What Is an Asset?

What Is an Asset?

By Charles Joseph | Editor, Financial Affairs
Reviewed by Corey Michael | Senior Financial Analyst

An asset is a valuable resource that an individual, corporation, or country owns or controls with the expectation that it will provide future benefits. Assets are reported on a company’s balance sheet and are bought or created to increase the value of the firm or benefit the firm’s operations. Assets can be physical, like real estate and equipment, intangibles, like patents and trademarks, or financial, like stocks and bonds.

Related Questions

1. What are some examples of tangible assets?

Tangible assets are physical items that can be seen and touched. This includes real estate properties, machinery, vehicles, furniture, inventory, and cash. Some tangible assets can depreciate in value over time, such as machinery and vehicles, but others, like real estate, can appreciate in value instead.

2. What are intangible assets?

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Intangible assets, on the other hand, are non-physical assets that still hold value. Trademarks, patents, copyrights, brand recognition, and intellectual properties are among the examples. They are valued based on their potential to generate future economic benefits for the company.

3. What’s the difference between current assets and fixed assets?

Current assets are resources that will be used up within one business cycle, usually a year, and include cash, inventory, and accounts receivables. Fixed assets, also known as non-current assets or long-term assets, have a useful life longer than one year and include items like buildings, land, and equipment.

4. How are assets represented on a balance sheet?

On a balance sheet, assets are listed in order of their liquidity or how quickly they can be converted into cash. This means current assets like cash and inventory are listed first, followed by longer-term or fixed assets like property and equipment.

5. What is asset management?

Asset management refers to the process of developing, operating, maintaining, and selling assets in a cost-effective way. This plays a crucial role in a company because it helps to monitor and manage assets using a systemized approach, which is beneficial for the company’s overall performance and profitability.