Thursday, March 21, 2019
Tech Data’s Goodwill Adjustment

Tuesday, March 19, 2019
There’s Taxes, and There’s Taxes

Saturday, March 16, 2019
Adventures in Tax Cuts and Net Income

Monday, March 11, 2019
Big Moves in Goodwill, Intangible Value

Friday, March 8, 2019
CVS, Goodwill, and Enterprise Value

Thursday, February 28, 2019
Summary of Our Goodwill Research/ How-To

Wednesday, February 27, 2019
What Does ‘Other’ Mean? An Example

Thursday, February 21, 2019
Another Tale, Buried in the Footnotes

Wednesday, February 13, 2019
Low Latency Calcbench

Monday, February 11, 2019
Now Streaming on Hulu: Red Ink

Thursday, February 7, 2019
Early Look at 2018 Tax Decline

Wednesday, February 6, 2019
You Revised WHAT, Netflix?

Thursday, January 31, 2019
Talking About Huawei Exposure

Wednesday, January 30, 2019
Another Discrepancy in Reported Numbers

Wednesday, January 30, 2019
Finding Revised Facts: Hertz Edition

Wednesday, January 23, 2019
GE Commercial Aviation Services: Bringing Numbers to Light

Monday, January 21, 2019
Differences in Earnings Releases and 10-Ks

Wednesday, January 16, 2019
The Importance of Textual Analysis

Tuesday, January 8, 2019
A Look at Climate Change Disclosures

Wednesday, January 2, 2019
Quants: Point-in-Time Data for Backtesting

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A Look at Intangible Assets
Friday, May 13, 2016

We all know that eventually the robots and software algorithms will take over the world, and leave us poor human saps with no jobs because everything is automated. That, of course, implies that companies’ management of intangible assets—patents, trademarks, goodwill, brand reputation, customer data, and so forth—should become more valuable.

So in between watching ‘Terminator’ movies around here, a thought occurred: how much are intangible assets increasing on the balance sheets of Corporate America, anyway?

First we opened the Calcbench Data Query Tool, which lets you research very specific types of data on very large populations of U.S. filers. On the balance sheet options, we crunched the numbers for Goodwill and Intangible Assets Excluding Goodwill, for both 2010 and 2015. Then we crunched the same numbers again for all other assets, except for the Assets box at the bottom of the list (which would have rolled intangible assets into the total).

The results were this:

Year No. of Filers Total Assets Total Intangibles Intangibles as % of Assets
2010 7,804 $48.357 Tr $3.73 B 7.71 pct
2015 5,700 $52.615 Tr $4.87 B 9.26 pct

So as we can see, intangible assets are becoming more valuable to the corporate balance sheet. That carries implications for audits (procedures will differ for tangible and intangible assets), compliance (collecting more data means heightened security needs and stronger access controls), cybersecurity (more protection for that which is more valuable), and risk management (many bad things can happen more quickly to information than to physical goods).

Food for thought as well all sit at our cubicles, crunching numbers and clicking through user agreements. This stuff is valuable, and getting more so every day.

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