Summary of Statement No. 5

Accounting for Contingencies (Issued 3/75)


This Statement establishes standards of financial accounting and reporting for loss contingencies. It requires accrual by a charge to income (and disclosure) for an estimated loss from a loss contingency if two conditions are met: (a) information available prior to issuance of the financial statements indicates that it is probable that an asset had been impaired or a liability had been incurred at the date of the financial statements, and (b) the amount of loss can be reasonably estimated. Accruals for general or unspecified business risks ("reserves for general contingencies") are no longer permitted. Accounting for gain contingencies under Accounting Research Bulletin No. 50, Contingencies, remains unchanged; they are recognized when realized.