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

Friday, December 28, 2018
Now Showing: Controls & Procedures

Thursday, December 27, 2018
A Reminder on Non-GAAP Reporting Rules

Monday, December 17, 2018
Researching PG&E’s Wildfire Risk

Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Tracking Brexit Disclosures

Thursday, December 6, 2018
Campbell Soup: Looking Behind the Label

Sunday, December 2, 2018
SEC Comment Letters: The Amazon Example

Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Measuring Big Pharma’s Chemical Dependency

Monday, November 26, 2018
Analysts, Can You Relate? A True Story

Monday, November 19, 2018
Digging Up Historical Trend Data: Quest Example

Sunday, November 11, 2018
Cost of Revenue, SG&A: Q3 Update

Monday, November 5, 2018
Lease Accounting: FedEx vs. UPS

Saturday, November 3, 2018
New Email Alerting Powers

Wednesday, October 31, 2018
PTC and Two Tales of Revenue

Tuesday, October 30, 2018
10-K/Q Section Text Change Detection

Sunday, October 28, 2018
Finding Purchase Price Allocation

Sunday, October 21, 2018
Charting Netflix Growth in Three Ways

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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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