Intellectual capital accounting in the UK: A field study perspective



Roslender R & Fincham R (2004) Intellectual capital accounting in the UK: A field study perspective. Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 17 (2), pp. 178-209.

Accounting for intellectual capital is increasingly recognised to be one of the most fascinating and potentially far-reaching challenges facing the accountancy profession. A growing literature, encompassing theoretical, empirical and practical elements, is currently emerging as researchers and practitioners endeavour to account for the hidden value that the intellectual capital concept denotes, and its pivotal role in the value creation process. To date, many of the most instructive advances have emanated from Scandinavia, reflecting these societies' sustained interest in necessity of accounting for the worth of employees, arguably the principal progenitor of intellectual capital accounting. Reports from a number of Australian, Canadian and European enquiries have added to the momentum of the intellectual capital accounting project, whilst affirming its links with contemporary debates about the information society, intangibles, knowledge management and business reporting. This paper reports and discusses some of the findings of a recently completed field study of intellectual capital accounting developments in the UK, funded by one of the professional accountancy bodies. Drawing on a series of semi-structured interviews, it documents how senior managers in six knowledge-based organisations view intellectual capital and related developments, their evolving attempts to respond to the challenges these present, and their progress in measuring and reporting their performance in these areas.

Intellectual capital; Knowledge management; Accounting; Intangible assets; Reports

Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal: Volume 17, Issue 2

Publication date31/12/2004
Date accepted by journal01/09/2003

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Professor Robin Fincham

Professor Robin Fincham

Emeritus Professor, Management, Work and Organisation