What is a current asset?
A current asset is an item of value that a company holds with the expectation of selling or exchanging it within one year. The most common examples of current assets are cash, inventory, and accounts receivable. Small businesses in the UK will typically have all three as part of their current asset portfolio.
Let's take a closer look at each one.
The first, and perhaps most obvious, current asset is cash. This includes both physical currency and funds that are readily available in a business's checking or savings account. When someone asks how much money a business has on hand, they are asking about the business's cash reserves.
Another important current asset for many businesses is inventory. This is any raw material, finished product, or work-in-progress that a company has on hand and intends to sell. The value of inventory can fluctuate quite a bit depending on the state of the market, but it is always considered a key part of a company's operations.
The last major type of current asset is accounts receivable. This refers to any money that a company is owed by its customers for goods or services that have been delivered but not yet paid for. Accounts receivable are important because they represent potential future cash flow for a business—money that can be used to pay bills, invest in new products, or simply pad the business's bank account.
Current assets are an important part of any small business's balance sheet. They represent short-term investments that can be quickly converted to cash if necessary. By understanding what qualifies as a current asset, UK small business owners can get a better handle on their financial situation and make more informed decisions about where to allocate their resources.