This paper considers the impact of U.K. practices with respect to the measurement and disclosure of intangible assets, focusing on R&D activities. We first update prior U.K. work relating R&D activities to market prices. Second, given the clearly identified role of disclosure outside of the financial statements in helping market participants value R&D expenditures, we consider whether market forces are generally sufficient to ensure adequate disclosures with respect to intangibles by considering the cases of two biotechnology firms involved in the issuance of misleading disclosures. Within this context, we consider how disclosure regulation and enforcement mechanisms have evolved in recent years, and how this evolution has likely been affected by our ‘scandal’ cases. Our conclusions are that the case of the U.K. does not give rise to any wide-scale concerns about the economic ill-effects caused by the current state of recognition and disclosure with respect to expenditures on intangibles. Further, market forces are unlikely to be sufficient in ensuring honest and timely disclosures with respect to intangibles, but the combination of official regulation and voluntary self-regulation appears to have stemmed the tide of any such disclosure scandals in the U.K.
|Publication status||Published - 30 Sept 2009|