An asset is something that an entity possesses or control with the intention that it shall give a future monetary benefit to an individual, company, or nation. Assets are reflected on the balance sheet of a business and are either purchased or created to improve the value of the business or increase the net worth of the business. In financial accounting terms, assets may be classified into three categories: tangible fixed assets, identifiable intangible assets, and liability capital.
The term ‘asset’ is derived from the word ‘asset’ which in modern English has come to mean ‘having a legal claim on the property (as in ‘asset data’)’. These assets are transferred to the owning party by virtue of a legal claim; there is no transfer or inheritance of rights. In other words, the asset does not change ownership, rather the ownership changes due to a change in its position on the balance sheet. Thus, the distinction between a liability account (accounting for the effects of debits and credits) and an asset account (accounting for the effects of accruals and debits) is important in understanding financial accounting.
The concept of the asset account is widely used in all the different types of accounting. A current asset account shows what a company currently owns as a result of its ownership and is separated from the financial statement that would represent the effects of accumulated depreciation. A long-term asset account represents what a company currently owns but is not able to sell because of the accumulated depreciation. Finally, a fixed asset account represents what a company presently possesses but is not able to sell because of the long-term fixed effect of the instrument used to purchase it.
All types of accounting accounts are necessarily related to one another. An accounting report is a document that reports the values of a discrete amount of items. This could be any number of things ranging from tangible assets to intangibles and financial liabilities. All intangibles and financial liabilities are valued in a certain manner to determine their cost and book value. In order to do this, accounting must estimate the quantity of each category of item and then compare this quantity to the market price.
When an item is sold, the seller takes a profit and that gain is included in the company’s revenue. The difference between the actual cash purchased and the price paid for the item is the asset gain. Because a company must account for the sale of intangibles and financial assets, its income statement and balance sheet will show the difference between the cash inflows and the cash outflows. These differences are reported in the operating income and the net income.
There are two types of assets: financial assets and non-financial assets. The difference between them is their ability to generate cash inflows when they are purchased and to generate cash outflows when they are converted into cash. The two types of assets are similar in that they both have an identifiable price that is determined at the initial transaction but there are differences. The price per share (PSP) or the price per stock (PSS) is often used to compare the intangibles’ stock to a company’s common stock. When an intangible is converted into cash, its market value is updated to the current market price and its book value is updated to the price at which it was converted.
When a company completes a purchase or sale of financial assets, it is required to give its shareholders or owners a statement describing the nature of the assets sold and the amount of cash paid for them. Usually, the balance sheet will record the value of the assets immediately but it may also include an estimate of the realized value at a later date. By creating an accurate balance sheet, a company can calculate the effect of a merger, debt conversion, tax adjustment, lease adjustment and reinvestment in cash flow data.
To summarize, an asset may be converted into cash within one year of purchase if it was purchased using funds that were invested in the business. An asset may also be converted into cash within one year if the price that was paid for it was less than the fair value at the time of purchase. It is necessary, therefore, to estimate the conversion rate in order to make an accurate balance sheet. Due diligence is important in this regard because companies must make certain that the assets being traded do not already exist and that the cash payment or value of the acquisition does not exceed the total cash within one year of the purchase.