All About Assets With Examples, Types and Meaning


For example, when you sell a product or service, the recording of the sale will automatically increase your asset totals. If you’re selling products, your inventory asset total will also be updated. For example, let’s say your customer pays you $1,450 on Monday, which you later take to the bank to deposit. Recording the deposit would increase your cash, which is an asset, and decrease your accounts receivable balance, which is also an asset. Mike Zeiter, a CPA/PFS and CFP who runs Zeiter Tax Services, says generally, the easiest way to determine if something is considered a fixed asset is if it will last for more than one year.

  • A balance sheet is a financial statement representing a snapshot of a company’s total assets, liabilities, and shareholder equity (if applicable).
  • Fixed assets, also known as noncurrent assets, are expected to be in use for longer than one year.
  • Business assets also need to be included in financial statements and have a specific way they need to be accounted for, which includes marking their historical cost and any depreciation.
  • Asset planning is the process of assessing what assets are needed to develop the business in a cost-effective manner and to increase profit and profitability.

Unlike a tangible asset that has a physical property that you can touch, intangible assets have no physical presence. Fixed assets, sometimes called non-current assets, are also classified by how easily they can be converted into cash. Fixed assets are usually big-ticket items that are held for more than one year and can include any of the following. Cash accounts and accounts receivable balances are considered current assets, while a building would be considered a fixed asset.

What is an Asset?

Some liabilities are considered off the balance sheet, meaning they do not appear on the balance sheet. Assets are listed in order of liquidity, which is the ease in which they can be quickly bought or sold in the market without affecting their price. Students and families will be able to complete and submit FAFSA forms online by Dec. 31. The new FAFSA will allow students and families to use federal tax data transferred directly and securely from the Internal Revenue Service.

If you loaned money to someone, that loan is also an asset because you are owed that amount. Some assets are recorded on companies’ balance sheets using the concept of historical cost. Historical cost represents the original cost of the asset when purchased by a company.

Why Is the Classification of Business Assets Important?

In this example, Apple’s total assets of $323.8 billion is segregated towards the top of the report. This asset section is broken into current assets and non-current assets, and each of these categories is broken into more specific wave pricing, features, reviews and comparison of alternatives accounts. A brief review of Apple’s assets shows that their cash on hand decreased, yet their non-current assets increased. The financial statement only captures the financial position of a company on a specific day.

What Are Assets and Liabilities?

Assets and liabilities are terms frequently used in business to state the property owned and the debts incurred, respectively. Assets are the properties or items owned by a business, and they increase the business’s value. Liabilities are the amounts owed by the business—in other words, debts that decrease the business’s value. Assets and liabilities are listed together on a financial statement known as the balance sheet. A company can use its balance sheet to craft internal decisions, though the information presented is usually not as helpful as an income statement.

How can a business tell if something is an asset?

Financial assets are valued according to the underlying security and market supply and demand. Depreciation is the process of spreading the cost of a fixed or tangible asset throughout its useful life. The depreciation expense can be calculated by subtracting the salvage or resale value of an asset from its original cost. This gradual reduction in the cost of the asset is the amount that a company can write off each year under depreciation. It is also worth noting that most business assets can be written off as an expense on the income statement.

Interesting Facts about Business Assets

Now, that you understand what is a business asset, properly classifying and recording your company’s assets on a balance sheet should not be a problem. This information can then be used by the management and external stakeholders to accurately evaluate the financial position of your company. When learning what is a business asset, note that the balance sheet lists business assets at historical cost rather than the market value, starting with more liquid items. Liquid assets can be quickly converted to cash when needed, meaning they can be bought or sold in the market with no effect on the price. Accountants itemize assets and liabilities on a balance sheet in order to help management assess a company’s risk and solvency. This information is used by lenders to determine whether to extend a loan to a company.

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Assets are always found on your balance sheet and should be categorized by type. Everything from your computer to your inventory is considered an asset and should be recorded as such. These are things that take longer to convert to cash, including real estate, antiques, and collectibles. Your home would be an illiquid asset because even if you have a lot of equity in it, the sale could take a while depending on the local market conditions.