Reporting on intellectual capital
In today’s knowledge-based economy intellectual capital (IC) is becoming a major part of companies’ value. Being able to manage and control IC requires that companies can identify, measure and report internally on IC. As financial accounting rules ban full disclosure of IC in the annual report the external stakeholders lack information about companies’ value, which may have as a consequence that stakeholders make wrong or bad decisions. To remedy this situation, new tools must be developed which enable managers to identify and measure a company’s IC and to report on it within a consistent framework. The theory on IC is still in its infancy. The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the development of a reporting model on IC. The paper analyses the various reporting models recently being developed and used in practice. Moreover, the existing reporting models have been discussed in-depth with the management of three Dutch companies with a high degree of IC and with four financial analysts as external users of the information. The paper describes the findings of the discussions with the practitioners. Based on both the theoretical evaluation of the reporting models and the evaluation in practice the building blocks of an IC reporting model are described.
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