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    來源:原創? ? 作者:留學生活網? ? 發布時間:2021-04-13 15:15? ? 閱讀: 次? ? 文章分類:范文參考


           Investors and entities gradually put more effort and attention on understanding intangible assets. And one of the essential element to fully comprehend intangible assets is the recognition requirement. Therefore, in this report, whether accounting standards should expand the recognition requirements of intangible assets in balance sheet will be critically evaluated. Firstly, this report will focus on the universal recognition requirement of intangible assets, and then this report will give an introduction to different categories of intangible assets with various recognition requirements. Finally, critical evaluation will be explained in part B.
           Part A: Recognition requirements of Intangible Assets
           IAS 38 defines “ Intangible asset as an identifiable non-monetary asset without physical substance and three critical attributes should be identified: identifiability, control, future economic benefits” (Iasplus.com, 2019). This definition highlights the features of intangible assets, which allow them distinguish from other forms of assets, such as PPE or accounts receivable. Besides, IAS 38 emphasizes the importance of probability and reliability when an entity makes a judgement on intangibles, which represents an intangible asset, whether is purchased or internally generated, is required to simultaneously comply with these two universal recognition requirements. And the probability basically represents the probability of future economic benefits that will inflow into the entity, even if the timing and the amount of the inflow are uncertain. In addition, the explanation of reliability is that the expenditure made on intangible items can usually be measure reliably, especially when the expenditure is in a form of cash or other monetary assets (Iasplus.com, 2019). From this point of view, only if the definition and the universal recognition requirements are both realized that the cost of an intangible item is highly likely to be capitalized. In other words, the definition and the requirements applies to all categories of intangible assets. Moreover, there is an applicable principle that intangible assets should be initially measured at cost (Iasplus.com, 2019). However, under IAS 38, different categories of intangible assets are subjected to additional criteria and various measurement method.
           (i) Separately acquired intangibles 
           According to IAS 38.25 and IAS 38.26, when an entity makes a judgement on separately acquired intangibles, the significance of probability and reliability are once mentioned and emphasized (Iasplus.com, 2019). Therefore, separately acquired intangibles should also satisfy these two general attributes that can be recognized as intangible assets by acquirers. In addition, the cost of a separately acquired intangible asset comprises two parts : purchase price and directly attributable costs. Purchase price mainly includes “import duties and non-refundable purchase taxes, after deducting trade discounts and rebates”. And directly attributable costs are regarded as “any directly attributable cost of preparing the asset for its intended use” (Iasplus.com, 2019), such as costs of employee benefits and profession fees. In the case of the acquisition of Manchester United’s football players ’ registration, the costs of Separately acquired intangibles are formed by transfer fees (purchase price), agents’ fee (profession fee) and PL levy fees (Kroechert, 2019).
           (ii) Intangibles acquired as part of a business combination
           In accordance with IAS 38.33, intangible assets such as patents and  trademarks acquired in a business combination should be recoginized as assets apart from goodwill (Doupink & Perear, 2012) and measured at their fair value at acquisition date. Besides, the fair value will reflect the features of probability. And the reliability requirements mentioned above are also applicable, but should under the circumstance that “if an asset acquired in a business combination is separable or arises from contractual or other legal rights, sufficient information exists to measure reliably the fair value of the asset” (Iasplus.com, 2019). Additionally, if the reliable measurement criterion cannot be satisfied, the costs of intangibles should be included in goodwill. Moreover, what distinguishes intangibles acquired as part of a business combination, is that intangibles should be capitalized by acquirer because their fair value meet the reliable requirements, even if these intangibles are not recognized as assets by the acquired company, especially can be applied to a particular situation that is the development costs (Doupink & Perear, 2012).
           (iii) Internally generated intangible
           The recognition requirements for internally generated intangible are totally different from that of separately acquired intangibles and intangibles acquired as part of a business combination.
           Under IAS 38, there are two major problems that makes it difficult for an entity to assess internally generated intangibles. One is the high uncertainty of the future economic benefits and the other is the issue of reliable measurement, which are partially inconsistent with the universal requirements. Therefore, IAS 38 claims that internally generated intangibles should be classified into a research phase and a development phase (Iasplus.com, 2019). Besides, according to Doupink & Perear (2012), if the costs of internally generated intangibles cannot satisfy either the research or development criteria, it should be expensed and regarded as research expenditure, such as ‘seasonal design changes to existing products’, ‘routine design of tool’ or ‘engineering follow-through in an early phase’.
           l Research phase
           Based on IAS 38, research is “original and planned investigation undertaken with the prospect of gaining new scientific or technical knowledge and understanding”. The purpose of the research is to finding scientific results or alternatives to products or materials. For example, a company, in the pharmaceuticals industry, is conducting scientific research or testing, which might enable the company to develop new vaccine (ACCA Think Head, 2019). Since the research could be invalid at early stage, no future inflow can be expected. Therefore, according to ACCA Think Head (2019), during the research phase, no intangible asset will be recognized and research expenditure should be regarded as an expense as incurred Development phase.
           According to IAS 38, the definition of development is “the application of research findings or other knowledge to a plan or design for the production of new or substantially improved materials, devices, products, processes, systems or services before the start of commercial production or use”. For instance, a company aimed at car manufacturing plays a significant role in undertaking the design, construction, and testing the production lines and models (ACCA Think Head, 2019). Under IAS 38.57, an intangible asset arising from the development phase of an internal project, can only be recognized if it satisfies six recognition criteria “(a) the technical feasibility of completing the asset; (b) its intention to complete and use or sell the asset; (c) its ability to use or sell the asset; (d) how the asset will generate future economic benefit; (e) the availability of sufficient resources to complete the development ant us or sell the asset; (f) the ability to measure reliably the expenditure incurred on the asset during its development”. In other words, when an entity can demonstrate all these criteria, the development expenditures can be capitalized (Doupink & Perear, 2012). Take the Rolls-Royce’s treatment of development expenditure as an example, Rolls-Royce strictly abided by these criteria when making an assessment and clearly displayed in its financial report (Kroechert, 2019). In addition, internally generated intangible assets’ costs consist of all costs directly attributable to internal activities under a specific situation that when the intangibles first satisfy the recognition requirements, such as personnel costs, service costs and amortization of patents and license (Kroechert, 2019).
           Part B Critical Evaluation
    Intangible assets are becoming increasingly significant in the society and economy. And also an entity is highly likely to spend much more effort on intangible assets’ recognition. This is because intangible assets account for an increasing percentage of assets in a large number of entities (IFRS,2016). Although recognition requirements of intangible assets are clarified in detail in IAS 38, there is still an agreement that whether the recognition requirements should be extended. And the current recognition requirement has its ineffective defects and affects users understanding, but the expansion of the requirements for the recognition of intangible assets in the balance sheet strongly requires serious consideration. Therefore, this essay will elaborate on both positive and negative effects of the expansion.
           The implications of the expansion of the requirements for the recognition of intangible assets for users or entities are twofold. First of all, it should be recognized that accounting method and treatment need to be modernize. According to IAS38, Customer lists, brands and logo as internally generated intangibles are not separately recognized in the balance sheet partially due to the subjectivity and high threshold of IAS38 ( Financial Accounting Standards Boards, 2016). However, these intangibles are commonly treated as assets by financial reporting preparers. And users or enterprises attach importance to customer lists, brands or logo, such as Apple and McDonalds. Therefore, recognizing these intangibles assets separately on balance sheet provide users with more specific information about intangible assets that they concerned, because it provides an insight on acquisition reasons and about the major value drivers of the acquire (IFRS, 2016). Secondly, according to IFRS (2016), recognizing these intangible assets that IAS38 limits enables users and entities to accurate analysis and specific accounting for subsequent valuation. For example, if a logo is sold, the profit gaining by the disposal of the logo would be inappropriate. And recognizing of these intangibles (customer lists, brand, logo ) with different attributes on balance sheet can be partially realized by extending the recognition requirements. However, there is no active market for assessing these intangibles’ price, which makes it impossible for preparers to make the separation on balance sheet (Penman & May, 2009). In addition, brands, customer lists, logo and other unrecognized intangibles jointly produce value and usually generate profits for companies by attaching to physical products, such as Coca Cola and Apple. Therefore, displaying these intangibles on a balance sheet as separately identified can raise questions  (Penman & May, 2009). From this point of view, there is a doubt that how users and prepares can gain accounting information of these intangible assets to make analysis. As Penman & May (2009) stated, an income statement would take this essential role. This is because earnings from these intangibles are in income statements, so there is no need to list and recognize these intangible assets on a balance sheet. Moreover, there is a special case that expanding the accounting requirements may be ineffective as the established firm is likely to report earnings with informative opinion.  
           On the negative side, according to Financial accounting standards board (2016), there is an increasing concern over correlation and reliability of the measured statistics as more intangible assets are identifies on the balance sheet, which may lead to inauthentic financial reports and manager creation. Additionally, assessing and identifying these intangibles assets is time consuming and costly because professional fees may be attached by employing specialists, so a large number of company are not willing to do this thankless task, especially star-up companies (IFRS, 2016). From this angle, costs are far beyond the benefits.
           In the light of these facts, we can come to the conclusion that the expansion of the recognition requirements of intangible assets is not necessary although it may provide useful information. And changing the accounting standards need to consider from various perspectives.
          ACCA Think Ahead. 2019. Research and Development. [online] Available at: https://www.accaglobal.com/ca/en/student/exam-support-resources/fundamentals-exams-study-resources/f7/technical-articles/rd.html
          Doupink, T & Perera, H 2012, International Accounting, McGraw-Hill, New York.
          Financial Accounting Standards Board. (2016). Chapter 1: Intangible Assets. [pdf] Available at: https://www.fasb.org/cs/Satellite [Accessed 20 Feb. 2020].
          Iasplus.com. (2019). IAS 38 — Intangible Assets. [online] Available at: http://www.iasplus.com/en/standards/ias/ias38 [Accessed 19 Feb. 2020].
          IFRS. (2016). Staff Paper IASB Meeting. [pdf] Available at: https://www.ifrs.org/-/media/feature/meetings/2016/february/iasb/ [Accessed 21 Feb. 2020].
          Kroechert. S. 2019. Lecture 6: Intangible Assets. [PowerPoint Presentation] 25 February. Lancaster University., England.
          May, SH & Penman, GO 2009, Accounting for Intangible Assets: There is Also an Income Statement, Columbia Business School Press, New York.



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