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In financial accounting, an asset is an economic resource. Anything tangible or intangible that can be owned or controlled to produce value and that is held to have positive economic value is considered an asset. Simply stated, assets represent value of ownership that can be converted into cash (although cash itself is also considered an asset).
The balance sheet of a firm records the monetary value of the assets owned by the firm. It is money and other valuables belonging to an individual or business. Two major asset classes are tangible assets and intangible assets. Tangible assets contain various subclasses, including current assets and fixed assets. Current assets include inventory, while fixed assets include such items as buildings and equipment.
Intangible assets are nonphysical resources and rights that have a value to the firm because they give the firm some kind of advantage in the market place. Examples of intangible assets are goodwill, copyrights, trademarks, patents and computer programs, and financial assets, including such items as accounts receivable, bonds and .
An asset is a resource controlled by the entity as a result of past events and from which future economic benefits are expected to flow to the entity (Framework Par 49a).
One of the most widely accepted accounting definitions of asset is the one used by the International Accounting Standards Board. The following is a quotation from the IFRS Framework: "An asset is a resource controlled by the enterprise as a result of past events and from which future economic benefits are expected to flow to the enterprise."
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