Asset

DEFINITION of 'Asset'

1. A resource with economic value that an individual, corporation or country owns or controls with the expectation that it will provide future benefit.

2. A balance sheet item representing what a firm owns.

BREAKING DOWN 'Asset'

1. Assets are bought to increase the value of a firm or benefit the firm's operations. You can think of an asset as something that can generate cash flow, regardless of whether it's a company's manufacturing equipment or an individual's rental apartment.

2. In the context of accounting, assets are either current or fixed (non-current). Current means that the asset will be consumed within one year. Generally, this includes things like cash, accounts receivable and inventory. Fixed assets are those that are expected to keep providing benefit for more than one year, such as equipment, buildings and real estate.

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