Title: The problem of the missing intangible

Authors: Tony Tinker; Aida Sy

Addresses: Department of Accountancy, Baruch College, City University of New York, One Bernard Baruch Way, Box B12: 225, New York, NY 10010, USA ' Department of Economics and Finance, School of Management, Marist College, Room LT101, 3399 North Road, Poughkeepsie, New York, 12601, USA

Abstract: Professor Baruch Lev's life-time quest concerns the accounting treatment of intangibles and research development (R&D). His argument, in a nutshell, is that the current treatment of intangibles and R&D in financial statements misinforms investors regarding the value income and assets. The consequence is to destroy financial statement comparability for investors and cause a misallocation of society's economic resources. This paper contends that it is time to take Professor Lev's project to the next level. Advocacy and indignation are no longer sufficient to effect the kind of changes that Professor Lev seeks. This paper explores new paths to bring these changes about.

Keywords: intangibles; write-off; critical analysis; Baruch Lev; international common property; research and development; R&D; financial statements; statement comparability; resource misallocation; investor misinformation.

DOI: 10.1504/AJAAF.2012.052134

African Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Finance, 2012 Vol.1 No.4, pp.309 - 318

Available online: 16 Feb 2013 *

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