COVID-19: Restructuring questions, answered

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05/05/20

As many companies make difficult decisions around employee layoffs and restructuring, hear PwC discuss some of the accounting considerations.  

If you’re unsure about how COVID-19 might impact your accounting, you're not alone. In response to the COVID-19 crisis, this podcast is the next episode in a series that will address questions surrounding the financial impact. Heather Horn is joined by PwC’s partners Pat Durbin and Jay Seliber to help answer some common questions related to restructuring activities and severance actions.

Topics include:

  • 1:10 - Where to start? Jay provides an overview of the three broad categories of severance benefits.
  • 2:24 - Voluntary termination benefits. These are benefits offered by a company for a short period of time in exchange for an employee's voluntary termination. While it’s the quickest one to describe the accounting for, it’s not necessarily intuitive.
  • 5:04 - Involuntary termination benefits under a pre-existing plan. Recently there have been more involuntary terminations, or expected to happen in the near future. Pat and Jay explain the guidance and highlight the differences when accounting for involuntary and voluntary terminations.
  • 10:33 - One-time involuntary termination benefits that aren’t part of a previous plan. So, what’s the model if a company doesn’t have an established plan? Jay discusses the four requirements that need to be met before accruing a liability. 
  • 21:16 - Restructuring costs. Sometimes the termination of employees can have implications on other benefit programs. Pat and Jay explain some of the other restructuring or exit costs that are top of mind for companies. 
  • 26:01 - Income statement presentation. After covering the accounting models, we close by discussing where companies should report some of these “one-time” charges on their P&L.

About our guests

Pat Durbin is the leader of the revenue and liabilities division in PwC’s National Office. He leads a team of partners and directors responsible for consulting with our clients and engagement teams on complex accounting matters relating to revenue, compensation, income taxes, inventory and several other topics under both US GAAP and IFRS. 

Jay Seliber is a partner in PwC’s National Accounting Services group with over 30 years of experience. He helps clients with their most complex accounting matters, particularly in the areas of revenue recognition, M&A, stock compensation, employee benefits, restructurings, impairments, and financing transactions.

About our host

Heather Horn is PwC's National office thought leader, responsible for developing our communications strategy and conveying firm positions on accounting and financial reporting matters. She is the engaging host of PwC’s accounting and reporting weekly podcast and quarterly webcast series, as well as periodic webcasts for the power and utilities industry. With over 25 years of experience, Heather’s accounting and auditing expertise includes financial instruments and rate-regulated accounting.

Contact us

Heather Horn

Heather Horn

US Strategic Thought Leader, National Professional Services Group, PwC US

David Schmid

David Schmid

International Accounting Leader, National Professional Services Group, PwC US

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