A study on intangible assets disclosure: An evidence from Indian companies

Subash Chander, Vishakha Mehra


Purpose: India has emerged at the top of the pedestal in the present knowledge-driven global marketplace, where intangible assets hold much more value than physical assets. The objective of this study is to determine the extent of intangible asset disclosure by companies in India

Design/methodology/approach: This study relates to the years 2003-04 and 2007-08 and is based on 243 companies selected from BT-500 companies. The annual reports of these companies were analyzed using content analysis so as to examine the level of disclosure of intangible asset information. Intangible assets disclosure index based on the intangible assets framework as given by Sveiby (1997) and as used and tested by Guthrie and Petty (2000) and many other subsequent studies was modified and used for this study.

Findings: The results showed that external capital is the most disclosed intangible asset category with a disclosure score of 37.90% and 35.83% in the years 2003-04 and 2007-08 respectively. Infosys technologies Ltd. is the company with the highest intangible assets reporting for both the years (2003-04: 68.52%, 2007-08: 81.48%). Further the reporting of intangible assets is unorganized and unsystematic. There is lack of appropriate framework for disclosing intangible assets information in the annual reports.

Originality/value: This is perhaps the first comprehensive study on intangible assets disclosure based on a large sample of the companies from India. Literature reveals that now the intangible assets play relatively an increasingly significant role in the decision making process of various users of corporate reports. This study shows that the overall disclosure of intangible assets is low in India. Thus this study may be of value to the corporate sector in India to explore the areas of intangible assets disclosure so that they can provide useful and relevant information to the users of annual reports.


intangible assets, external capital, internal capital, human capital, content analysis, extent of disclosure, reporting

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3926/ic.198

Licencia de Creative Commons 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Intangible Capital, 2004-2024

Online ISSN: 1697-9818; Print ISSN: 2014-3214; DL: B-33375-2004

Publisher: OmniaScience