What is goodwill

Goodwill is an invaluable aspect of a company that doesn’t find a clear place in financial statements but significantly influences its worth. Comprising elements such as reputation, customer satisfaction, and potential, goodwill plays a crucial role in shaping a company’s future financial prospects.

Building goodwill

Building goodwill involves actions that gives the company value, without direct sales. Goodwill comes from satisfied costumers, quality of your goods or services, reputation and relation with your client. You can not buy goodwill, you have to earn it.

Satifisfied costumers can give you new costumers. Maybe they give you a good review on Google or recommend your business to their friend. A happy costumer can be a powerful tool for advertising.

This is crucial for all types of businesses, no matter industry or size.

You can also build goodwill on social media, running campains and creating a positive image. Many businesses and people do research online before purchaing a good or service.

A company with goodwill will most likely have a positive working environment and satisfied employees. This is an important factor when looking for a new hire and also for company trust and reputation.

Measuring goodwill

Measuring goodwill is challenging as it’s not continuously recorded.

While its value is often intangible, it becomes part of a company’s assets when acquired through a third party, such as during the purchase of another company. From an accounting perspective, goodwill is considered a fixed asset, akin to buildings or office equipment, with the crucial difference that it only appears in financial statements during ownership changes.

Goodwill in accounting

Generally not accounted for in regular purchases, goodwill is recorded when acquiring another company.

If the acquisition cost exceeds the target company’s book value, the surplus is acknowledged as “purchased goodwill” in the buyer’s balance sheet.

Goodwill is generally not depreciated. However, acquired intangible assets, such as goodwill, do not have taxable effective lives and cannot be depreciated.

When goodwill becomes negative

Goodwill becomes subject to taxation upon realization through sales or purchases. Gains are taxed at 25%, and losses are deductible. Conversely, “badwill” or “negative goodwill” occurs when a company is purchased for less than the total value of its assets, resulting in a bargain purchase. In such cases, the seller may be eligible for a tax deduction for the incurred loss.