Monday, May 11, 2009

Accounting Basics: Current Assets

 We've previously discussed what Assets are. In an unclassified balance sheet where you only have 3 major classifiations (assets, liabilities and owners equity) that would be in the story. A much more useful report is the Classified Balance Sheet. Here, the three major categories are subdivided to provide readers of the financial statements with much more detailed information. The first such subdivision under assets is Current Assets.

Current Assets are defined as those assets which will either be converted into cash or otherwise 'used up' by the business in a relatively short period of time (generally one year or less). On the balance sheet, they are generally presented in order of liquidity; thus cash is generally listed first.

Other examples of current assets include accounts receivable, notes receivable (which often have a current and a non-current portion) and prepaid expenses. These will be examined in future entries.

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