Accounting for intangible assets

Accounting for intangible assets
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MPERS vs MFRS : Intangible Assets

In this article, we share the main differences in the accounting requirements for associates under MFRS 138 and Section 18 of MPERS.

Intangible Assets

An item meets the definition of intangible asset if it poses the three criteria:

  • Identifiability.

  • Control over resources.

  • Existence of future economic benefits (or service potential).

An intangible asset is an identifiable non-monetary asset without physical substance. Such an asset is identifiable when it is separable, or when it arises from contractual or other legal rights. Separable assets can be sold, transferred, licensed, etc.

Examples of intangible assets include computer software, licences, trademarks, patents, films, copyrights and import quotas.

Section 18 of MPERS - Intangible Assets

Research and development expenditures should be recognized as expenses.

All internally generated intellectual property should be recognized as an expense.

MFRS 138 - Intangible Assets

Development expenditure of R&D activities that meet the recognition criteria must be capitalize.

All research and other development expenditure are recognized as an expense.

Internally generated intellectual property should not be recognized as an asset.

An entity is to recognise an intangible asset only if the two criteria are met:

1. It is probable that the expected future economic benefits (or service potential) will flow to the entity; and

2. It can measure the cost or fair value of the asset reliably.

MFRS 138 allow an entity to capitalise expenditure from the development phase if it can demonstrate all of the following conditions:

  • The technical feasibility of completing the intangible asset so that it will be available for use or sale.

  • Its intention to complete the 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 or service potential.

  • 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.

MFRS 138 provide an accounting policy choice to subsequently measure an intangible asset either using the cost model or the revaluation model.

MFRS 138 states that intangible assets may have a finite or indefinite useful life. This requires an entity to assess and determine useful life. An intangible asset with indefinite useful life is not amortised but must be tested for impairment annually.

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