This think piece looks at the traditional reporting for intangibles and concludes that the measuring and reporting of intangibles needs a structural rethinking to incorporate 21st-century technology involving new forward-looking information and methods to provide information that is consistent with current capabilities (e.g., apps, bots, multiple databases, artificial intelligence). Traditional measurement methods, first published by Fra Luca Pacioli, satisfied business needs for centuries, but they limit modern external stakeholders’ ability to evaluate and compare firms’ current performance or predict their future performance. The traditional concepts of articulation, consolidation, and valuation of intangibles are inadequate, and sometimes blatantly misleading. Further, empirical research has ignored the emergence of new circumstances in business operations and accounting technology. The goal of this think piece is to discuss the traditional backward-looking approach to financial reporting for intangibles and to outline some considerations for developing a new system.

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