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IAS 38 Intangible Assets


 
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IAS 38 Intangible Assets

Objective

The objective of IAS 38 is to prescribe the accounting treatment for intangible assets that are not dealt with specifically in another Standard. It requires an entity to recognise an intangible asset if, and only if, specified criteria are met. The standard also specifies how to measure the carrying amount of intangible assets and requires specified disclosures about intangible assets.

Definition

An intangible asset is an identifiable non-monetary asset without physical substance.

Recognition

The recognition of an item as an intangible asset requires an entity to demonstrate that the item meets:

  • the definition of an intangible asset; and
  • the recognition criteria.

This requirement applies to costs incurred initially to acquire or internally generate an intangible asset and those incurred subsequently to add to, replace part of, or service it.

An asset is identifiable if it either:

  • is separable, i.e. it is capable of being separated or divided from the entity and sold, transferred, licensed, rented or exchanged; or
  • arises from contractual or other legal rights

An intangible asset shall be recognised if, and only if:

  • it is probable that the expected future economic benefits that are attributable to the asset will flow to the entity; and
  • the cost of the asset can be measured reliably.

Measurement

An intangible asset shall be measured initially at cost. The cost of a separately acquired intangible asset comprises:

  • its purchase price, including duties and non-refundable purchase taxes, after deducting trade discounts and rebates; and
  • any directly attributable cost of preparing the asset for its intended use.

Internally generated assets

Internally generated goodwill shall not be recognised as an asset.

Internally generated brands, mastheads, publishing titles, customer lists and items similar in substance shall not be recognised as intangible assets.

Research and development

Expenditure on research (or on the research phase of an internal project) shall be recognised as an expense when it is incurred.

An intangible asset arising from development (or from the development phase of an internal project) shall be recognised if, and only if, an entity can demonstrate all of the following:

  • the technical feasibility of completing the intangible asset so that it will be available for use or sale.
  • its intention to complete the intangible asset and use or sell it.
  • its ability to use or sell the intangible asset.
  • how the intangible asset will generate probable future economic benefits. Among other things, the entity can demonstrate the existence of a market for the output of the intangible asset or the intangible asset itself or, if it is to be used internally, the usefulness of the intangible asset.
  • the availability of adequate technical, financial and other resources to complete the development and to use or sell the intangible asset.
  • its ability to measure reliably the expenditure attributable to the intangible asset during its development.

Measurement after recognition

An entity shall choose either the cost model or the revaluation model as its accounting policy. If an intangible asset is accounted for using the revaluation model, all the other assets in its class shall also be accounted for using the same model, unless there is no active market for those assets.

Cost model

After initial recognition, an intangible asset shall be carried at its cost less any accumulated amortisation and any accumulated impairment losses.

Revaluation model

After initial recognition, an intangible asset shall be carried at a revalued amount, being its fair value at the date of the revaluation less any subsequent accumulated amortisation and any subsequent accumulated impairment losses.

For the purpose of revaluations under this standard, fair value shall be measured by reference to an active market. Revaluations shall be made with such regularity that at the end of the reporting period the carrying amount of the asset does not differ materially from its fair value.

An active market is a market in which all the following conditions exist:

  • the items traded in the market are homogeneous;
  • willing buyers and sellers can normally be found at any time; and
  • prices are available to the public.

Useful life

An entity shall assess whether the useful life of an intangible asset is finite or indefinite.

An intangible asset shall be regarded by the entity as having an indefinite useful life when, based on an analysis of all of the relevant factors, there is no foreseeable limit to the period over which the asset is expected to generate net cash inflows for the entity.

The useful life of an intangible asset that arises from contractual or other legal rights shall not exceed the period of the contractual or other legal rights, but may be shorter depending on the period over which the entity expects to use the asset. If the contractual or other legal rights are conveyed for a limited term that can be renewed, the useful life of the intangible asset shall include the renewal period(s) only if there is evidence to support renewal by the entity without significant cost.

Intangible assets with finite useful lives

The depreciable amount of an intangible asset with a finite useful life shall be allocated on a systematic basis over its useful life.

Depreciable amount is the cost of an asset, or other amount substituted for cost, less its residual value. Amortisation shall begin when the asset is available for use, ie when it is in the location and condition necessary for it to be capable of operating in the manner intended by management.

The amortisation method used shall reflect the pattern in which the asset’s future economic benefits are expected to be consumed by the entity. If that pattern cannot be determined reliably, the straight-line method shall be used. The amortisation charge for each period shall be recognised in profit or loss.

The residual value of an intangible asset is the estimated amount that an entity would obtain from disposal of the asset, after deducting the estimated costs of disposal, if the asset were at the end of its useful life.

The residual value of an intangible asset with a finite useful life shall be assumed to be zero unless:

  • there is a commitment by a third party to purchase the asset at the end of its useful life; or
  • there is an active market for the asset and residual value can be determined by reference to that market and it is probable that such a market will exist at the end of the asset’s useful life.
Intangible assets with indefinite useful lives

An intangible asset with an indefinite useful life shall not be amortised. In accordance with IAS 36 Impairment of Assets, an entity is required to test an intangible asset with an indefinite useful life for impairment by comparing its recoverable amount with its carrying amount annually and whenever there is an indication that the intangible asset may be impaired.

The useful life of an intangible asset that is not being amortised shall be reviewed each period to determine whether events and circumstances continue to support an indefinite useful life assessment for that asset. If they do not, the change in the useful life assessment from indefinite to finite shall be accounted for as a change in an accounting estimate in accordance with IAS 8.

Created at 10/23/2012 8:51 PM  by System Account  (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time : Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London
Last modified at 11/16/2012 4:18 PM  by System Account  (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time : Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London

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ACCAPEDIA - IAS 38 Intangible Assets