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The role of accounting in high-technology investments

Smith, Julia A. and Cordina, Renzo (2014) The role of accounting in high-technology investments. British Accounting Review, 46 (3). 309–322. ISSN 0890-8389

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Abstract

We present new qualitative empirical evidence from a series of interviews with representatives of venture capital support organisations, which discusses the role of accounting in high-technology investments. Our discussion is framed around three propositions on: whether or not the stewardship role of accounting still holds; the usefulness, or otherwise, of accounting information in the valuation of high-technology investments; and assessing the value of intangible assets in the investment decision. We find that accounting no longer plays such a strong stewardship role, certainly for the venture capital investor. Further, its role in enabling investors to make decisions on how, when and how much to invest is limited. We propose that standard setters take this on board in revising reporting requirements.