Accounting: Understanding Your Assets

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    Jul 31, 2012
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Current assets are the key assets that your business uses up during a 12-month period and will likely not be there the next year. The accounts that reflect current & long-term assets are: Cash in Checking: Any company's primary account is the checking account used for operating activities. This is the account used to deposit revenues and pay expenses. Some companies have more than one operating account in this category; for example, a company with many divisions may have an operating account for each division. Cash in Savings: This account is used for surplus cash. Any cash for which there is no immediate plan is deposited in an interest-earning savings account so that it can at least earn interest while the company decides what to do with it.

Cash on Hand: This account is used to track any cash kept at retail stores or in the office. In retail stores, cash must be kept in registers in order to provide change to customers. In the office, petty cash is often kept around for immediate cash needs that pop up from time to time. This account helps you keep track of the cash held outside a financial institution.

Accounts Receivable: If you offer your products or services to customers on store credit (meaning your store credit system), then you need this account to track the customers who buy on your dime. Accounts Receivable isn't used to track purchases made on other types of credit cards because your business gets paid directly by banks, not customers, when other credit cards are used. Inventory: This account tracks the products you have on hand to sell to your customers. The value of the assets in this account varies depending upon the way you decide to track the flow of inventory into and out of the business.

Vehicles: This account tracks any cars, trucks, or other vehicles owned by the business. The initial value of any vehicle is listed in this account based on the total cost paid to put the vehicle in service. Sometimes this value is more than the purchase price if additions were needed to make the vehicle usable for the particular type of business. For example, if a business provides transportation for the handicapped and must add additional equipment to a vehicle in order to serve the needs of its customers, that additional equipment is added to the value of the vehicle. Vehicles also depreciate through their useful lifespan. Accumulated Depreciation Vehicles: This account tracks the depreciation of all vehicles owned by the company.

Furniture and Fixtures: This account tracks any furniture or fixtures purchased for use in the business. The account includes the value of all chairs, desks, store fixtures, and shelving needed to operate the business. The value of the furniture and fixtures in this account is based on the cost of purchasing these items. These items are depreciated during their useful lifespan. Accumulated Depreciation Furniture and Fixtures: This account tracks the accumulated depreciation of all furniture and fixtures. Equipment: This account tracks equipment that was purchased for use for more than one year, such as computers, copiers, tools, and cash registers. The value of the equipment is based on the cost to purchase these items. Equipment is also depreciated to show that over time it gets used up and must be replaced.

Accumulated Depreciation Equipment: This account tracks the accumulated depreciation of all the equipment.

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