Goodwill is a financial accounting term that refers to the value of an intangible asset that represents the difference between the purchase price of a company and the fair market value of its tangible assets and liabilities. It is essentially the amount of money a company pays above the book value of the assets and liabilities it acquires in a business combination, such as a merger or acquisition.

Goodwill can arise from a variety of factors, such as a company's reputation, brand value, customer relationships, or intellectual property. It represents the value of the intangible assets that cannot be separately identified and measured but are expected to contribute to the company's future growth and earnings potential.

Goodwill is recorded on a company's balance sheet as an asset, and it is tested for impairment on an annual basis or whenever there is a triggering event that suggests its value may have decreased. If the value of goodwill is deemed to be impaired, it is written down to its fair value, which may result in a non-cash charge to the company's earnings.

Goodwill is an important concept in financial accounting because it reflects the value of intangible assets that can contribute to a company's long-term growth and competitive advantage. However, it is also subject to scrutiny and analysis by investors and analysts, who may evaluate a company's goodwill balance and impairment testing as part of their overall assessment of the company's financial health and prospects.