IAS 38 Intangible Assets was issued primarily in order to identify the criteria that need to be…

IAS 38 Intangible Assets was issued primarily in order to identify the criteria that need to be present before expenditure on intangible items can be recognised as an asset. The standard also prescribes the subsequent accounting treatment of intangible assets that satisfy the recognition criteria and are recognised in the statement of financial position.


(a) Explain the criteria that need to be satisfied before expenditure on intangible items can be recognised in the statement of financial position as intangible assets.

(b) Explain how the criteria outlined in (a) are applied to the recognition of separately purchased intangible assets, intangible assets acquired in a business combination, and internally generated intangible assets. You should give an example of each category discussed.

(c) Explain the subsequent accounting treatment of intangible assets that satisfy the recognition criteria of IAS 38.

lota prepares financial statements to 30 September each year. During the year ended 30 September 20X6 Iota (which has a number of subsidiaries) engaged in the following transactions:

1. On 1 April 20X6 Iota purchased all the equity capital of Kappa, and Kappa became a subsidiary from that date. Kappa sells a branded product that has a well-known name and the directors of Iota have obtained evidence that the fair value of this name is $20 million and that it has a useful economic life that is expected to be indefinite. The value of the brand name is not included in the statement of financial position of Kappa, as the directors of Kappa do not consider that it satisfies the recognition criteria of IAS 38 for internally developed intangible assets. However, the directors of Kappa have taken legal steps to ensure that no other entities can use the brand name.

2. On 1 October 20X4 Iota began a project that sought to develop a more efficient method of organising its production. Costs of $10 million were incurred in the year to 30 September 20X5 and debited to the statement of comprehensive income in that year. In the current year the results of the project were extremely encouraging and on 1 April 20X6 the directors of Iota were able to demonstrate that the project would generate substantial economic benefits for the group from 31 March 20X7 onwards as its technical feasibility and commercial viability were clearly evident. Throughout the year to 30 September 20X6 Iota spent $500,000 per month on the project.


(d) Explain how both of the above transactions should be recognised in the financial statements of Iota for the year ending 30 September 20X6. You should quantify the amounts recognised and make reference to relevant provisions of IAS 38 wherever possible.

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