When a company decides to purchase another company or enterprise, the consideration paid will, in many cases, exceed the total of the separate valuation of each of the assets and liabilities of the company or enterprise being purchased. The extent of the premium paid is sometimes dependent on the growth potential of the company in question. In other cases, the premium is linked to the possibilities for cost-cutting when synergies between the existing and new companies are exploited. Occasionally, the fact that a company has an established reputation or an established customer base will result in a considerable premium being paid by the acquirer. The premium paid is referred to as Goodwill and the accounting treatment of this premium has been the centre of an accounting controversy for some time.
"Purchased Goodwill and its Accounting Treatment,"
The ITB Journal:
1, Article 3.
Available at: http://arrow.dit.ie/itbj/vol1/iss1/3