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Question 7

Intermediate Accounting (Kieso)
Found in: Page 637

Short Answer

What should be the pattern of amortization for a limited-life intangible?

If the pattern in which the asset is consumed or used up can be reliably identified, the amount of amortization expensed for a limited-life intangible asset should mirror that pattern.

If it is impossible to discern the pattern of production or consumption, the straight-line approach of amortization should be utilized.

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Step by Step Solution


Amortization is a strategy used in accounting to reduce the book value of a loan or intangible asset over a predetermined period.

Limited-life intangible

Patents, copyrights, and goodwill are examples of intangible assets with a finite lifespan. The straight-line approach or the units of activity method is used to amortize these assets throughout the length of their useful lives.

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Question: (Accounting for Research and Development Costs) Cuevas Co. is in the process of developing a revolutionary new product. A new division of the company was formed to develop, manufacture, and market this new product. As of year-end (December 31, 2017), the new product has not been manufactured for resale. However, a prototype unit was built and is in operation.

Throughout 2017, the new division incurred certain costs. These costs include design and engineering studies, prototype manufacturing costs, administrative expenses (including salaries of administrative personnel), and market research costs. In addition, approximately $900,000 in equipment (with an estimated useful life of 10 years) was purchased for use in developing and manufacturing the new product. Approximately $315,000 of this equipment was built specifically for the design development of the new product. The remaining $585,000 of equipment was used to manufacture the pre-production prototype and will be used to manufacture the new product once it is in commercial production.


  1. How are “research” and “development” defined in the authoritative literature (GAAP)?
  2. Briefly indicate the practical and conceptual reasons for the conclusion reached by the Financial Accounting Standards Board on accounting and reporting practices for research and development costs.
  3. In accordance with GAAP, how should the various costs of Cuevas described above be recorded on the financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2017?

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