1. Write-Down
  2. Understanding Write-Downs
  3. Effect of Write-Downs on Financial Statements and Ratios


An accounting term for the reduction within the value of a plus once its fair market value (FMV) has fallen below the carrying value, and therefore becomes an impaired plus. The quantity to be written down is the distinction between the value of the plus and also the amount of money that the business will acquire by doing away with it within the most optimum manner.

Write down is the opposite of a write-up, and it’ll become a write-off if the complete price of the asset becomes chaffy and is eliminated from the account altogether.

  • A write-down is critical if the fair market value (FMV) of plus is a smaller amount than the carrying value presently on the books.
  • The profit-and-loss statement can embody impairment loss, reducing lucre.
  • On the record, the worth of the plus is reduced by the distinction between the value and also the quantity of money the business might acquire by doing away with it within the most optimum manner.
  • An impairment can’t be subtracted from taxes till the plus is oversubscribed or disposed of.
  • If plus is being “held available,” the write-down also will have to be compelled to embody the expected prices of the sale.

Understanding Write-Downs

Write-downs will have an enormous impact on a company’s net income and balance sheet. Throughout the 2007-2008 financial crisis, the call in the market price of assets on the balance sheets of financial establishments forced them to raise capital to meet minimum capital obligations.

Accounts that are possible to be written down are the company’s goodwill, accounts due, inventory, and semi-permanent assets like property, plant, and equipment (PP&E). PP&E might become impaired because it’s become obsolete, broken on the far side repair, or property costs have fallen below the historical price. Within the service sector, a business might write down the worth of its stores if they now not serve their purpose and want to be revamped.

Write-downs are common in businesses that turn out or sell merchandise, that need a stock of inventory that will become broken or obsolete. As example, technology, and automobile inventories will lose price speedily if they’re going unsold or new updated models replace them. In some cases, a full inventory write-off may be necessary.

Generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) within the U.S. has specific standards relating to the truthful price measure of intangible assets. It needs that goodwill to be written down straight off at any time if its price declines. As an example, in November 2012, Hewlett-Packard declared a huge $8.8 billion impairment charge to write down an unskilled acquisition of U.K.-based Autonomy Corporation PLC which delineate an enormous loss in shareholder price since the corporate was priced solely a fraction of its earlier calculable value

Effect of Write-Downs on Financial Statements and Ratios

Write down impacts each income statement and balance sheet. A loss is rumored on the profit-and-loss statement. If the write down are expounded to inventory, it’s going to be recorded as a cost of Goods sold (COGS). Otherwise, it’s listed as a separate impairment loss point on the profit-and-loss statement therefore lenders and investors will assess the impact of low assets.

The asset’s carrying price on the record is written right down to the truthful price. Shareholders’ equity on the record is reduced as a result of the impairment loss on the profit-and-loss statement. An impairment may produce a delayed tax asset or cut back deferred liabilities as a result of the write down isn’t tax deductible till the affected assets are physically oversubscribed or disposed of.

In terms of financial statement ratios, a write right down to a hard and fast plus can cause this and future fixed-asset turnover to improve, as income can currently be divided by a smaller fastened plus base. As a result of shareholders’ equity falls, debt-to-equity rises. Debt-to-assets will be higher similarly, with the lower plus base. Future lucre potential rises as a result of the lower plus price reducing future depreciation expenses.