Asset Retirement Obligation


DEFINITION of 'Asset Retirement Obligation'

An accounting rule established by Financial Accounting Standards Board Rule No. 143 in June 2001 that requires public companies to recognize the fair value of retirement obligations for tangible, long-lived assets in order to make their balance sheets more accurate. This focus on the balance sheet represents a change from the income-statement approach many businesses previously used.

BREAKING DOWN 'Asset Retirement Obligation'

An asset is considered retired when it is permanently taken out of service, such as through sale or disposal. Retirement obligations can be recognized either when the asset is placed in service or during its operating life at the point when its removal obligation is incurred.

Accounting for asset retirement obligations is a complex process requiring the assistance of a CPA.

  1. Financial Accounting Standards ...

    A seven-member independent board consisting of accounting professionals ...
  2. Obligation

    The legal responsibility to meet the terms of a contract. If ...
  3. Tangible Asset

    Assets that have a physical form. Tangible assets include both ...
  4. Asset

    1. A resource with economic value that an individual, corporation ...
  5. Certified Public Accountant - CPA

    A designation given by the American Institute of Certified Public ...
  6. FASB 157

    A Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) Statement that ...
Related Articles
  1. Options & Futures

    A New Approach To Equity Compensation

    The new financial accounting standard known as FAS 123R could take a bite out of your portfolio. Find out why here.
  2. Options & Futures

    Advanced Financial Statement Analysis

    Learn what it means to do your homework on a company's performance and reporting practices before investing.
  3. Economics

    Calculating Days Working Capital

    A company’s days working capital ratio shows how many days it takes to convert working capital into revenue.
  4. Retirement

    The Cities Where the Ultra-Rich Retire in Florida

    Understand why the Florida communities of Miami Beach, Palm Beach and Key West serve as magnets for the ultra-rich retirees who descend on the state.
  5. Retirement

    The 5 Best Retirement Communities in Austin, Texas

    Discover five of the most desirable retirement communities for seniors located in the Austin/Georgetown metropolitan area in Texas.
  6. Retirement

    4 Reasons Why Americans Retire in the Dominican Republic

    Understand why many Americans are deciding to retire internationally. Learn about the top four reasons why Americans are retiring to the Dominican Republic.
  7. Professionals

    Career Advice: Accountant Vs. Controller

    Learn about the differences between controllers and accountants, how the two are related and which is the best career choice for aspiring bookkeepers.
  8. Investing

    What is EBITA?

    EBITA measures a company’s full profitability before reducing it by interest, taxes and amortization considerations, and so is useful for calculating a company’s internal efficiency or profitability ...
  9. Professionals

    What is Cash Basis Accounting?

    Cash basis accounting recognizes revenues and expenses at the time cash is paid or received.
  10. Term

    What Is Financial Performance?

    Financial performance measures a firm’s ability to generate profits through the use of its assets.
  1. What is the difference between IAS and GAAP?

    To answer this question, we must first define what IAS and GAAP are, in order to get a better grasp of the function they ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What is the difference between principles-based accounting and rules-based accounting?

    Almost all companies are required to prepare their financial statements as set out by the Financial Accounting Standards ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Are dividends considered an asset?

    Whether dividends paid on stock are considered an asset depends on which role you play in the investment: the issuing company ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Can my 401(k) be seized or garnished?

    As long as your retirement funds are held in your 401(k) and you do not take them as distributions, your 401(k) cannot be ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What is a profit and loss (P&L) statement and why do companies publish them?

    A profit and loss (P&L) statement, or balance sheet, is essentially a snapshot of a company's financial activity for ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How do dividends affect the balance sheet?

    Dividends paid in cash affect a company's balance sheet by decreasing the company's cash account on the asset side and decreasing ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Gross Profit

    A company's total revenue (equivalent to total sales) minus the cost of goods sold. Gross profit is the profit a company ...
  2. Revenue

    The amount of money that a company actually receives during a specific period, including discounts and deductions for returned ...
  3. Normal Profit

    An economic condition occurring when the difference between a firm’s total revenue and total cost is equal to zero.
  4. Operating Cost

    Expenses associated with the maintenance and administration of a business on a day-to-day basis.
  5. Cost Of Funds

    The interest rate paid by financial institutions for the funds that they deploy in their business. The cost of funds is one ...
  6. Cost Accounting

    A type of accounting process that aims to capture a company's costs of production by assessing the input costs of each step ...
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!