Ending the Accounting-for-Intangibles Status Quo

Baruch Lev*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The surge of corporate intangible investments is the hallmark of developed economies, radically transforming the business models, strategies, and performance of business enterprises. Accounting standard-setters, however, by and large, are oblivious to this world-wide development. I establish in this study that this accounting resistance to change seriously harms investors and the economy-at-large, and accordingly I propose feasible remedial changes to the accounting system to adapt it to economic reality. I discuss implementation issues of the proposed change, and the reasons for the three-decade resistance of accounting standard-setters to change the accounting of intangibles. Finally, in order to facilitate the accounting change, I outline a wide-ranging, policy-oriented research agenda on intangibles and related issues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)713-736
Number of pages24
JournalEuropean Accounting Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - 8 Aug 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Accounting change
  • Accounting for
  • Intangibles
  • Reporting of
  • Research agenda


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