The UK Endorsement Board (UKEB) has published a report ‘Accounting for Intangibles: UK Stakeholders’ Views’.

The report sets out stakeholder views on the accounting for intangibles under international Accounting Standards within the context of the wider economic impact of intangibles in the UK. It provides an important foundation for future work the UKEB will undertake in response to the International Accounting Standards Board’s (IASB) proposed project on accounting for intangibles. Economically, intangibles are an important determinant of companies’ performance and outcomes in financial markets.

While there has been a significant increase in the economic value of intangibles over the last 15 years, this increase can only be inferred indirectly as many intangible items are not recognised in national or company accounts. UK stakeholders involved in the production and use of general-purpose financial statements were interviewed for the report and highlighted concerns about current IFRS Accounting Standards. The report also identifies a range of possible enhancements to the accounting suggested by stakeholders.

Investors are primary users of financial statements, and the report shows that this group of stakeholders particularly supports more detailed disclosures on expenditure related to intangibles and qualitative information about key intangibles. While the report does not reflect an official position of the UKEB, it will inform its future work, including further research and engagement with the International Accounting Standards Board, and help it ensure that any future international standard reflects the views of UK stakeholders.

UKEB Chair, Pauline Wallace, said: “Intangibles are increasingly important for business performance, and providing the right information to support user decision-making is crucial. I would like to thank the contributors to this report for their willingness to discuss their thoughts on this important topic. This is a crucial first step towards ensuring that UK views and experiences are taken into account in the IASB’s consideration of any future standard on intangibles.”

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