Purpose – This paper seeks to examine contemporary trends in enhanced business reporting (EBR) and the development of a policy agenda for EBR. The paper aims to build on a submission to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (US SEC) advisory committee on improvements to financial statements (Pozen Committee). Design/methodology/approach – The paper takes the form of a literature and policy review of intangible assets and intellectual capital. Findings – Developments in the area of EBR will require to stand the test of practice, policy and research. The paper identifies five areas where recommendations would be welcome. First, the vast diversity in international EBR practice indicates that producers and users struggle with its implantation, suggesting concerns for international harmonisation. Second, the vast diversity in measurement and reporting models also suggests ambiguity about the content of EBR, raising questions as to how EBR techniques might be consolidated. Third, while experimentation with EBR has been increasing in several countries, limited practical insights have been derived from US companies. Fourth, greater visibility needs to be given to EBR, to increase its practical uptake. Fifth, research needs to be focus more on harmonisation. There is a need for further research about the barriers to, and consequences of, harmonisation including analyses of how the diverse frameworks “actually” differ. Practical implications – This paper informs contemporary debate about EBR and especially the US SEC advisory committee on improvements to financial reporting (Pozen Committee). Originality/value – This is a study into the contemporary international initiatives and relevant research into EBR, specifically from Europe and Australia.
Journal of Human Resource Costing & Accounting – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 4, 2008
Keywords: Intellectual capital; Intangible assets; Financial reporting