Voluntary and Semi-Voluntary Disclosures of Intangible Assets in Earnings Conference Calls



The FASB and IASB recently started to deliberate the scope and purpose of a research project to develop a framework for more extensive disclosures on intangible assets. Current accounting standards fail to adequately reveal the value and performance of intangible assets. Concerns as to whether the current disclosure environment is suboptimal, and which types of intangible assets are relevant for investor decision-making have drawn attention from standard setters. In this study we examine the quantity and information content of intangible asset disclosures based on an analysis of intangible asset disclosures in more than 9,000 earnings conference calls. Our results show that firms disclose information on intangible assets in conference calls. We also find that intangible asset disclosures in conference calls have information content. Finally, after the voluntary disclosures provided in the presentation section of the conference call, analysts still have value relevant questions about intangible assets in the Q&A section of the conference call. The additional semi-voluntary disclosures in the Q&A section also have information content. Our results suggest that conference calls can (partially) compensate for insufficient mandatory disclosures. We infer that conference calls reduce the need for more mandated disclosures about intangible assets.
Contact information:
Paolo PeregoAnna Nöteberg