Among the most used tools to evaluate business financial performance is the analysis and interpretation of financial statements in which accounting statements such as the Balance Sheet, the Income Statement, and the Cash Flow Statement are used as a source of information. The analysis of the financial statements is carried out through the application of methods such as the calculation of variations, integral percentage trends, and financial ratios or ratios registered in certain periods. In the latter case, the reasons for liquidity, solvency, activity, efficiency or turnover, solvency, and profitability or performance stand out.

Based on such financial indicators, the companies proceed to carry out their interpretation to have elements of judgment for future decision-making in areas such as those related to their ability to cover their short-term payment obligations, indebtedness, the management and use of their assets, and the levels of profitability concerning sales and invested resources.

However, it should be noted that to achieve a full understanding and interpretation of such indicators, it is necessary to resort to complementary information related to factors of the external context (macroenvironment and microenvironment) and internal elements of the company that directly or indirectly have had a significant impact on its performance. behavior. Within this complementary information, the one referring to the participation of intellectual capital in the internal processes of the company stands out due to its importance, which, according to the Theory of Resources and Capacities, plays a fundamental role in the achievement of competitive advantages and consequently in the performance levels achieved [1].

Intellectual capital can be defined as the set of valuable and distinctive intangible assets made up of a combination of strategic resources related to human talent, systematized information, technological and organizational infrastructure, heritage, and social and business relationships that are currently contributing to the creation of value for the company or that have the potential to generate it in the future.

These intangible assets generally do not directly impact financial results such as expanding revenue opportunities and lowering costs to achieve higher returns on capital. They participate in the creation of value by being part of and supporting critical internal processes corresponding to areas such as operations management, customer management, innovation management, and management of regulatory and social processes. To processes in which we must be excellent to materialize and deliver the value proposition for customers [2] and increase the productivity of the company.

All of this is duly aligned with the financial objectives of growth and productivity to be achieved and the business strategy selected to achieve them, which in turn implies that the concept of valuable and distinctive intangibles derives from the capacity they have to contribute decisively to the implementation of the strategy.

Such assets are the result of intangible resources accumulated over time and the development of a series of initiatives called “intangible activities” that add value and imply the allocation of resources for contracting, acquiring, internally developing, protecting, maintaining, improving existing ones, evaluate and controlling them. The foregoing through the formulation, implementation, and execution of intangible activity programs for the different types of intellectual capital, which commonly includes human capital, information, and communication capital, innovation and development capital, organizational capital, relational social capital, and business capital. relational.

Human capital includes among its outstanding assets the knowledge, abilities or skills, values, ​​and attitudes of workers. Particularly of those profiles of the personnel that corresponds to the families of strategic positions, to the categories of positions at different levels that have a greater impact on the critical internal processes of the company.

Information and communication capital can be classified into two large groups: assets corresponding to information capital applications and those relating to technological infrastructure. The first category essentially refers to access to and applications of information and communication technologies and the second to technologies shared by staff.

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Innovation and development capital includes assets derived from products/services, organizational and marketing innovation activities and those duly registered as intellectual property, including industrial property and copyright.

Organizational capital is identified with the integrating capabilities that unite the internal organization so that tangible and intangible assets are not only in line with the strategy but also work together to achieve business objectives. It takes the form of intangible assets such as the internalized corporate culture among the staff, the organizational climate, the availability of qualified leaders, and teamwork.

Social and business relational capital covers the set of interactions with interest groups that are not directly related to the exercise of the company’s activity and those directly linked to its operations.

Examples of intangible activity programs referring to different categories of intellectual capital are described below:

  • Talent recruitment.
  • Staff training.
  • Decrease in staff turnover.
  • Modification of the recruitment and selection system.
  • Staff motivation.
  • Incorporation of knowledge management tools.
  • Formation of a cadre of leaders at all levels.
  • Development of integrated customer and supplier management systems.
  • Legal protection of innovations.
  • Development of new products.
  • Improvement of the quality of the products.
  • Promotion of a culture of creativity and innovation.
  • Formation of interdepartmental teams.
  • Implementation of the principles of corporate social responsibility.
  • Expansion of the distribution network of products and services.
  • Strengthening of the brand image.
  • Consolidation of relationships with suppliers.

THE INTELLECTUAL CAPITAL REPORT

The Intellectual Capital Report, as a complement to the analysis and interpretation of financial statements, is defined as a document that provides an overview of the company’s strategic purposes, critical internal processes, intangible activities implemented to achieve them, and measurement indicators. of the actions and results achieved with the development of such activities in a given period.

Its basic structure is made up of topics such as the following:

Mission statement, vision, and values.

Financial objectives of growth and productivity.

The strategy implemented to achieve the objectives.

  • The value proposition for the client.
  • Critical internal processes implemented.
  • Intangible activities by type of capital are developed to support and shape the different critical internal processes and the cause-effect relationships derived from their application.
  • Measurement indicators by type of capital of the intangible activities carried out.
  • Analysis of actions and results.

Regarding the measurement indicators of intangible activities, examples of them are described below. In this regard, it should be noted that in practice each company will create its system of indicators based on the particular characteristics assumed by its strategic management processes.

Examples of Human Capital Indicators

  • Percentage of workers with technical/technological careers.
  • Percentage of workers with higher level studies.
  • Percentage of workers with specialized training.
  • Percentage of workers with transversal training, with the ability to perform tasks in other positions.
  • Percentage of workers who have the necessary skills to carry out their work activities.
  • Percentage of workers who received training.
  • The number of courses taught internally.
  • Percentage of workers trained in external institutions.
  • Satisfaction index with the training received.
  • The number of new talent hires.
  • The number of suggestions provided by workers.
  • The number of suggestions adopted by the company to improve processes.
  • Percentage of workers who exceeded the standard of their work.
  • Work absenteeism rate.
  • Staff turnover rate.
  • The incidence rate of occupational accidents.
  • The average length of experience of workers in the sector.
  • Percentage of foreign workers.
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Examples of Information and Communication Capital Indicators

  • Percentage of total investment represented by investment in information and communication technologies.
  • Number of computers per worker.

The number of staff accesses to corporate computer systems.

Percentage of employees with intranet access.

Percentage of staff with internet access.

  • The number of systems and networks that analyze, interpret, and internally share information/knowledge.
  • The number of knowledge networks in which it participates.
  • The number of process management software tools developed internally.
  • The number of process management IT tools acquired.
  • The number of systems that automate the basic repetitive transactions of the company.
  • The number of databases implemented.
  • The number of queries to databases.
  • The number of integrated international information systems.
  • The number of websites and call centers implemented.
  • Customers are served through digital bases.
  • Process management tools available.
  • Percentage of employees with the option to telework.
  • Firewall systems are installed for the prevention of computer risks.

Examples of Innovation and Development Capital Indicators  

  • Percentage of total investment in research and development projects.
  • Percentage of investment in research and development concerning sales. The number of research and development projects carried out with various institutions.
  • The number of product/service, process, organizational and marketing innovations.
  • Number of registered patents.
  • Number of registered trademarks.
  • The number of copyright registrations.
  • Number of licenses and permits.
  • The number of franchises.
  • Several innovation networks in which the company participates.
  • The number of workers who participated in internal improvement and innovation projects.
  • The number of innovative ideas proposed by workers.
  • The number of actions carried out to spread the innovative culture among workers.

Examples of Indicators of Organizational Capital

  • The number of actions to disseminate corporate culture.
  • Percentage of workers identified with the company’s values.
  • Percentage of workers who value the work environment positively.

Degree of satisfaction in the employee-boss relationship.

The number of managers with leadership capacity.

Percentage of workers who believe that their opinions are taken into account.

  • The number of hours dedicated to the integration of new employees.
  • The number of activities implemented in terms of gender awareness. Percentage of projects that are based on cooperation between several areas.
  • Percentage of people working as a team.
  • The number of collaboration teams between departments.
  • The number of organizational development projects implemented.
  • The number of organizational procedures documented in procedure manuals.
  • The number of quality projects developed.
  • The number of ISO certifications obtained.
  • The number of external quality recognitions.
  • The number of workers who received awards and recognitions.
  • Percentage of workers who received additional compensation.
  • The number of actions and benefits to harmonize the work and family life of workers.

Examples of Relational Social Capital Indicators  

  • Business reputation index.
  • The number of reports on the company (not contracted) disseminated by the media.
  • Percentage of positive assessments in the information disseminated by the media.
  • Several collaboration agreements with public institutions and third-sector organizations.
  • Percentage of total investment earmarked for environmental projects.
  • The number of corporate communications aimed at information transparency.
  • Percentage of people dedicated to social action.
  • Spending on communication and public relations about sales.
  • The number of awards received related to social, environmental, and ethical performance.
  • The number of initiatives implemented to incorporate renewable energy sources and increase the company’s energy efficiency.
  • The number of projects to support education, culture, and social development.
  • Percentage of total investment in community service projects.
  • The number of campaigns carried out to collect resources for social works.
  • The number of employment opportunities created for people in vulnerable situations.
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Examples of Relationship Business Capital Indicators 

  • Average sales per customer.
  • The percentage represents the purchases of the five main customers.
  • The average time between contacting customers and closing sales.
  • Percentage of closed sales concerning sales contacts.
  • Percentage of repeat customers.
  • Percentage of sales that corresponds to the different means used (direct sales, telemarketing, internet, catalog, vending machines, etc.).
  • The average duration of the relationship with customers.
  • The number of days spent visiting clients.
  • Percentage of lost customers.
  • Percentage of sales to new customers.
  • Percentage of new clients.
  • The number of internet portals aimed at customers.
  • Customer loyalty index.
  • Customer satisfaction index.
  • The number of innovative customer ideas.
  • Several customers were served through phone calls and e-mail.
  • Punctuality index in deliveries.
  • Percentage of claims attended to and resolved in favor of the customer.
  • Average time for resolution of claims.
  • Percentage of clients with seniority equal to or greater than five years.
  • Percentage of national and international sales.
  • Number of products and services developed with the cooperation of customers
  • Market share percentage.
  • Number of products and services developed with the cooperation of customers
  • The number of marketing channels in the country and abroad.
  • The number of stores in which products are displayed in preferred locations.
  • The number of fairs and exhibitions in which it participated.
  • The number of advertising and promotional campaigns carried out.
  • Level of the impact of advertising and promotional campaigns.
  • Degree of awareness and acceptance of the brand.
  • Supplier satisfaction index.
  • Average payment time to suppliers.
  • Average waiting time from the time the order is placed with suppliers until it is received.
  • Percentage of punctual deliveries from suppliers.
  • Percentage of suppliers certified to make deliveries without prior inspection.
  • Percentage of purchases from suppliers made electronically.
  • Percentage of supplier invoices paid on time.
  • Percentage of providers that provide services directly to customers.
  • The number of strategic alliances and collaboration agreements of different kinds.
  • Number and amount of government support obtained through business development programs.

Finally, it should be noted that the percentage of companies that prepare specific reports on intellectual capital is limited and focused mainly on large companies. The foregoing may be due to factors such as ignorance of the benefits derived from its management and the restrictive requirements established by accounting standards to recognize as an asset the actions carried out by companies in elements of an intangible nature.

 

[1] In this perspective, it is considered that the key drivers of the process of creating competitive advantages, and consequently of differentiated and sustainable value in terms of economic benefits, are the company’s intangible resources and distinctive capabilities.

[2] A value proposition is constituted by a unique combination of basic and differentiating tangible and intangible benefits that the company offers and delivers to its target customers and that as a whole will allow it to distinguish itself from the competition.