The accounting for debt and equity instruments issued in financing transactions can be quite complicated due in part to the complexity inherent in certain instruments, the sheer volume of transaction documents that may need to be considered in performing the accounting analysis, and the myriad of accounting guidance that may be relevant. In many cases, an accounting outcome can be significantly affected by the existence or absence of one sentence in the relevant documents. Consideration needs to be given to not only the appropriate balance sheet classification of instruments, such as preferred stock and warrants, which may have both debt and equity characteristics, but also the subsequent measurement. Additionally, instruments such as debt and preferred stock oftentimes have embedded features that may need to be given separate accounting recognition. The accounting analysis is further complicated if multiple instruments are issued as part of the same transaction as that typically necessitates an allocation of proceeds to the various instruments or features.
RSM US GAAP publication, A guide to accounting for debt and equity instruments in financing transactions, is intended to be a resource in understanding and analyzing some of the accounting guidance that may be relevant when accounting for debt and equity instruments issued in financing transactions.
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