Tuesday, June 18, 2019
Popping the Lid on Smuckers’ Goodwill

Tuesday, June 11, 2019
Not Much Fizz in LaCroix Right Now

Wednesday, May 29, 2019
An Example of Calcbench, Excel, and Insight

Monday, May 20, 2019
Research Paper: Capex Spending

Thursday, May 16, 2019
Psst: Got Any Weed?

Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Open Letter: SEC Proposed Rule for BDCs

Friday, May 10, 2019
General Motors and Workhorse

Monday, May 6, 2019
How to Find Earnings Release Data

Tuesday, April 23, 2019
Following Restructuring Costs Over Time

Monday, April 22, 2019
Capex Spending: More Than You Might Think

Saturday, April 13, 2019
When AWS Takes Over the World

Thursday, April 11, 2019
Data Trends in Focus: Restructuring Costs

Sunday, April 7, 2019
How One Customer Crushed It With Calcbench

Thursday, April 4, 2019
TJX Shows Complexity of Leasing Costs Reporting

Tuesday, April 2, 2019
CEO Pay Ratios: Some 2018 Thoughts

Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Corporate Spending: Where It Goes, 2017 vs. 2018

Monday, March 25, 2019
Health Insurers: A Bit Winded?

Friday, March 22, 2019
Our New Master Class Video

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

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

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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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