There is minimal guidance in current U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) that addresses when it is appropriate to apply, or how to apply, the liquidation basis of accounting. Consequently, there is diversity in practice. The amendments in this Update are being issued to clarify when an entity should apply the liquidation basis of accounting. In addition, the guidance provides principles for the recognition and measurement of assets and liabilities and requirements for financial statements prepared using the liquidation basis of accounting.
The amendments require an entity to prepare its financial statements using the liquidation basis of accounting when liquidation is imminent. Liquidation is imminent when the likelihood is remote that the entity will return from liquidation and either (a) a plan for liquidation is approved by the person or persons with the authority to make such a plan effective and the likelihood is remote that the execution of the plan will be blocked by other parties or (b) a plan for liquidation is being imposed by other forces (for example, involuntary bankruptcy). If a plan for liquidation was specified in the entity’s governing documents from the entity’s inception (for example, limited-life entities), the entity should apply the liquidation basis of accounting only if the approved plan for liquidation differs from the plan for liquidation that was specified at the entity’s inception.
The entire content of ASU 2013-07 can be downloaded at www.fasb.org