International Accounting Harmonisation in the European Context: The Case of Intangible Assets
Keywords:Intangible assets, International accounting standard, Italian General Accepted Accounting Principle
The process of accounting harmonisation has been debatedfor years among accounting professionals around the globe. The discussion about the uniform application of IFRSs across different jurisdictions has been based on the different environmental factors, typical of each national economic background. In particular, the effects of the application of IFRSs could be heterogeneous across countries and influenced by national reporting environments. This means that equal levels of compliance with mandatory disclosure requirements and/or consistent measurement and display of similar transactions between different companies may not be achieved. The paper deals with the accounting harmonisation process in Italy, which belongs to Continental Europe, focusing on a very delicate topic: intangible assets, whose importance has progressively increased, especially in recent years. More specifically, the aim of the paper is to define a framework for the problems deriving fromthe introduction of a process connected with the accounting and assessment of intangible assets in the drawing up of financial statements. In particular, the accounting of intangible items, namely the recognition and evaluation, is far from uniform and takes different forms depending on the accounting frame to which the entity presents the annual financial statements. This article deals with intangible assets from two perspectives: a first line with International Financial Reporting Standards (IAS/IFRSs), and a second with the Italian General Accepted Accounting Principle which complies with European Directives.
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