Assessment of assets needs to evolve in Brazil

The study on intangible in Brazil bumps into a lack of companies’ experience and the lack of knowledge of investors and, therefore, needs to be deepened, experts say. The sanction of the Provisional Measure 627, that ended the Transition Tax Regime (RTT), divides experts on how the calculation of these assets can improved, such as trademarks, patents and business models.

By Tatiane Bortolozi and Renato Rostás | From São Paulo | Valor Ecônomico 

"The research of intangibles in the country is still relegated to the background. Abroad, because of fiscal impacts, this is one of the main issues when starting to plan an acquisition," says Fabio Pecequilo, audit director of Mazars. "In Brazil, the analysis process of intangibles remains to the end of the process, to satisfy the auditor." 

To Ana Cristina França, executive director of Anefac and managing partner of Apsis Consultoria, measurement and disclosure of intangible assets improved in Brazil, but its impacts get slowly to the investor. information and shareholder interest are still missing, she said. 

Intangible assets bring an important competitive advantage for both companies and countries. Whereas companies have relatively easy access to acquisition of land, buildings, machinery and tools (tangible assets), brands, people, patents and other intangible assets are unique. 

For example, in the United States, in July, the Gross National Product (GNP) will be 3% higher as part of a move to integrate assets as royalties from films and investments in research and development to total wealth of the country. 

The discussion about intangible returned to focus with the approval of the PM 627 in May, which ruled that the new accounting standard, introduced in late 2007, will be adopted to quantify the goodwill on new acquisitions. The new practice, however, compared to the current one, can reduce the amount of goodwill to be appropriate considerably and, therefore, companies would lose some tax credits. 

Ana Cristina believes that the MP 627 will help to improve the calculation of the intangibles. "With the announcement [from the Accounting Pronouncements Committee] CPC 15, of business combination, and the PM 627, it became necessary to calculate the fair value of all assets and liabilities. Only when it is no longer justifiable and there is no sound basis that it can be interpreted as goodwill [the so-called 'goodwill'] ", says the expert. "An example is the portfolio of clients itself, which would no longer be the 'goodwill' and would appear in the rest of the intangible." 

Tânia Relvas, Financial, Accounting and Actuarial Research Foundation’s  (Fipecafi) professor,  finds that the effect of PM 627 is limited in measuring intangibles. According to her, the balance will remain the same. What changes is the creation of sub-accounts to show the gain or capital loss (the difference between the book value of assets and liabilities and the fair value) of the business, but are presented only for the company, and are not disclosed in the balance sheet to investors. 

Pecequilo, from Mazars, believes that, with the possible fiscal impact, companies will gradually be adapted. "The market itself will require improvements. The market will regulate itself, as it did on several occasions." 

The introduction of international accounting standards in Brazil put on the agenda a discussion that has been changing in the accounting world. 

"In the 80’s, the value of a company was composed of about 20% by intangible assets and of 80% by tangible assets, such as machinery and equipment Today, there was an inversion: participation of intangibles reaches 80% of the value of companies ", says José Roberto Kassai, Fipecafi professor. 

"It's all very new, but we are on an increasing learning curve," says Tânia, from Fipecafi. "We have about five years left to mature the question," she says, referring to the period for the training of professionals and firms adaptation to the new accounting reality.