Asset is a financial term used to identify anything to which a cash equivalent value may be placed. Therefore, an object that is owned by the government, a business, or an individual that is proven to have economic value within an exchange is considered an Asset. Assets may be tangible or intangible in nature and are often measured by liquidity. Examples of Assets include cash and cash equivalents, property, and investments. Both tangible and intangible Assets may or may not be depreciable. Tangible Assets may be those fixed to the property or portable equipment. Intangible Assets may include intellectual property or the value of goodwill within an enterprise. It is important to classify every Asset; each classification type has depreciation rules and regulations assigned by the IRS. Guidelines have been created for the acquisition and future change in disposition of Assets through depreciation, sale, full use, donation, and destruction of each Asset class. During the time they are held, the value of Assets may change according to these guidelines. A balance sheet reflects the value of each Asset on the last day of the financial period for which it was created. For example, a retail business operates in a freestanding building and commercial lot appraised at $900,000 using the comparable sales method of appraisal. A buyer pays the asking price of $1,000,000 for the property and business. The new balance sheet reflects a real estate Asset account initially valued at $900,000 for the property and a goodwill Asset account established at $100,000 for the value of the trade the seller had established.

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