What Are Assets? A Primer for Small Business Owners

What Are Assets? A Primer for Small Business Owners

Welcome to our blog on assets and how to record them accurately for your business. As one of the top accounting firms in New Jersey, we understand the importance of properly managing and categorizing assets to ensure the financial success of a business. In this post, we will provide an overview of the different types of assets, how to record them, and the benefits of using accounting software for effective asset management. Stay tuned to learn how TMD Accounting can assist you in optimizing your business’s assets for growth and sustainability.


What are Assets?


Assets are simply the things that your business owns. They come in two forms: tangible and intangible. Tangible assets are physical items like your office furniture or company vehicle, while intangible assets refer to things like patents, copyrights, and trademarks.

Assets can also be classified as current or fixed. Current assets include cash accounts and balances receivable, while fixed assets consist of items like buildings. But regardless of their type, at their core, assets are simply the things that your business has and can use to generate wealth. So keep an eye on your assets, they are the key to your business’s success!


In-Depth Look at the Different Types of Business Assets

Let’s take a more detailed look at the different kinds of assets your business can utilize:


Current Assets

Current assets are akin to the financial lifeblood of your business. These are the assets you can quickly transform into cash within a year or less, making them indispensable for the day-to-day operations of your enterprise. Your current assets include:


  • Cash Accounts: The most liquid of current assets, cash accounts include the physical cash you hold and any funds available in your business checking or savings accounts. This cash is the immediate go-to for covering operational expenses, from paying suppliers to meeting payroll.
  • Cash Equivalents: These are short-term investments with high liquidity, such as Treasury bills and money market funds. While they may not be physical cash, they can be readily converted into cash within a short timeframe, making them an essential part of your current assets.
  • Accounts Receivable: Accounts receivable represent money owed to your business by customers or clients. When you provide goods or services on credit, this forms a crucial component of your current assets. Managing accounts receivable effectively ensures a healthy cash flow.
  • Inventory: Inventory encompasses the tangible goods your business holds for sale or use in the production process. For retail businesses, it’s the goods on store shelves; for manufacturers, it’s raw materials and work-in-progress. Proper management of inventory ensures you can meet customer demand without overburdening your resources.


Fixed Assets or Non-Current Assets

Fixed assets, also referred to as non-current assets, are the backbone of your business, providing value over more extended periods, typically exceeding one year. These assets include:


  • Buildings: Real estate holdings, like office buildings, factories, or warehouses, are long-term assets. They not only house your operations but often appreciate in value over time.
  • Vehicles: Company vehicles used for transportation, delivery, or other business purposes fall under fixed assets. Their value depreciates as they age, impacting your balance sheet.
  • Land: While land may not depreciate like buildings or equipment, it’s considered a non-current asset since it typically remains with your business for an extended period without converting easily into cash.
  • Machinery and Equipment: While some machinery and equipment might be classified as tangible current assets, larger, more expensive items are categorized as fixed assets. They contribute to your production capabilities over multiple years.
  • Intellectual Property: Beyond physical assets, non-current assets can include intellectual property like patents and copyrights. These assets hold significant value but don’t have a physical presence. Their worth lies in the rights and protections they afford your business.


Tangible Assets

If you prefer to categorize assets based on their physical existence, you’ll encounter two primary categories: tangible and intangible assets. Tangible assets are those with a physical form that can be touched and seen, making them vital components of your business’s tangible assets. These include cash (in its physical form), inventory, marketable securities, machinery, and equipment – essentially, any physical possessions that your business owns.


Intangible Assets

Intangible assets might not have a physical presence, but their value is substantial. These assets include goodwill, copyrights, trademarks, licenses, and patents. While you can’t touch them, their importance to your company’s success is undeniable, representing intellectual property and legal rights that can be monetized or leveraged.


Operating Assets

When assessing assets based on their function within your business, you distinguish between operating and non-operating assets. Operating assets are the gears that keep your business engine running, actively involved in day-to-day operations. These include:


  • Cash Accounts: As mentioned earlier, this is the cash you maintain in business checking or savings accounts to cover daily expenses.
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Inventory
  • Intellectual Property: Patents, copyrights, and trademarks used to protect and monetize your intellectual assets.


Non-Operating Assets

Assets that don’t play a role in your daily business operations are classified as non-operating assets. Examples of non-operating assets include vacant land, marketable securities, and short-term investments. While these assets still hold value, they aren’t actively involved in your business’s regular activities.




The Importance of Tracking Your Assets


The proper management and recording of assets is crucial for the success of any business. Whether through accounting software or manual recording, it is essential to accurately track and document these important components. After all, assets are the foundation of your business, without which it cannot thrive. It is therefore necessary to ensure they are managed effectively to support your company’s growth and sustainability. So don’t underestimate the importance of asset management, as it plays a pivotal role in the success of your business.


Using accounting software can be a helpful way to avoid concerns about duplicate entries or missing assets when tallying financial information. This is especially beneficial for accountants in New Jersey, as the software allows for easy customization of balance sheet classifications during setup.


Plus, with each transaction automatically recorded and posted to the balance sheet, you can ensure accuracy and efficiency in your accounting processes. Say goodbye to the hassle of manually inputting information and hello to a smoother and more reliable way of managing financial records. Trust in accounting software to streamline your accounting workflow and make your job easier.


Get Your Assets In Order with TMD Accounting

In the intricate world of business finance, understanding these asset categories empowers you to make informed decisions and manage your resources effectively. If you find yourself needing support with the financial aspects of your business, TMD Accounting is here to assist you. As one of South Jersey’s leading accounting firms, our dedicated team provides expert financial advice and solutions. Reach out to us today at 856-228-2205 to address your financial inquiries and receive professional guidance tailored to your business’s needs. Your success is our priority.

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