

Related Issues

Acquisition of Assets

Transactions between Entities under Control of Same Parent

Pushdown Accounting

Income Taxes

Business Combination Disclosures

General Disclosures

Identifiable Assets and Liabilities, and any Noncontrolling Interest

Goodwill or Gain from Bargain Purchase

Reverse Acquisitions

Transactions between Entities under Control of Same Parent

Income Taxes


Chapter 1 – Review Questions

Chapter 2 – The Equity Method

Learning Objectives


The Equity Method

Partnerships, Joint Ventures, and Limited Liability Entities

Equity Method Disclosures


Chapter 2 – Review Questions

Chapter 3 – Goodwill Impairment

Learning Objectives



Goodwill Amortization

Goodwill Disclosures


Chapter 3 – Review Questions

Chapter 4 – Financial Statement Consolidation

Learning Objectives


Overview of Consolidations

Recognition of a Consolidation

Consolidation Examples

Recognition of Noncontrolling Interest

Sale of Shares by Subsidiary

Share of Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income

Full Consolidation Example

Consolidation of Variable Interest Entities

Initial Consolidation

Subsequent Consolidation

Consolidation of Leasing Entities by Private Companies

Consolidation of Contractually-Controlled Entities

Control of Partnerships

Termination of a Consolidation

Consolidation Presentation

Consolidation Disclosures


Chapter 4 – Review Questions

Chapter 5 – Accounting Integration

Learning Objectives


Accounting Integration Activities


Chapter 5 – Review Questions

Review Question Answers and Rationales



Qualified Assessment

Answer Sheet

Course Evaluation



Choose Your Preferred Format

Online Access

Get immediate access to a robust collection of learning and reference materials, allowing you to dive deep into the information you need. Our self-study materials are authored by top-quality, industry experts who focus on helping you grasp concepts quickly using real-life examples. Download your CPE to any device, and take it with you so you can learn when and wherever you want. Complete your CPE with an online exam, and enjoy instant grading with the option to print your certificate immediately upon passing.

online access
Hard Copy

Our self-study materials are authored by top-quality, industry experts. You’ll receive a bound notebook of all the course materials, shipped to you within one business day. In addition, you’ll also have full online access. Each self-study package includes a robust collection of learning and reference materials to help you cover the information efficiently and put it into practice immediately.

hard copy
Self-Study Video

Experience high-quality instruction with our Self-Study Videos, available to you 24/7. With more than 80+ videos currently in the Western CPE Self-Study Video library, you can see and hear our expert instructors deliver the information you need in a dynamic way that allows you to immediately apply your learning. Unlike a live course or webcast, you can complete the course on your own time, playing and pausing as needed. Self-Study Videos allow you to complete your CPE requirements on your own time.

hard copy

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