CEOs rethink value of intangible assets

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Three-quarters of the world's CEOs say more emphasis should be placed on measuring the value of non-financial assets such as intellectual capital and customer relationships, a new survey finds.

Most of the respondents in the survey said customer relationships, knowledge and human capital contribute significantly to the overall value of the business.

They feel that these assets should therefore be the primary areas of focus for developing measures of value to drive long-term performance, according to the survey conducted by Oxford Economics for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).

"Businesses are facing unprecedented challenges. One of the key struggles faced by CEOs is building sustainably for the future in the face of a fixation on financial, short-term gains," said Charles Tilley, Chief Executive of CIMA. "Our research shows there is an unmet need in the measuring of non-financial information within organisations."

According to the survey, many CEOs admit there is room for improvement in the measurement of non-financial value. Just 51 percent of nearly 300 CEOs surveyed in 21 countries said their organisations currently measure the value of non-financial assets well or very well.

"It is crucial that the challenges senior executives face and the decisions they make are supported by strategic, forward-looking guidance based on sound insights that drive strong performance," said Barry Melancon, CEO of the AICPA.

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