Docy Child


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Section 18

Intangible Assets other than Goodwill

Scope of this section

  1. 1 This section applies to accounting for all intangible assets other than goodwill (see Section 19 Business Combinations and Goodwill) and intangible assets held by an entity for sale in the ordinary course of business (see Section 13 Inventories and Section 23 Revenue).
  1. 2 An intangible asset is an identifiable non-monetary asset without physical substance. Such an asset is identifiable when:
    1. it is separable, ie capable of being separated or divided from the entity and sold, transferred, licensed, rented or exchanged, either individually or together with a related contract, asset or liability; or
    2. it arises from contractual or other legal rights, regardless of whether those rights are transferable or separable from the entity or from other rights and obligations.
  1. 3 This section does not apply to the following:
    1. financial assets; or
    2. mineral rights and mineral reserves, such as oil, natural gas and similar non-regenerative resources.


General principle for recognising intangible assets

  1. 4 An entity shall apply the recognition criteria in paragraph 2.27 in determining whether to recognise an intangible asset. Consequently, the entity shall recognise an intangible asset as an asset if, and only if:
    1. it is probable that the expected future economic benefits that are attributable to the asset will flow to the entity;
    2. the cost or value of the asset can be measured reliably; and
    3. the asset does not result from expenditure incurred internally on an intangible item.
  1. 5 An entity shall assess the probability of expected future economic benefits using reasonable and supportable assumptions that represent management’s best estimate of the economic conditions that will exist over the useful life of the asset.
  1. 6 An entity uses judgement to assess the degree of certainty attached to the flow of future economic benefits that are attributable to the use of the asset on the basis of the evidence available at the time of initial recognition, giving greater weight to external evidence.
  1. 7 The probability recognition criterion in paragraph 18.4(a) is always considered satisfied for intangible assets that are separately acquired.

Acquisition as part of a business combination

  1. 8 An intangible asset acquired in a business combination shall be recognised unless its fair value cannot be measured reliably without undue cost or effort at the acquisition date.

Initial measurement

  1. 9 An entity shall measure an intangible asset initially at cost.

Separate acquisition

  1. 10 The cost of a separately acquired intangible asset comprises:
    1. its purchase price, including import duties and non-refundable purchase taxes, after deducting trade discounts and rebates; and
    2. any directly attributable cost of preparing the asset for its intended use.

Acquisition as part of a business combination

  1. 11 If an intangible asset is acquired in a business combination, the cost of that intangible asset is its fair value at the acquisition date.

Acquisition by way of a government grant

  1. 12 If an intangible asset is acquired by way of a government grant, the cost of that intangible asset is its fair value at the date the grant is received or receivable in accordance with Section 24 Government Grants.

Exchanges of assets

  1. 13 An intangible asset may be acquired in exchange for a non-monetary asset or assets, or a combination of monetary and non-monetary assets. An entity shall measure the cost of such an intangible asset at fair value unless (a) the exchange transaction lacks commercial substance or (b) the fair value of neither the asset received nor the asset given up is reliably measurable. In that case, the asset’s cost is measured at the carrying amount of the asset given up.

Internally generated intangible assets

  1. 14 An entity shall recognise expenditure incurred internally on an intangible item, including all expenditure for both research and development activities, as an expense when it is incurred unless it forms part of the cost of another asset that meets the recognition criteria in this Standard.
  1. 15 As examples of applying the preceding paragraph, an entity shall recognise expenditure on the following items as an expense and shall not recognise such expenditure as intangible assets:
    1. internally generated brands, logos, publishing titles, customer lists and items similar in substance;
    2. start-up activities (ie start-up costs), which include establishment costs such as legal and secretarial costs incurred in establishing a legal entity, expenditure to open a new facility or business (ie pre-opening costs) and expenditure for starting new operations or launching new products or processes (ie pre-operating costs);
    3. training activities;
    4. advertising and promotional activities;
    5. relocating or reorganising part or all of an entity; and
    6. internally generated goodwill.
  1. 16 Paragraph 18.15 does not preclude recognising a prepayment as an asset when payment for goods or services has been made in advance of the delivery of the goods or the rendering of the services.

Past expenses not to be recognised as an asset

  1. 17 Expenditure on an intangible item that was initially recognised as an expense shall not be recognised at a later date as part of the cost of an asset.

Measurement after recognition

  1. 18 An entity shall measure intangible assets at cost less any accumulated amortisation and any accumulated impairment losses. The requirements for amortisation are set out in this section. The requirements for recognition of impairment are set out in Section 27 Impairment of Assets.

Useful life

  1. 19 For the purpose of this Standard, all intangible assets shall be considered to have a finite useful life. The useful life of an intangible asset that arises from contractual or other legal rights shall not exceed the period of the contractual or other legal rights, but may be shorter depending on the period over which the entity expects to use the asset. If the contractual or other legal rights are conveyed for a limited term that can be renewed, the useful life of the intangible asset shall include the renewal period(s) only if there is evidence to support renewal by the entity without significant cost.
  1. 20 If the useful life of an intangible asset cannot be established reliably, the life shall be determined based on management’s best estimate but shall not exceed ten years.

Amortisation period and amortisation method

  1. 21 An entity shall allocate the depreciable amount of an intangible asset on a systematic basis over its useful life. The amortisation charge for each period shall be recognised as an expense, unless another section of this Standard requires the cost to be recognised as part of the cost of an asset such as inventories or property, plant and equipment.
  1. 22 Amortisation begins when the intangible asset is available for use, ie when it is in the location and condition necessary for it to be usable in the manner intended by management. Amortisation ceases when the asset is derecognised. The entity shall choose an amortisation method that reflects the pattern in which it expects to consume the asset’s future economic benefits. If the entity cannot determine that pattern reliably, it shall use the straight-line method.

Residual value

  1. 23 An entity shall assume that the residual value of an intangible asset is zero unless:
    1. there is a commitment by a third party to purchase the asset at the end of its useful life; or
    2. there is an active market for the asset and:
      1. residual value can be determined by reference to that market; and
      2. it is probable that such a market will exist at the end of the asset’s useful life.

Review of amortisation period and amortisation method

  1. 24 Factors such as a change in how an intangible asset is used, technological advancement; and changes in market prices may indicate that the residual value or useful life of an intangible asset has changed since the most recent annual reporting date. If such indicators are present, an entity shall review its previous estimates and, if current expectations differ, amend the residual value, amortisation method or useful life. The entity shall account for the change in residual value, amortisation method or useful life as a change in an accounting estimate in accordance with paragraphs 10.15–10.18.

Recoverability of the carrying amount—impairment losses

  1. 25 To determine whether an intangible asset is impaired, an entity shall apply Section 27. That section explains when and how an entity reviews the carrying amount of its assets, how it determines the recoverable amount, of an asset and when it recognises or reverses an impairment loss.

Retirements and disposals

  1. 26 An entity shall derecognise an intangible asset, and shall recognise a gain or loss in profit or loss:
    1. on disposal; or
    2. when no future economic benefits are expected from its use or disposal.


  1. 27 An entity shall disclose the following for each class of intangible assets:
    1. the useful lives or the amortisation rates used;
    2. the amortisation methods used;
    3. the gross carrying amount and any accumulated amortisation (aggregated with accumulated impairment losses) at the beginning and end of the reporting period;
    4. the line item(s) in the statement of comprehensive income (and in the income statement, if presented) in which any amortisation of intangible assets is included; and
    5. a reconciliation of the carrying amount at the beginning and end of the reporting period showing separately:
      1. additions;
      2. disposals;
      3. acquisitions through business combinations;
      4. amortisation;
      5. impairment losses; and
      6. other changes.

This reconciliation need not be presented for prior periods.

  1. 28 An entity shall also disclose:
    1. a description, the carrying amount and remaining amortisation period of any individual intangible asset that is material to the entity’s financial statements;
    2. for intangible assets acquired by way of a government grant and initially recognised at fair value (see paragraph 18.12):
      1. the fair value initially recognised for these assets; and
      2. their carrying amounts.
    3. the existence and carrying amounts of intangible assets to which the entity has restricted title or that are pledged as security for liabilities; and
    4. the amount of contractual commitments for the acquisition of intangible assets.
  1. 29 An entity shall disclose the aggregate amount of research and development expenditure recognised as an expense during the period (ie the amount of expenditure incurred internally on research and development that has not been capitalised as part of the cost of another asset that meets the recognition criteria in this Standard).