Accounting for Intangible Assets: What You Need to Know

Last updated on May 28th, 2023 at 08:44 am


Intangible assets are non-physical assets that lack a physical existence but have significant value for the business. Examples of intangible assets include patents, copyrights, trademarks, goodwill, and brand recognition. Accounting for intangible assets can be complex, but it is crucial for businesses to accurately report their value on financial statements. This article will cover the basics of Crypto Revolt for intangible assets, including how to identify and measure them, and the methods used to account for them.

Identifying Intangible Assets

Intangible assets can be more difficult to identify than physical assets because they lack a physical presence. However, there are several ways to identify intangible assets.

One way is to review legal documents such as patent registrations, trademark registrations, and licensing agreements.


Another way is to look at the company’s financial statements and identify any items that do not have a physical presence but have significant value, such as brand recognition and customer lists.

Measuring Intangible Assets

Once intangible assets have been identified, they must be measured to determine their value. There are several methods for measuring intangible assets, including the cost approach, market approach, and income approach.

The cost approach measures the value of an intangible asset based on the cost to create or replace it. For example, if a company spent $100,000 to develop a new software program, the value of the intangible asset would be $100,000.

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The market approach measures the value of an intangible asset based on the price of similar assets sold in the marketplace.

For example, if a similar patent was sold for $200,000, the value of the intangible asset would be $200,000.

The income approach measures the value of an intangible asset based on the income it generates. This approach is often used for intangible assets such as patents and trademarks.

For example, if a trademark generates $50,000 in annual revenue, the value of the intangible asset would be based on the present value of that revenue stream.

Amortizing Intangible Assets

Once an intangible asset has been identified and measured, it must be amortized over its useful life. Amortization is the process of spreading the cost of an intangible asset over its useful life.

The useful life is the length of time that the intangible asset is expected to provide value to the company. For example, a patent may have a useful life of 20 years, while a trademark may have a useful life of 10 years.

The method used to amortize an intangible asset depends on its useful life. If the useful life is finite, the intangible asset is amortized using the straight-line method.

This method spreads the cost of the intangible asset evenly over its useful life. For example, if a trademark has a useful life of 10 years and a cost of $100,000, it would be amortized at a rate of $10,000 per year.

If the useful life of an intangible asset is indefinite, it is not amortized but tested annually for impairment. Impairment is when the value of the intangible asset has decreased below its carrying value.

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If impairment is identified, the intangible asset must be written down to its fair value.

Reporting Intangible Assets on Financial Statements

Intangible assets are reported on the balance sheet under the non-current assets section. They are listed at their net book value, which is the cost of the asset less any accumulated amortization or impairment losses.

The net book value provides an estimate of the intangible asset’s current fair market value.

If an intangible asset is sold or disposed of, the difference between the sale price and the net book value is reported on the income statement as a gain or loss.


Accounting for intangible assets can be complex, but it is an essential process for businesses to accurately report the value of their assets on financial statements. Identifying and measuring intangible assets requires a thorough review of legal documents and financial statements, and there are several methods for measuring their value.

Once the value is determined, intangible assets must be amortized over their useful life or tested annually for impairment.

Reporting intangible assets on financial statements is also important for stakeholders to understand the value of the company’s assets.

Overall, understanding the basics of accounting for intangible assets is crucial for businesses to make informed decisions and provide accurate financial reporting.


  • InfomediaNG

    The Infomediang Team comprises a group of researchers, data analysts, and financial experts who closely follow government policies and spending. Our passion lies in empowering people to make informed decisions about their investments by simplifying data for easy understanding. Find us @infomedia_ng on X.

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