What is an asset?
An asset is anything that has value and can be converted into cash. The main types are: cash, investments, stock (inventory), accounts receivable, land, buildings, and equipment.
All businesses need to have a balance sheet which lists all their assets and liabilities. The total value of your assets should always equal the total value of your liabilities plus your equity (known as your net worth).
They are important because they can be used to secure loans and other forms of finance. For example, if you want to take out a bank loan, the bank will ask for an asset such as your house or your car as security against the loan. This means that if you can't repay the loan, the bank can sell that to get their money back.
It's important to keep track of your assets because they can go up or down in value. For example, if you own a stock (inventory), it might increase in value if demand for that product grows. Alternatively, it might decrease in value if there's a glut of that product on the market. Similarly, land and buildings can go up or down in value depending on economic conditions.
In conclusion, an asset is anything with value that can be converted into cash. All businesses need to have a balance sheet which lists all their assets and liabilities.
Understanding the key accounting terms will help you understand your business financials better.
Some other accounting terms that you might want to understand: