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Types of Assets

  • Current assets are cash and other assets expected to be converted into cash, sold, or consumed either in one year or in the operating cycle, whichever is longer. Current assets are presented in the balance sheet in order of liquidity. The five major items found in the current asset section are: cash, marketable securities, accounts receivables, inventories and prepaid expenses.
  • Long-term investments are often referred to simply as investments. They are to be held for many years, and are not acquired with the intention of disposing of them in the near future.
  • Property, plants, and equipment are properties of a durable nature used in the regular operations of a business. With the exception of land, most assets are either depreciable (such as a building) or consumable. The accumulated depreciation account is a contra-asset account used to total the depreciation expense to date on the asset.
  • Intangible assets lack physical substance and usually have a high degree of uncertainty concerning their future benefits. They include patents, copyrights, franchises, goodwill, trademarks, trade names, secret processes, and organization costs. Generally, all of these intangibles are written off (amortized) as an expense over 5 to 40 years.
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