For many companies, mergers and acquisitions are key strategic drivers of shareholder value. Although in theory the accounting and financial reporting for an acquisition should not affect the decision to buy or sell a business, understanding the treatment of these transactions can often facilitate the evaluation of a deal, including decisions about how to communicate the transaction to company stakeholders. Moreover, accounting and valuation challenges have arisen because of the many accounting concepts and requirements contained in the standards. The standards include the extensive use of fair value accounting, and other requirements that can result in earnings volatility in connection with and after an acquisition. This PwC guide will help companies understand the full magnitude of an acquisition’s impact on their financial results.