Purpose – The purpose of this paper is seek to analyze how models emanating from the managerial discourse of intellectual capital (IC) relate to how firms disclose IC in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards Business Combinations (IFRS3) in financial statements. Design/methodology/approach – A qualitative and quantitative analysis of the purchase analyses disclosed by Swedish listed companies in their financial statements during the first year of application of IFRS3 is conducted. Findings – Five main findings result from this investigation. First, the relevance of IC in business combination is confirmed. Second, only a few intangibles are specifically identified and most of them are included within goodwill. Third, a large variety of labels are used when disclosing intangibles. Fourth, synergies represent the most frequent explanation of the goodwill generated by the business combination. Finally, the models examined for guiding firms' reporting on intangibles in the annual report need to be further developed. Originality/value – The research is an investigation of the first year of application of a new accounting principle which underlies the analysis of intangibles and which represent an opportunity to concretely apply the otherwise mainly theoretical studies carried out by the IC community.
Journal of Human Resource Costing & Accounting – Emerald Publishing
Published: Feb 23, 2009
Keywords: Intellectual capital; Financial reporting; Disclosure; Goodwill accounting; Sweden
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