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Old 04-02-2011, 01:52 PM
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Default Accounting Introduction Part 2


Assets
Assets are economic resources of a business used to accomplish its main goal, i.e., increase owners' wealth.
To be formally recognized as an asset, the following two conditions must be met:
  • Potential economic benefit must be assignable to a particular entity, and
  • Event giving rise to the assignment must have already occurred.
For example, if a company has purchased a piece of equipment and uses it in generating profits, it is considered as an asset. However, if the company just considers buying new equipment, it can't be deemed or recorded as an asset.



5. Basic accounting equation

We need to provide a definition of claims before we proceed with the basic accounting equation.
A company's assets belong to the resource providers who are said to have claims on the assets.
In other words, each asset has its own source provided by an owner or creditor. So, there can't be any claim without an appropriate asset and vice versa. Based on the previous statement, we can define the basic accounting equation:
Assets = Claims
Claims are divided into two categories:
  • Creditors' claims that are called liabilities
  • Owners' claims that are called equity

Assets
=
Claim
Assets
=
Liabilities + Equity
Liabilities are debts and obligations of a company.
Equity is what the company "owes" to owners.
The amount of total assets minus total liabilities equals equity. Because equity equals the difference between assets and liabilities, it is also called net assets.
If a company goes bankrupt, liabilities are paid off first to creditors, while equity is the last to be distributed. Therefore, owners' equity is also called residual equity.
Let us look at an example of the basic accounting equation. Suppose Our Company has assets of $800, liabilities of $300, and equity of $500. These amounts will be shown in the basic accounting equation as follows:






Assets
=
Claims
Assets
=
Liabilities
+
Equity
$800
=
$300
+
$500



Double-entry bookkeeping rule states that any transaction is recorded at least twice.


Because this transaction provided assets to the enterprise, it is called an asset source transaction. An asset source transaction is one of the four types of accounting transactions.

Asset source transactions result in an increase in an asset account and in one of the claim accounts (liability or equity accounts).


2) Next, assume that Friends Company acquires additional $2,000 of assets by borrowing cash from creditors. This is also an asset source transaction. In the table below the beginning balances are derived from the ending balances of the previous transaction:



Illustration 4: Effect of borrowing

Claims
Assets
=
Liabilities
+
Equity
Beginning balance
$5,000
=
+
$5,000
Effect of borrowing
+$2,000
=
+$2,000
Ending balance
$7,000
=
$2,000
+
$5,000


Equity is usually viewed as a source of assets, and that's why it becomes necessary to subdivide the owner's' interest into two components. First, owner's claims are established when a business acquires assets from owners. These claims result from the contributions of capital resources by the owners, and therefore they are frequently called contributed capital.

Contributed capital is a component of equity resulting from contributions of capital resources from owners.
The second source of assets associated with equity occurs when a business obtains assets through its earnings activities and is called retained earnings.

Retained earnings form a component of equity resulting from earnings activities.
Taking into account above definitions, the basic accounting equation can be presented like this:
Assets
=
Liabilities
+
Equity
Contributed Capital
+
Retained Earnings





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