Assets is the plural form of asset and means credit or positive balance. The term is ( = act, be active ) derived from the Latin word agere and refers to the asset side of the balance sheet. This illustrates the use of the financial means or the ownership of the economic subject and forms as opposed to liabilities the left side of the balance sheet. She is in § 266 para 2 German Commercial Code ( HGB) legally defined.

Division of assets

The assets are divided on the first outline level pursuant to § 266 section 2 HGB in fixed assets, current assets, prepaid expenses, deferred tax assets and goodwill of from asset allocation. The liability of these bullet points and the defined further subdivision latter depends pursuant to § 266 para 1 and 2, § 267 and § 274a HGB according to certain criteria, such as the legal form or size class of the reporting entities.

Fixed assets

Non-current assets in accordance with § 247 HGB, Section 2 determine only the items that are determined on a continuing basis the operation. The assets thus involves the medium and long term committed funds of the company. This includes in particular the need to engage in the economic activity, infrastructure, such as land, buildings and machinery. Also expected to Fixed assets Financial assets of a permanent nature, such as multi-year bonds long-term investments, loans or shares in other companies.

Furthermore, the assets also include intangible assets. The latter are those assets that are physically tangible. To this end, consideration include acquired intangible assets, such as licenses, property rights, and concessions. Thus counts in the media industry, the intangible assets of the important elements of the balance sheet, the anticipated future income from movie or music rights are capitalized and listed here yet. Even intangible assets that were not acquired for valuable consideration shall be assigned to fixed assets. However, commercial law under the provisions of § 248 paragraph 2 HGB is merely a capitalization option for such self-created intangible assets and tax Pursuant to § 5 para 2 Income Tax Act even as an asset.

Current assets

Current assets include those assets owned by the company for short-term use. Examples include cash on hand, bank accounts, and short-term financial assets available. In addition, for example, form also necessary for the production of raw materials and intermediates as well as short -sale stocks of finished products, parts of current assets.

Accruals and deferred income

Prepaid expenses (RAP ) serve to associate income and expenses for the period which they must be economically allocated. Prepaid expenses on the asset side of the balance sheet, including prepaid expenses ( ARAP ), called HGB expenditure under § 250 para 1 expel that were incurred prior to the reporting date but later represent an expense. These include, for example, pre-paid rents that were paid in the current fiscal year but only in the next financial year would be due and only then represent an expense.

Deferred tax assets

Difference between commercial and tax valuations that can lead to a tax relief and resolve expected in future periods may be capitalized as deferred tax assets pursuant to § 274 paragraph 1 sentence 2 HGB.

Positive difference in the asset allocation

As a positive difference in the asset allocation of the fair value of assets less the corresponding liabilities should be recognized, provided that netting of assets and liabilities within the meaning of § 246 paragraph 2 sentence 2 HGB, and the result is from this positive.

Other items

Under certain circumstances, may or must the asset side for more items added werden.Gemäß § 265 para 5 HGB, other items are included if their content is not covered by any other prescribed items. The classification and designation of the items need to be changed according to § 265 para 6 HGB, if this is necessary due to specifics of the company to prepare a clear and concise financial statements. There is also the possibility of balance sheet items under the conditions of § 265 Para 7 and 8 summarize the HGB or omit it altogether.

Start-up expenses and business expansion, can according to § 67 paragraph 5, sentence 1 EGHGB even after the Accounting Law Modernization Act (BilMoG ) are reported as accounting assistance on the asset side, the fixed assets, if this accounting assistance was made ​​for a fiscal year that begins before 2010.

Assessment of the assets in the balance sheet analysis

In assessing the assets in the balance sheet analysis, in particular the relationship of individual asset positions to the corresponding liabilities, plus the ratio is considered to returns.

The assets alone provide little information about the liquidity and profitability, as only the relationship between capital allocation and capital raising permit extensive conclusions about the developments and future prospects of the company. In particular, is considered to be the golden rule for assessing the financing of assets that long-term investments can not be financed with short-term borrowings. In order to secure liquidity aim is also to avoid the obligation to repay the debt exists prior to a successful use of the acquired assets.

For the assessment of the assets can otherwise be difficult to establish general principles, since the distribution differs depending on the industry and size of the reporting entity. A comparison between companies in the same industry with similar size may be helpful ( see also benchmarking).

In particular, the intangible assets ( IV) should be considered in detail. The not directly measurable value of these assets can be accounted for only with clear rules. The rules are clearly stated, be comprehensible and the implementation of the lowest value within the meaning of § 253 para 3 and 4 HBG purpose. This principle states that all assets at the lowest permitted by law value must be recognized on the asset side and thus also applies to intangible assets ( see also Commercial prudence ).

National Accounts

The national accounts " provide a comprehensive quantitative picture of economic events ." This so-called balance sheets are created within the capital account, the asset side consists of tangible and financial assets.