What are Plant Assets? Types, Examples, Accounting & Depreciation

Noncurrent assets are a company’s long-term investments for which the full value will not be realized within the accounting year. Examples of noncurrent assets include investments in other companies, intellectual property (e.g. patents), and property, plant and equipment. Accumulated depreciation is an asset account with a credit balance known as a long-term contra asset account that is reported on the balance sheet under the heading Property, Plant and Equipment. The acquisition of plant assets involves careful planning, research, and evaluation to ensure the assets meet the company’s needs and provide value for the investment made. Proper recording and classification of plant assets in accounting documents their cost, useful life, and depreciation, showcasing their value in the financial statements. Depreciation captures the gradual loss of value and wear and tear of plant assets, allowing for accurate financial reporting and asset management.

Proper management of the disposal of plant assets ensures transparency in financial reporting and helps maintain accurate records of a company’s asset inventory. It also allows businesses to optimize their asset utilization, free up resources, and make informed decisions regarding replacement or upgrade of assets. Noncurrent assets are a company’s long-term investments for which the full value will not be realized within the accounting year. They appear on a company’s balance sheet under “investment;” “property, plant, and equipment;” “intangible assets;” or “other assets.” The value of PP&E is adjusted routinely as fixed assets generally see a decline in value due to use and depreciation. Depreciation is the process of allocating the cost of a tangible asset over its useful life and is used to account for declines in value.

Recording of Plant Assets In Financial Statements

Plant assets are physical resources that companies own for more than a year and use to create & sell goods/services to generate income. These are fixed assets such as land, buildings, factories, machinery, and vehicles. These assets are significant for any business entity because they’re necessary for running operations. Besides, there is a heavy investment involved to acquire the plant assets for any business entity. The company’s top management regularly monitors the plant assets to assess any deviations, discrepancies, or control requirements to avoid misuse of the plant assets and increase the utility. Plant assets are different from other non-current assets due to tangibility and prolonged economic benefits.

When a company buys a new plant asset, it records the cost of the asset in its balance sheet. Specifically, it comes under the “Property, Plant, and Equipment” category. This cost includes everything the company spent to get the asset, like purchase price, transportation expenses, installation costs, and any other directly attributable costs.

  • Property, plant, and equipment are tangible assets, meaning they are physical in nature or can be touched; as a result, they are not easily converted into cash.
  • As a result, the business assets will decrease and expenses increase because as it uses the plant assets, it is decreasing the assets’ expected future economic benefit.
  • As time goes on, plant assets wear down and must be replaced, although most companies try to extend useful life for as long as possible.
  • At almost $23 billion, PP&E composes almost half of the total assets of $51 billion.

A capital asset is generally owned for its role in contributing to the business’s ability to generate profit. Furthermore, it is expected that the benefits gained from the asset will extend beyond a time span of one year. In a deferred payment situation, there is an implicit (or explicit) interest cost involved, and the accountant should be careful not to include this amount in the cost of the asset. (e) Lump sum or basket purchase—sometimes a group of assets are acquired for a single lump sum. When a situation such as this exists, the accountant must allocate the total cost among the various assets on the basis of their relative fair value. Accumulated depreciation is shown in the face of the balance sheet or in the notes.

What Are Plant Assets? Definition & Examples

When a plant asset is acquired by a company that is expected to last longer than one year, it is recorded in the balance sheet at the end of the financial year. Besides, a part of the asset’s cost is charged to expenses account as a non-cash expense, depreciation. When land and buildings purchased together are to be used, the firm divides the total cost and establishes separate ledger accounts for land and for buildings.

Left by themselves, PP&E just sit there, but put into action by people with energy and purpose, they become a money-making machine. The Straight-Line method depreciates an equal amount of $50,000 from the opening value each year for 7 years until the asset’s value reaches the salvage value of $50,000. The image below shows the opening, depreciation, and closing values for 7 years. Here we will use all 4 methods to calculate the machine’s depreciation. Buildings are structures like factories, offices, warehouses, and other places where businesses produce goods or provide services. As such it may be viewed as an extraordinary repair and charged against the accumulated depreciation on the truck.

Depreciation On Plant Assets

(f) Trade or exchange of assets—when one asset is exchanged for another asset, the accountant is faced with several issues in determining the value of the new asset. The basic principle involved is to record the new asset at the fair value of the new asset or the fair value of what is given up to acquire the new asset, whichever is more clearly evident. However, the accountant must also be concerned with whether the exchange has commercial substance and whether monetary consideration is involved in the transaction. The commercial substance issue rests on whether the expected cash flows on the assets involved are significantly different. In addition, monetary consideration may affect the amount of gain recognized on the exchange under consideration. In cases where this is not possible and the cost of moving is substantial, it is capitalized and depreciated appropriately over the period during which it makes a contribution to operations.

Current assets versus plant assets

Acquisition cost also includes the repair and reconditioning costs for used or damaged assets as longs as the item was not damaged after purchase. PP&E is recorded on a company’s financial statements, specifically on the balance sheet. To calculate PP&E, add the amount of gross property, plant, and equipment, listed on the balance sheet, to capital expenditures. However, land is not depreciated because of its potential to appreciate in value. The balance of the PP&E account is remeasured every reporting period, and, after accounting for historical cost and depreciation, is called the book value. Current assets are expected to be used within a year or short-term time frame.

It is also called a fixed-installment method, as equal amounts of depreciation are charged every year over the useful life of an asset. The cost of machinery does not include removing and disposing of a replaced, old machine that has been used in operations. Such costs are part of the gain or loss on what is adjusted gross income disposal of the old machine. One approach is that the discount must be considered a reduction in the cost of the asset. The rationale for this approach is that the terms of these discounts are so attractive that failure to take the discount must be considered a loss because management is inefficient.

They are distinguished from current assets, such as cash and inventory, which are expected to be converted into cash within a year or the operating cycle of a business. Depreciation is the periodic allocation of an asset’s value(cost) over its useful life. The basic principle working behind the depreciation of assets is the matching principle. The matching principle states that expenses should be recorded in the same financial year when the revenue was generated against them. As the fixed assets last longer, the expenses are divided over the item until they’re useful.


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