Intangibles Reports


In April 2024 the IASB announced that it was commencing its comprehensive review of accounting requirements for intangibles. The project will assess whether the requirements of IAS 38 Intangible Assets remain relevant and continue to fairly reflect business models or whether the IASB should improve the requirements.

In anticipation of the IASB’s review of intangible items, the UKEB decided to initiate a research project focused on understanding UK stakeholders’ views on the accounting for intangibles and gathering evidence about the UK intangibles landscape.

The project has resulted in the publication of three complementary reports. While these reports do not reflect an official position of the UKEB, the UKEB will use these findings as an evidence base in its future work on intangibles, as it develops its own views on accounting for intangibles.

The UKEB looks forward to contributing to future discussions on the accounting for intangibles.

“Intangibles make up a growing, and for some, extremely significant, proportion of the economic resources underpinning the growth in the value of UK companies, yet accounting standards have not kept page. The UKEB’s research will provide an important foundation for the UK’s response to this once in a generation opportunity for change”.

Pauline Wallace, Chair of the UKEB

Introduction video

The Chair of the UKEB, Pauline Wallace, introduces the reports in a short video.

Summary brochure

The UKEB has published a summary brochure which provides an overview of key findings from the three reports.

Qualitative Analysis of Intangible Reporting in the UK

The UKEB published its report ‘Accounting for Intangibles: UK Stakeholders’ Views’ in March 2023. It sets out stakeholder views on the accounting for intangibles under International Accounting Standards within the context of the wider economic impact of intangibles in the UK.

Quantitative Analysis of Intangible Reporting in the UK

The UKEB published its report ‘Accounting for Intangibles: A Quantitative Analysis of UK Financial Reports’ in May 2024.

It provides an overview of the nature and extent of current reporting of intangibles by UK listed companies. The report

  • analyses the current reporting practice among listed companies, to examine how they account for intangibles (including capitalisation and expensing), together with any associated disclosure;
  • looks at the relationship between acquisitions and intangible assets recognition, providing evidence on the extent to which intangible assets are recognised, predominantly as a result of business combinations
  • provides an estimate of intangibles expenditure potentially not recognised as assets by UK listed companies.

Investor Survey

The UKEB published its report ‘Accounting for Intangibles: A survey of users’ views’ in May 2024. It explores, by means of a survey, users’ perspectives on the accounting for and reporting of intangibles in financial statements.

The survey addressed the economic importance of intangibles before examining in detail users’ reviews of the current IFRS accounting for, and reporting of, intangibles.

It also examined possible future accounting by presenting respondents with a range of different types of intangibles and considering possible future accounting treatments and disclosures.

The findings provide evidence about the views of investors and other users of financial statements, building on the earlier qualitative analysis report.