Publication Details

Chapple, S. H. (2005). AASB138 intangible assets - the bad apple in the IFRS barrel. Seventeenth Asian-Pacific Conference on International Accounting Issues Program & Proceedings (pp. 1-16). CD-ROM: Victoria University of Wellington & California State University.


Within the raft of new international accounting standards, there is at least one, namely AASB138 (IAS38) 'Intangible Assets', which not only changes the way that Australian companies account for and report their intangible assets, but advocates a treatment that is conceptually flawed and which fails to provide relevant information to the users of financial statements. Despite resistance to the new standard by Australian constituents, it became effective from 1 st January, 2005, and will have a significant impact on the financial statements of Australian reporting entities. These assertions are supported by reference to submissions offered to the AASB and IASB, as well as International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) disclosures made by selected Australian media companies in their 2004 annual reports. At this early stage of adoption, many of the arguments are based on suppositions and the actual effects of AASB 138 will not be known until the release of 2005 and 2006 financial statements. Although to date the IASB has been unwavering in its denial of alternative treatments for intangible assets, the AASB continues to pursue its case with the IASB, devoting resources to an intangible assets research project. The AASB mission will need to be more than convincing to change the views espoused by the IASB, given that the treatment advocated in AASB138 is consistent with that of US and UK, the IASB heavyweights. Success by the AASB would strengthen its influence at the international level of standard setting and would also allow Australian reporting entities to recognise the fair value of their underlying assets, thus strengthening the conceptual consistency and relevance of financial reporting.