Is it better to have cash on hand or assets? : personalfinance

A liquid asset is an asset that can easily be converted into cash in a short amount of time. Liquid assets include things like cash, money marketinstruments, and marketable securities. Both individuals and businesses can be concerned with tracking liquid assets as a portion of their net worth. For the purposes of financial accounting, a company’s liquid assets are reported on its balance sheet as current assets. In financial accounting, the balance sheet breaks assets down by current and long-term with a hierarchical method in accordance to liquidity.

retired assets

Crash Course in Accounting and Financial Statement Analysis, Second Edition by Matan Feldman, Arkady Libman

To illustrate this, let’s assume that a machine with a cost of $100,000 was expected to have a useful life of five years and no salvage value. The company depreciated the asset at the rate of $20,000 per year for five years.

Common income sources in retirement include Social Security benefits and pensions. The most liquid assets are cash and securities that can immediately be transacted for cash. Companies can also look to assets with a cash conversion expectation of one year or less as liquid. This broadens the scope of liquid assets to include accounts receivable and inventory.

What is a retirement asset?

An asset is counted as retired when it is permanently removed from service. Asset retirement can occur in processes such as a sale to another party or disposal due to obsolescence.

Asset retirement can occur in processes such as a sale to another party or disposal due to obsolescence. Since long-term assets make up a large portion of a company’s assets, you want to place controls on them to make sure that asset retirement processes fit standard accounting rules.

A company’s current assets are assets a company looks to for cash conversion within a one-year period. Current assets have different liquidity conversion timeframes depending on the type of asset. Cash on hand is considered the most liquid type of liquid asset since it is cash itself. Accounting for asset retirement refers to an accounting principle laid down by Financial Accounting Standards Board.

retired assets

Since the carrying value was already zero, there’s no effect on the company’s net worth. That means that the company has claimed the maximum total depreciation expenses for the asset, and the asset’s carrying value is zero. However, just because an asset is fully depreciated doesn’t mean the company can’t still use it.

Accounting for Asset Retirement

What is retirement of fixed assets?

Definition of ‘Retirement assets’ Includes annuities, IRA’s, 401ks, and the taxable portion of survivor benefits from defined benefit plans, such as traditional employer pension plans.

  • A liquid asset is an asset that can easily be converted into cash in a short amount of time.
  • Liquid assets include things like cash, money marketinstruments, and marketable securities.

If equipment is still working after its supposed 10-year lifespan runs out, that’s fine. A depreciation schedule is simply an accounting tool for distributing costs, not a binding prediction on when an asset has to go on the scrap heap. IRA and 401(k) accounts are technically not liquid assets until you reach retirement age. However, Roth retirement accounts offer more liquidity before you retire. An asset is counted as retired when it is permanently removed from service.


The emphasis on the balance sheet corresponds to a switch from the income statement-based processes previously used by many companies. Though your small business may not be bound by this rule, it’s good to follow to ensure accurate accounting. Businesses regularly use accounting write-offs to account for losses on assets related to various circumstances. As such, on the balance sheet, write-offs usually involve a debit to an expense account and a credit to the associated asset account.

Whenever an asset is capitalized, its cost is depreciated over several years according to a depreciation schedule. Theoretically, this provides a more accurate estimate of the true expenses of maintaining the company’s operations each year. Prior to zeroing out their account balances, these accounts should reflect the updated depreciation expense computed up to the disposal sale date. The sale of an asset for disposal purposes is similar to a regular asset sale. Unlike a regular disposal of an asset, where the asset is abandoned and written off the accounting records, an asset disposal sale involves a receipt of cash or other proceeds.

Each write-off scenario will differ but usually expenses will also be reported on the income statement, deducting from any revenues already reported. The original cost of the asset minus depreciation is the “net book value” of the asset, also called the carrying value. Liquid assets are cash-on-hand, investment holdings or any tangible property that can be instantly converted to cash without losing value. A fully depreciated asset is a property, plant or piece of equipment (PP&E) which, for accounting purposes, is worth only its salvage value.

A company “writes off” an asset when it determines that asset to be worthless. Say a company has a piece of aging equipment with a carrying value of $20,000. So the company claims an expense for the full remaining carrying value — in this case, $20, and removes the asset from its balance sheet completely. But when an asset has been fully depreciated, the company has already claimed the entire cost of the asset as an expense. All the company does is remove the asset and its accumulated depreciation from the balance sheet.

If the machine is used for three more years, the depreciation expense will be $0 in each of those three years. During those three years, the balance sheet will report its cost of $100,000 and its accumulated depreciation of $100,000 for a book value of $0. An asset that is fully depreciated and continues to be used in the business will be reported on the balance sheet at its cost along with its accumulated depreciation. There will be no depreciation expense recorded after the asset is fully depreciated.

FASB Rule No. 143, established in June 2001, requires that public companies acknowledge the fair value of retirement obligations for physical, long-term assets. This rule ensures that a company’s balance sheets carry the precise value of its existing assets.

Asset Retirement and Balance Sheet

At the time of disposal, depreciation expense should be recorded to update the asset’s book value. A journal entry is recorded to increase (debit) depreciation expense and increase (credit) accumulated depreciation. Depreciation expense is reported on the income statement as a reduction to income.

No entry is required until the asset is disposed of through retirement, sale, salvage, etc. The gain or loss is the difference between the proceeds received and the book value of the asset disposed of, updated for current depreciation expense.

Although these methods often require the assistance of a certified public accountant, you and your management can take some steps to smooth out the process. In using the declining balance method, a company reports larger depreciation expenses during the earlier years of an asset’s useful life. Depreciation is an accounting method of allocating the cost of a tangible asset over its useful life and is used to account for declines in value over time. An asset can reach full depreciation when its useful life expires or if an impairment charge is incurred against the original cost, though this is less common. If a company takes a full impairment charge against the asset, the asset immediately becomes fully depreciated, leaving only its salvage value (also known as terminal value or residual value).