Intangible assets, such as a product or company name, sign, symbol, design, or reputation, which if operated in combination will lead to greater benefits from the sales or service through brand differentiation. The accounting treatment for brands is closely linked to the controversy surrounding accounting for goodwill. Some companies, neither wishing to write off an amount representing goodwill immediately to their reserves nor to amortize it, have shown an amount for brands on their balance sheets. These amounts may remain on the balance sheet without amortization. Some companies have also chosen to place on their balance sheets internally created brands, as well as those acquired. Although there is general agreement that the existence of brands can have a beneficial impact on the earnings of a company, there is less agreement on the reliability of valuing brands in the balance sheet. In the UK this debate has been largely resolved by the introduction of Financial Reporting Standard 10, Goodwill and Intangible Assets. In the USA it has been standard practice to capitalize and amortize goodwill and all intangibles are treated in the same fashion; thus in the USA brands have not been an important accounting issue.

Accounting dictionary. 2014.

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