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Accounting for intellectual capital:a comparative analysis
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
Department of Management, University of the Marche, Ancona, Italy.
2009 (English)In: VINE, ISSN 0305-5728, Vol. 39, no 1, 68-79 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]


Purpose – The aim of this paper is to understand how many and what intangible assets firms from two different contexts disclose in order to comprehend whether an accounting harmonization is actually reached in practice and what are the eventual hurdles to surmount in order to reach it.

Design/methodology/approach – A qualitative and quantitative analysis of the purchase analyses disclosed by the Swedish and Italian listed companies in their financial statements refering to the first year of application of the IFRS3 is conducted.

Findings – The main findings are the following. First, firms do not disclose intangible assets in the same way. Second, contracts become a useful tool to make it possible to account for IC. Third, the disclosure of labels shows a variety. Fourth, differences in behavior are seen.

Research limitations/implications – The main limitation is that only a sample of firms (the listed ones in the SSE and MTA/MTAX) that apply IFRS3 is investigated. The main implication is that the disclosing of IC in financial statements is problematic and makes harmonization difficult to achieve. The empirical deepening of these two conclusions represents opportunities for future researchers.

Originality/value – The research is an investigation of the first year of application of a new accounting principle from an inter-country comparison considering it as an opportunity to disclose more IC and consequently to contribute to the debate about how and what IC should be disclosed.


Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited , 2009. Vol. 39, no 1, 68-79 p.
Keyword [en]
Intellectual capital, Goodwill accounting, Intangible assets
Research subject
Business Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-131880DOI: 10.1108/03055720910962452OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-131880DiVA: diva2:355979
Available from: 2010-10-09 Created: 2010-10-09 Last updated: 2010-10-18Bibliographically approved

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