52 Examples of Assets (With Methods for Evaluating Them)
By Andrew Juma
Updated October 17, 2022 | Published October 9, 2020
Updated October 17, 2022
Published October 9, 2020
Andrew Juma writes on various issues, including taxation, pensions and HR topics for various companies. He also produces training materials in areas such as leadership, talent management and performance management.
Businesses control many types of assets, which help improve operations, generate revenue and increase a company's value. Assets can include items that are tangible, such as equipment, or intangible, such as a copyright, and companies report these values on their balance sheets. Learning more about various types of assets can help you better understand the value of a company's resources and ensure it can protect them against risks.
In this article, we explain what assets are, list the most common types of assets, provide examples for each type, detail the ways you can value assets and offer tips to improve your asset management.
What are assets?
An asset is anything a person or company owns that has an economic value and may provide benefits to its owner in the future, such as reduced expenses, improved sales and increased cash flow. People also can use assets as collateral to secure a loan because of their value. Personal assets often include things like investments and property.
For companies, assets typically help to sustain growth and production. Companies often categorize and express assets on their balance sheet in terms of their cash value. There are two main types of business assets, which are current and noncurrent. Combined, they make up a company's total assets.
Read more: What Is an Asset?
52 examples of assets
Here are 52 examples of assets and their types:
Personal assets are items an individual owns and uses to help them meet their day-to-day living expenses. Additionally, they can use them to generate income or repay debt. Personal assets can get lost, stolen or damaged in a storm. Examples of personal assets include:
4. Household furnishings
7. Real estate
10. Home equity
11. Retirement plans
12. Money market accounts
13. Checking and savings accounts
14. Treasury bills
15. Property and any permanently attached structures
16. Cash value of life insurance policies
Current business assets
Current assets are items a company can convert into cash within a year, and some people in finance refer to these as liquidity assets because they're readily available for use in operations or distribution to shareholders. Here are some examples of current assets:
19. Marketable securities
20. Accounts receivables
22. Leased office equipment
23. Bank accounts
24. Contractor payments
26. United States Treasury bills
28. Nontrade receivable
29. Raw materials
30. Insurance payments
31. Notes receivable
Noncurrent business assets
Noncurrent, or long-term, assets are those a business needs longer than a year to convert into cash. Long-term assets can be tangible, which have a physical form, or intangible, which you can't physically see or touch. Examples of long-term assets include:
32. Office furniture
36. Computer equipment
37. Parts and supplies
38. Leasehold improvement
39. Human capital
40. Brand names
42. Broadcast licenses
46. Supplier contracts
48. Domain names
49. Franchise agreements
50. Intellectual property
51. Landing rights
Asset valuation methods
Asset valuation is how accounting or finance teams determine the real value of a business's assets. Doing this allows a company's owners to learn how much the company is worth, which can help them decide whether to make any changes. Assessing the value of an asset involves knowing the current value of the asset, assessing its future utility and judging whether the company might need it in the future.
You can use these methods to determine the value of assets:
Income approach: This uses the net cash flow from operations to determine the value of an asset. This method may be appropriate for tangible assets, like machinery and equipment, and intangible assets, like patents and trademarks.
Market approach: The market approach involves comparing the price of an asset with similar assets on the market. This method can be ideal when valuing land or buildings, but it might be less reliable when valuing inventory or long-term investments.
Cost approach: The cost approach involves determining an asset's value by subtracting its total depreciation from its original cost until the remaining value equals $0. This method often is appropriate for fixed assets but not for intangible assets.
Discounted cash flow method: In this method, you can calculate the present value of future cash flows and discount them back to the present. You can do this using a discount rate appropriate to the risk the asset has.
Book value method: The book value method uses the historical cost or original cost of an asset minus any depreciation charges it's accumulated over its life. This method often is ideal for tax purposes because it produces a figure you can list on financial statements and use to calculate taxable income and taxes.
Expected future cash flows: This involves projecting future cash flows from an asset and discounting them back to present value using a reasonable interest rate. Companies use this method in connection with investment appraisal, and its goal often is to establish whether a company should continue with a project.
Ways to streamline asset management
Asset management is the practice of managing financial assets for the long-term benefit of a company or other entity. Creating reliable processes for this can help increase the value of an organization's assets for shareholders. A company can manage assets through better utilization of assets, maximization of return on investment (ROI) and enhancement of customer satisfaction. A few aspects of asset management to focus on to improve your processes include:
In this step, you keep an inventory of your assets and determine the ones you can replace. You also can determine how much money the company has available to spend on new equipment or software. Doing this can help ensure you get what you want at a good price.
This step involves searching for vendors who can provide assets that meet your needs. Consider looking for products from several vendors to have options when making purchases. You also can develop an inventory system for tracking your assets, which can help you monitor all the company's assets and ensure no one purchases duplicate items or overspends on them.
Related: What Is Digital Asset Management?
Installation and implementation
This step includes installing assets, deploying them within your network environment and training users on how to use them properly. This also involves performing ongoing maintenance of the new technology to ensure it runs smoothly. This can help prevent downtime or other network issues that may affect users or staff.
Taking regular inventory
Knowing what assets you have is vital to help you improve how you manage them. Taking an inventory of your assets and their condition can help you create more accurate financial records for them and better measure their value. This also can help you identify when to acquire or replace assets, which can include anything from computers to office chairs.
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