Merger and acquisition (M&A) activity continues to rise as the world begins its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unlike acquiring a business, there isn’t one single IFRS standard that covers selling a business. Instead, there are several standards that you’ll need to consider along the way, from when you first start thinking about selling a business right up until the cash is in the bank.

In this podcast, Peter Carlson and Julia LaPointe look at the relevant IFRS standards and consider three steps that companies should consider in accounting for the sale of a business.

  • At what point does a business need to be presented separately in the financial statements as held-for-sale or as a discontinued operation?
  • As a transaction comes together, how is it structured? Are you selling a subsidiary or a group of assets and liabilities?
  • At what point do you lose control of a subsidiary? How do you calculate the gain or loss on the transaction?


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It’s important to understand the entire picture up front so you don’t miss required disclosures or get surprised by the accounting impacts at the end.

Peter Carlson
KPMG global business combinations leader
KPMG International Standards Group

If you’re thinking about selling a business, you’ll need to consider IFRS 5 early in the process, really understand the structure of the transaction and carefully follow the requirements of IFRS 10 when you sell a subsidiary.

Julia LaPointe
KPMG International Standards Group