Assets are economic resources that have some value or usefulness (usually convertible in cash) and that are owned by enterprises or individuals, for example a piece of machinery or a house. According to the International Accounting Standards Board, assets are a result of past events and are expected to provide future economic benefits.
According to ESA 2010 (paragraph 7.15), economic assets are defined as "a store of value representing the benefits accruing to the economic owner by holding or using the entity over a period of time. It is a means of carrying forward value from one accounting period to another."
Assets can be further divided into the following three main categories:
- produced non-financial assets (AN.1),
- non-produced non-financial assets (AN.2) and
- financial assets (AF.A).