Noncontrolling Interest: Much More Than a Name Change

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In December 2007, FASB adopted two new business combination standards: Statement no. 141(R), Business Combinations, and Statement no. 160, Noncontrolling Interests in Consolidated Financial Statements. Both culminated years of work directed at improving reporting for consolidated entities. This article summarizes the most important changes created by Statement no. 160, which is effective for fiscal years beginning after Dec 15, 2008. The most visible innovation in Statement no. 160 is the name change from "minority interest" to "noncontrolling interest." A major change affecting income reporting concerns the treatment of the earnings related to midyear acquisitions. Statement no. 160 will require new supplemental disclosures about the controlling and noncontrolling interests to help users understand how they affect the overall reporting entity and the future cash flow potential for the parent's shareholders. Statement no. 141(R) and Statement no. 160 are integrally linked to work together to apply the new acquisition method to consolidated financial statements and reports and thus bring more useful information to the capital markets.

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