Accounting Treatment of Intangible Assets

8657 Words May 29th, 2010 35 Pages
Accounting Treatment of Intangible Asset

Draft

Pace University
ACC692 Summer I By Yigal Rechtman July 30, 2001
Introduction
What is the problem? Accounting for intangibles has gained prominence in the past few decades due to changes in the way the business world operates. The technological revolution and in particular, the information age, has brought intangible resources to the fore of the business environment. Businesses ( even the most traditional production manufacturers ( are moving towards an information age where a competitive edge is increasingly linked to resources other than the fixed and liquid assets as understood by Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Some research has shown that accounting for
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Unless otherwise stated, financial statements herein are presented with conformity of United States( Generally Accepted Accounting Principle (GAAP). Within the latter confines, estimates such as amortization and useful life of an Intangible Asset (IA), although a valid issue, will be generally out of the scope of this paper. The reason for the limitation is that for cash flow purposes, as well as for balance sheet analysis, such estimates represent regulatory requirements and provide little by way of capturing the essence of the issues surrounding IA. Therefore, the ultimate purpose of this paper is to venture out of the confined safety of U.S. GAAP and investigate what other isms are possible for presentation of a Statement of Financial Position which incorporates intangible assets. The method of this paper consists of discussing the three criteria which are used to assess the alternatives to accounting IA: valuation, recognition and presentation. Each of these criteria is measured on a scale from 0 to 100 (alternatively, from 0.0 to 1.0) to show the extent of the departure of the alternative from the currently accepted method, usually the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. Because Goodwill is already an established IA under current accounting rules, it will be discussed first (for each criteria) to show the extent of the existing treatment. Although other IA such as Human Capital or