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Accounting for intellectual capital : Internal and external reporting / Ching Choo Huang

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  • Accounting. Bookkeeping
  • Communication
  • Ecology
  • Geography


With the development of Malaysia into a 'knowledge-based economy', companies have begun to recognise the importance of managing intellectual capital (IC). This thesis explores the availability and importance of internal and external IC information. Data were obtained from interviews, a postal questionnaire and a survey of company annual reports. There were found to be internal and external IC 'information gaps' despite the 'knowledge economy' agenda in Malaysia. The financial analysts and fund managers did not get entirely what they looked for in the current annual reports. The general and inconsistent disclosure of external IC information calls for some guidelines on IC reporting for Malaysian companies. In addition, there was found to be an under provision of IC information within firms suggesting a need to develop an internal information system dealing specifically with IC. Three contingency variables, namely business strategy, technological advancement of customer service and environmental uncertainty, were found to affect the availability of aggregate IC information. Categories of IC information developed from the empirical data are potentially useful reference points for companies to communicate IC internally. In the context ofIC, there may be a need to better integrate financial and management accounting. Management and financial accountants should work together to develop a framework for monitoring key elements of IC, for use in reporting IC internally and also, after removing competitively sensitive information, for supplementing corporate external reporting.

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