Definition and Meaning of ASC-820 Understanding Fair Value Measurement

Definition and Meaning of ASC 820: Understanding Fair Value Measurement

Business valuation is a critical component of any company’s strategic planning and decision-making process. One important aspect of valuation is the determination of fair value, which is essential for financial reporting purposes, mergers and acquisitions, and other transactions. (ASC 820)

To achieve a consistent and reliable approach to fair value measurement, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) created ASC 820, also known as the Fair Value Measurement standard. In this article, we will explore the definition and meaning of ASC 820, as well as the main valuation purposes for which it is used.

What is ASC 820?

ASC 820 is a set of guidelines and principles for measuring fair value in financial reporting. It provides a framework for determining the fair value of assets and liabilities, including financial instruments, real estate, and intangible assets. The standard aims to establish a consistent and transparent approach to fair value measurement, promoting consistency and comparability in financial statements.

Definition of Fair Value

According to ASC 820, fair value is defined as “the price that would be received to sell an asset or paid to transfer a liability in an orderly transaction between market participants at the measurement date.” This definition emphasizes that fair value is based on market expectations and assumes a hypothetical transaction between two willing and knowledgeable parties.

Main Valuation Purposes for ASC 820

ASC 820 is used for a variety of valuation purposes, including:

Financial Reporting

One of the primary purposes of ASC 820 is to provide guidance for financial reporting. The standard requires that companies report fair value measurements of their assets and liabilities in their financial statements, which ensures transparency and consistency in financial reporting.

Mergers and Acquisitions

ASC 820 is also essential for mergers and acquisitions, where companies need to accurately determine the value of the assets and liabilities being acquired or sold. Fair value measurements provide a reliable basis for pricing and negotiating transactions, which is critical for achieving a successful outcome.

Impairment Testing

Another significant use of ASC 820 is in impairment testing, where companies need to determine whether their assets are impaired and, if so, the amount of the impairment. Fair value measurements provide a reliable basis for determining the recoverable amount of assets, which is necessary for assessing impairment.

Tax Planning

Finally, ASC 820 is essential for tax planning, as companies need to accurately determine the fair value of their assets and liabilities for tax purposes. Fair value measurements can impact the tax liability of companies and can provide valuable tax planning opportunities.


In conclusion, ASC 820 is a critical standard for fair value measurement, providing guidance and principles for consistent and transparent valuation. The standard is essential for financial reporting, mergers and acquisitions, impairment testing, and tax planning, and helps ensure that companies use a reliable and consistent approach to fair value measurement. By understanding the definition and meaning of ASC 820 and fair value, businesses can make better-informed decisions and achieve their strategic goals.