Mergers and Acquisitions

19 Credits: Finance


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Mergers and Acquisitions

Course Level
CPE Credits

19 Credits: Finance

Course Description

“Mergers & Acquisitions: A Comprehensive Guide” offers an in-depth exploration of the M&A process from both the buyer’s and seller’s perspectives. It covers the entire spectrum of the acquisition process, including strategy formulation, valuation techniques, due diligence, integration strategies, and the necessary accounting practices under GAAP. The course provides practical knowledge on the types of acquisition strategies, the roles of various players, the legal framework governing acquisitions, and the intricacies of different acquisition structures.

The benefit of this online self study CPE course lies in its comprehensive approach. Participants will learn not only the theoretical aspects of M&A but also practical applications, such as preparing a business for sale, organizing a data room, and understanding the nuances of due diligence. The course also delves into the technicalities of acquisition accounting, offering insights into the valuation of acquisitions and the legal documentation required. By the end of the course, participants will be equipped with a thorough understanding of the M&A process, enhancing their ability to advise on or manage acquisitions effectively, thus leading to more successful and strategic business outcomes.

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Learning Objectives

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

Chapter 1

  • Recognize the types of acquisition strategies that companies engage in, noting their characteristics and expected results.

Chapter 2

  • Recognize the players involved and documents used in the acquisition process.
  • Identify components of the seller’s acquisition process.

Chapter 3

  • Identify the laws and regulations under which the government reviews proposed acquisitions.
  • Cite the concepts of the failing company doctrine.

Chapter 4

  • Recognize the activities that can be engaged in to prepare a business for sale, as well as the reasons for selling.

Chapter 5

  • Identify the elements and organization of a data room, citing applicable problems and advantages.

Chapter 6

  • Specify the different types of acquisition valuation methods, the variability of their results, and why a detailed valuation is of such interest to the seller’s board of directors.
  • Identify the role of discounted cash flows, noting their associated formulas and play in valuation.

Chapter 7

  • Recognize number of methods by which synergies can be achieved, noting the reasons why identified synergies are not shared with the seller.

Chapter 8

  • Identify the techniques available for acquiring a target business with a hostile takeover, and the defenses that may be raised against it.
  • Recognize the elements of the Williams Act.

Chapter 9

  • Specify the areas in which due diligence should be conducted on a target company, the specific tasks to be completed, and the impact of due diligence costs on small acquisitions.
  • Define terms related to information technology, risk management, and international issues.

Chapter 10

  • Cite the advantages and disadvantages of paying for an acquisition with stock, debt, or cash from the perspectives of the acquirer and seller.
  • Define terminology associated with stock-for-stock exchanges.

Chapter 11

  • Identify the legal structures used in an acquisition, citing why they are used.

Chapter 12

  • Recognize the uses of the documents and clauses required to enter into and close an acquisition.

Chapter 13

  • State the role of the integration team, and the areas in which it is most likely to take steps to integrate the operations of the acquirer and acquiree.
  • Define terms related to acquisition integration.

Chapter 14

  • Recognize the accounting required for an acquisition transaction under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.
  • Identify elements of the useful life concept as well as the carrying amount concept.

Chapter 15

  • Identify the responsibilities and fee structures of the various acquisition specialists.

Chapter 16

  • Specify the merits and shortfalls of reverse mergers, noting how a reverse merger transaction works as well as the required notification period to the SEC when a reverse merger occurs.
  • Select the role of the shareholder of record.
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Course Specifics

Course ID
Revision Date
February 8, 2024

There are no prerequisites.

Advanced Preparation


Number of Pages

Compliance Information

NASBA Provider Number: 103220

CMA Notice: Western CPE makes every attempt to maintain our CMA CPE library, to ensure a course meets your continuing education requirements please visit Insitute of Management Accountants (IMA)

CFP Notice: Not all courses that qualify for CFP® credit are registered by Western CPE. If a course does not have a CFP registration number in the compliance section, the continuing education will need to be individually reported with the CFP Board. For more information on the reporting process, required documentation, processing fee, etc., contact the CFP Board. CFP Professionals must take each course in it’s entirety, the CFP Board DOES NOT accept partial credits for courses.

Meet The Experts

Steven M. Bragg, CPA, is a full-time book and course author who has written more than 300 business books and courses. 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 …