Date posted: 29/07/2022

It’s time to improve disclosure of intangibles

The AASB is seeking feedback on how intangibles disclosures could be improved

In brief

  • The world has changed since the current rules for intangible assets were introduced
  • Internally generated intangible assets are now more significant to businesses
  • A review of the current requirements will help decide what changes may be needed

The world has changed since the current intangible asset accounting requirements were introduced. There has been an increased significance of unrecognised internally generated intangible assets to assessments of the financial position and performance of many entities, and economies as a whole. While there are mixed views among preparers, valuers, auditors and users of financial statements on the accounting requirements, there is a broad consensus emerging domestically and internationally that the current requirements would benefit from a review.

Prior to the adoption of AASB 138 Intangible Assets in Australia (which is based on the international IAS 38), many intangible assets that are now prohibited from recognition were required to be recognised. This puts Australia in a unique position to provide useful insights into any international debate. 

In this article, Robert Keys, from the AASB, explains why a review of the accounting requirements for intangible assets is needed and why the AASB has published a Staff Paper on the topic.