Goodwill Impairments

Although not illegal, companies have come under pressure from investors for overstating goodwill — which bolsters the balance sheet. Goodwill represents a company’s intangible assets (its brand, customer relations, etc.) and often arises during a merger or acquisition.

Green Mountain came under fire for its accounting of goodwill during its acquisition of Van Houtte and how its jump in assets was mainly attributable to that line item on the balance sheet.