Michael D. Moberly May 19, 2009
Audits – assessments of company intangible assets, i.e., intellectual property, proprietary know how, competitive advantages, etc., should be considered on-going necessities and fiduciary responsibilities rather than ‘quadrenial’ expenses or exercises engaged only after problems are suspected or lawsuits filed. Why, because today, 65+% of most company’s value, sources of revenue, sustainability, and future wealth creation are embedded in intangible assets.
Today’s intangible asset audit and assessment must be much more than a mere confirmatory review of IP status using generic checklists or templates developed decades ago. Instead, today’s audit and assessment must provide business decision makers with:
1. an objective sense of the assets’ status, i.e., its fragility, stability, defensibiliity, sustainability, and value.
2. actionable and practical recommendations for (a.) maximizing, positioning, leveraging, and extracting value from the assets, and (b.) sustaining control, use, ownership, and value of those assets through effective stewardship, oversight, and management.
The primary responsibility of the entity conducting assessments/audits is to fully understand ‘how the company works’, i.e., how its knowledge-based assets (intangibles, IP, etc.) are produced, inter-connected, and utilized insofar as their contribution to revenue, value, competitive advantages, market position, etc.
This insight will enable and facilitate management teams to engage – conduct more secure and profitable transactions by (a.) sifting through and unraveling a company’s operational complexities and nuances that have a bearing on utilizing and sustaining control, use, ownership and value of relevant assets, and (b.) bring operational and economic clarity to a company’s intangible assets, intellectual properties, and other knowledge-based assets.