Frankfurt, 1 March 2021
THE PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION OF INFORMATIO ON INTANGIBLES:
AN EMPIRICAL INVESTIGATION OF CFOs AND INVESTORS
It is a common understanding that intangibles are fundamental resources for explaining companies’ value creation and that they are critical to foster entities’ resilience over the medium to long term. Indeed, for some companies, most of their value is today attributable to intangibles having a pervasive role in businesses.
However, there is little visibility on these resources in corporate reporting, especially if intangibles are internally generated and developed and not externally acquired. Paradoxically, notwithstanding their relevance, intangibles largely do not appear on financial statements or in the related disclosures. Even though new reporting tools have recently been implemented by companies – such as sustainability and integrated reports – that could drive the production of more information on intangibles outside financial statements, these resources remain unaccounted, and therefore under-reported, as yet.
But what would CFOs think about increasing the level of information on their company intangibles and for which of them exactly? Would they be in favour or against it? And what are their views in relation to the relevance of information regarding different types of unaccounted intangibles (separable or not separable, marketable and not marketable)? What might be the issues, and the associated obstacles and opportunities? More specifically, in the opinion of CFOs, what are the technical, managerial and “political” difficulties in producing this type of information or other disclosures relating to intangibles?
In parallel, we only have limited evidence as to how investors and financial analysts view and employ information on intangibles. In this respect, may the availability to users of more information on intangibles that is today “invisible” to their eyes, make a difference to their decision making and assessments? Would this extra information produce a different evaluation of company value and management stewardship?
This new research project aims to address the above crucial information gaps affecting current company reporting. The Project is run by a research team of the Department of Economics and Management of the University of Ferrara, led by Prof. Stefano Zambon, and is supported by ICAS, EFRAG and EFFAS. Further, WICI Global Network also supports the initiative. This is the first time that such relevant international organisations dealing with corporate information from different angles, have decided to join forces to support an academic research project, which we believe is a sign of the importance and uniqueness of the topic here investigated on a large scale.
After an initial set of general questions on intangibles-related information, this survey presents an intangibles-centered case-study, on the basis of which some specific questions are posed. Given the relevance and width of the research topic, that concerns CFOs, investors but also policy makers, Institutions and academics, the survey is rich and relatively lengthy – its completion requires around 30 minutes (but you can come back to it several times for completing it).
If you are interested in participating anonymously in this innovative and challenging research project (that is open to all stakeholders), you can follow the link below. The survey can be completed from 1st March to 22 March 2021:
Or if you would like to find out more about this research project, please contact Prof. Stefano Zambon at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you in advance for your kind support and interest.
The research team or The ICAS Research Center or The EFRAG team or The EFFAS Team/Secretariat