Purchase Price Allocation: Everything You Need to Know

Understanding purchase price allocation is a must for every business owner. It’s crucial for accurate financial reporting and can help your company make the best possible use of its funds. In this article, we’ll delve into what PPA entails, its importance, and how it benefits businesses.

Purchase Price Allocation Meaning

Purchase Price Allocation (PPA) is the process of assigning the purchase price of a company to its assets and liabilities.

This allocation follows accounting standards like the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) in the United States or the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) globally.

PPA provides clear and accurate representation of the value of acquired assets and liabilities. This involves identifying tangible and intangible assets, as well as any liabilities, and allocating a portion of the purchase price to each of these categories.

Price Allocation

Steps Involved in PPA

Understanding PPA can benefit you whether you’re buying or selling your business. Below is a quick rundown of how PPA works:

  1. Identification of Assets and Liabilities: The first step in PPA is to identify all the acquired assets and assumed liabilities. This part of the process includes both tangible assets like property, equipment, and inventory, and intangible assets like patents, trademarks, and customer relationships.
  1. Valuation of Assets and Liabilities: After identification, the next step is determining the fair value of each asset and liability. This process often takes expert input from outside of your company.
  1. Allocation of Purchase Price: Once the fair values are determined, the purchase price is set. Any excess amount paid over the fair value of the net identifiable assets is recorded as goodwill.

Importance of Purchase Price Allocation

PPA plays a key role in financial reporting and compliance. Following best practices for allocation helps your company maintain transparency and accuracy in financial statements, which affects investors, regulators, and other stakeholders.

Here are some key reasons why PPA is important:

Compliance with Accounting Standards

Sticking to accounting standards like GAAP or IFRS is a non-negotiable for publicly traded companies and many private firms. Accurate PPA ensures compliance, saving you from potential legal issues and penalties.

Enhanced Financial Transparency

By accurately reflecting the value of acquired assets and liabilities, PPA paints a clearer picture of a company’s financial health. This transparency helps your stakeholders make informed decisions about their investment in your company.

Impact on Financial Metrics

Purchase price allocation affects metrics like earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA), net income, and return on assets (ROA). Accurate PPA can change investor perception of your company — and even stock prices — by impacting these metrics.

What Is Rollover Equity?

Rollover equity refers when the sellers of a business retain a portion of their equity in the acquired company rather than taking all proceeds from the sale in cash. This retained equity lets the sellers benefit from the future growth and success of the business under new ownership.

Benefits of Rollover Equity

Rollover equity aligns the interests of the sellers with the new owners, as both parties have a vested interest in the continued success of the business. This establishes trust and a mutual investment in a positive outcome for the company. Plus, sellers can potentially end up with higher returns by retaining equity and benefiting from the future appreciation of the business.

Benefits of Purchase Price Allocation

Properly conducted PPA can benefit your business in quite a few ways, including:

Improved Investment Decisions

Investors rely on financial statements to assess the value and potential of any company. Accurate PPA provides a true representation of a company’s assets and liabilities,helping investors make informed decisions.

Tax Benefits

PPA can also have some major tax perks. Certain allocated assets, like intellectual property, can provide big deductions that reduce the overall tax burden on the acquiring company.

How to Forecast Cash Flow

Better Business Integration

Understanding the value of acquired assets and liabilities helps your company seamlessly integrate with a recently acquired business. When you know how to integrate well as an acquiring company, you can make strategic decisions related to asset utilization, disposal, or enhancement.

Enhanced Mergers and Acquisitions Strategy

Accurate PPA supports a more effective mergers and acquisitions (M&A) strategy as well. It helps you negotiate better deals and gives you assurance that you aren’t overpaying for the target company.

Challenges in Purchase Price Allocation

Despite its importance, PPA can be complex and challenging. Here are some common challenges that businesses face during PPA:

Valuation Difficulties

Valuing intangible assets like patents, trademarks, and customer relationships can be especially challenging because of the unique nature of these assets and the lack of a liquid market.

Regulatory Changes

Changes in accounting standards and regulations can impact the PPA process as well. Make sure you stay updated with the latest guidelines to be confident and compliant.

How TGG Accounting Can Help

We offer expert guidance and support throughout the Purchase Price Allocation process. Our team helps you through every step for an accurate valuation and compliance with accounting standards. With TGG in your corner, you get strategic advantages in mergers and acquisitions.

Don’t leave your financial future to chance. Contact us today to learn how we can help you with Purchase Price Allocation and other critical accounting needs. Let our expertise be your competitive edge.

Purchase Price Allocation Examples and FAQs



Purchase Price Allocation (PPA) is the process of allocating the purchase price of an acquired company to its various assets and liabilities. Goodwill, on the other hand, is an intangible asset that arises when the purchase price goes beyond the fair value of the net identifiable assets.

Goodwill reflects like brand reputation, customer relationships, and other unquantifiable components of the acquired company. It’s often defined on a case-by-case basis.


The purchase price allocations schedule depends on the complexity of the acquisition and the number of assets and liabilities involved. Generally, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. Getting help from professionals can streamline the process.

PPA often affects future earnings. The allocation of the purchase price to different assets and liabilities can impact depreciation and amortization expenses, which in turn count towards your net income.

Valuation experts bring specialized knowledge and expertise to the table, giving the acquiring company a clear picture of the acquired business’s assets.. They use a range of valuation methodologies and tools to lock in allocated values that are accurate and comply with accounting standards.

PPA is generally required for acquisitions where the purchase price goes beyond a certain threshold, and the acquiring company always needs to comply with GAAP or IFRS standards. Smaller transactions may have different requirements, but accurate allocation is still important for transparency and compliance.