As response to the increasing relevance of the intangible assets accounting changes have been introduced to make the firms able to analyze, measure and report these resources (Marr and Chatzkel, 2004; Petty and Guthrie, 2000; Roslender and Fincham, 2001). One relevant accounting change is represented by the IFRS3, a regulation demanding the identification and valuation of intangible assets in business combinations. Drawing on the debate of how to frame intangibles (Chaminade and Catasús, 2007), this paper aims to understand how much and what firms of two different contexts disclose in order to comprehend if an accounting harmonization is actually reached in practice and which the eventual hurdles to surmount for reaching it are. The empirical corpus consists of financial statements from Swedish and Italian listed firms. The methodology adopted is based on an analysis of the purchase analyses supplied by the firms in the financial statements, referring to the first year mandatory adoption of the IFRS3. The disclosed information is analysed by examining the similarities and dissimilarities between the two countries. The first finding of the study is that there is still a lack of IC disclosure in terms of value of the identified IC components and of information about purchased goodwill. This lack is especially evident in Italy. The second finding is that the two countries investigated, albeit similar in several context aspects, have adopted very different accounting practices. This finding highlights the difficulties of IC accounting harmonization especially in term of identification and valuation of intangibles. The last finding is that Human Capital appears to be a relevant component of goodwill an consequently a change in the accounting standards to make it possible to account for it separately seems to be desirable.

Intellectual capital accounting disharmony: investigating purchase analyses in Sweden and Italy

GIULIANI, MARCO
2008

Abstract

As response to the increasing relevance of the intangible assets accounting changes have been introduced to make the firms able to analyze, measure and report these resources (Marr and Chatzkel, 2004; Petty and Guthrie, 2000; Roslender and Fincham, 2001). One relevant accounting change is represented by the IFRS3, a regulation demanding the identification and valuation of intangible assets in business combinations. Drawing on the debate of how to frame intangibles (Chaminade and Catasús, 2007), this paper aims to understand how much and what firms of two different contexts disclose in order to comprehend if an accounting harmonization is actually reached in practice and which the eventual hurdles to surmount for reaching it are. The empirical corpus consists of financial statements from Swedish and Italian listed firms. The methodology adopted is based on an analysis of the purchase analyses supplied by the firms in the financial statements, referring to the first year mandatory adoption of the IFRS3. The disclosed information is analysed by examining the similarities and dissimilarities between the two countries. The first finding of the study is that there is still a lack of IC disclosure in terms of value of the identified IC components and of information about purchased goodwill. This lack is especially evident in Italy. The second finding is that the two countries investigated, albeit similar in several context aspects, have adopted very different accounting practices. This finding highlights the difficulties of IC accounting harmonization especially in term of identification and valuation of intangibles. The last finding is that Human Capital appears to be a relevant component of goodwill an consequently a change in the accounting standards to make it possible to account for it separately seems to be desirable.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11566/48500
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