Accounting of intangibles under IFRS - A comparative study of Sweden and Australia
Sammanfattning: Background: In 2002, both Sweden and Australia announced that they would to adoptthe International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), issued by the InternationalAccounting Standards Board (IASB), for reporting periods beginning on or after 1January 2005. Prior to the execution of a single set of standards in 2005, the twocountries had different accounting traditions. Within the IFRS one standard has beenfrequently discussed namely “IAS 38- intangible asset”. This standard altered theaccounting practice heavily for both Sweden and Australia.Purpose: The purpose of this study is to examine how biotechnology companies, inSweden and Australia, account for intangible assets after the implementation, and ifpossible, to explain why they do things the way they do.Delimitations: In order to find a graspable study, the study set outs its focuses on thebiotech industry solemnly, due to the industry’s general high content of intangible asset.The study does not intend to answer the wide-ranging question if IFRS has harmonizedthe complete accounting system. Neither will it try to evaluate the IFRS regulation, norwill it assess the different valuations methods available for valuation of intangibles.Methodology: The study is of an abductive nature and consists of a quantitative, as wellas a qualitative approach. These two approaches are represented by an examination offinancial reports and interviews with accounting experts from a selected amount ofcompanies.Conclusions: The study concludes that there are differences to be found between the twocountries. Swedish biotech companies generally have more intangible assets in relation tototal asset on their balance sheet. This goes especially for capitalized research anddevelopment, where the largest difference has been located, both in the examination ofannual reports, as well as on the answers from the interviews.
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