Asset Retirement Obligations


The term “asset retirement obligation” is heard throughout the accounting industry. The ASC Master Glossary defines asset retirement obligation as “an obligation associated with the retirement of a tangible long-lived asset.” Without ARO accounting, financial statements would not be a fair and accurate representation of the company’s obligations and its consequent overall value. So, it is important for professionals in the accounting industry to know the rules surrounding ARO accounting. 

This course provides an overview of asset retirement obligations. Accounting and reporting requirements with respect to this topic are outlined within Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) Topic No. 410. ASC Topic 410-20 includes specific guidance related to asset retirement obligations (and the associated retirement cost) and an environmental remediation liability that results from the normal operation of a long-lived asset. By contrast, ASC Topic 410-30 includes additional requirements related to the accounting and reporting of environmental remediation liabilities. For purposes of this course, the discussion will be limited to asset retirement obligations and the guidance contained within ASC Topic 410-20.

Learning Objectives

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  • recognize overall considerations related to the recognition of asset retirement obligations
  • identify overall measurement requirements related to asset retirement obligations
  • recognize principles around settlement of asset retirement obligations
  • recognize presentation requirements related to asset retirement obligations
  • identify disclosure requirements related to asset retirement obligations
  • differentiate between U.S. GAAP and IFRS requirements related to asset retirement obligations

Designed For

Managers, corporate and public advisors, CPAs, and other financial professionals who have a general familiarity with GAAP provisions related to assets shown on the balance sheet.


A basic understanding of the balance sheet and its components

Advanced Preparation


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