Note 11: Intangible assets

Accounting policy

Software acquisition and development

Acquired computer software licenses are capitalised on the basis of the costs incurred to acquire and bring to use the specific software.

Costs that are directly associated with the development of software for internal use by the Office are recognised as an intangible asset. Direct costs include the software development and employee costs.

Staff training costs are recognised as an expense when incurred.

Costs associated with maintaining computer software are recognised as an expense when incurred, as are costs associated with hosted software or "as a service" arrangements.

Costs associated with development and maintenance of the Office's website are recognised as an expense when incurred.


The carrying value of an intangible asset with a finite life is amortised on a straight-line basis over its useful life. Amortisation begins when the asset is available for use and ceases at the date that the asset is derecognised. The amortisation charge for each year is recognised in the surplus or deficit.

The useful life and associated amortisation rate of intangible assets have been estimated at between 2.5 and 5 years (20% - 40%).


Intangible assets subsequently measured at cost that have an indefinite useful life, or are not yet available for use, are not subject to amortisation and are tested annually for impairment. For further details, refer to the policy for impairment of property, plant, and equipment in Note 10. The same approach applies to the impairment of intangible assets.

Critical accounting estimates and assumptions

Determining the amortisation rates for intangible assets requires judgement as to the likely period of use of the assets. Different assessments of useful lives would result in different values being determined for amortisation costs, accumulated amortisation and net book values.

Breakdown of intangible assets and further information

Movements for each class of intangible asset are as follows:

Acquired software
Internally generated software
Balance at 1 July 2018 4,587 785 5,372
Additions - 242 242
Disposals (406) - (406)
Balance at 30 June 2019 4,181 1,027 5,208
Additions 92 198 290
Disposals - - -
Balance at 30 June 2020 4,273 1,225 5,498
Accumulated amortisation and impairment losses
Balance at 1 July 2018 4,243 207 4,450
Amortisation expense 116 31 147
Disposals (406) - (406)
Balance at 30 June 2019 3,953 238 4,191
Amortisation expense 176 31 207
Disposals - - -
Balance at 30 June 2020 4,129 269 4,398
Carrying amounts
Balance at 1 July 2018 344 578 922
Balance at 30 June 2019 228 789 1,017
Balance at 30 June 2020 144 956 1,100

There are no restrictions over the title of the Office's intangible assets. No intangible assets are pledged as security for liabilities.