What is A Fixed Asset?

A fixed asset, also known as a tangible asset or property, plant, and equipment (PP&E), refers to a long-term, physical asset held for use in the production or supply of goods and services, for rental to others, or for administrative purposes. Fixed assets are typically not intended for sale in the ordinary course of business and are expected to provide economic benefits to the company over multiple accounting periods. They play a crucial role in generating revenue and supporting the operations of the business.


Here are the key characteristics of fixed assets:

  1. Long-Term Use: Fixed assets are held for long-term use and are not intended for resale. They are expected to provide benefits to the company for more than one accounting period, typically over several years.
  2. Physical Existence: Fixed assets have a physical presence and can be seen, touched, and measured. They include tangible assets such as land, buildings, machinery, equipment, vehicles, furniture, and fixtures.
  3. Significant Value: Fixed assets usually have a significant monetary value and represent substantial investments by the company. They are recorded at historical cost or fair market value on the balance sheet, depending on accounting standards and policies.
  4. Depreciation: Fixed assets are subject to depreciation, which is the systematic allocation of their cost over their useful lives. Depreciation reflects the gradual consumption, wear and tear, or obsolescence of fixed assets and is recorded as an expense on the income statement to match the asset’s cost with the revenue it helps generate.
  5. Capital Expenditures: Investments in fixed assets are typically considered capital expenditures, as they are intended to generate benefits over multiple periods rather than immediate consumption. Capital expenditures are recorded as assets on the balance sheet and are not expensed in the period of purchase.


Examples of Fixed Assets:

  • Land: Land owned by the company for future development, construction, or investment purposes.
  • Buildings: Structures used for manufacturing, production, warehousing, office space, or retail stores.
  • Machinery and Equipment: Industrial machinery, production equipment, tools, and technology used in manufacturing or operations.
  • Vehicles: Trucks, cars, vans, and other vehicles used for transportation, delivery, or logistical purposes.
  • Furniture and Fixtures: Office furniture, fixtures, and fittings used in administrative or commercial spaces.
  • Computer Systems: Computers, servers, software, and networking infrastructure used for information technology (IT) operations.
  • Leasehold Improvements: Improvements made to leased properties to customize or enhance their functionality for the company’s operations.


Fixed assets are essential for supporting the production process, facilitating business operations, and generating revenue for the company. Proper management of fixed assets involves regular maintenance, monitoring of depreciation, assessment of impairment, and strategic planning for asset acquisitions, upgrades, or disposals to optimize the asset’s value and contribute to the company’s long-term success.

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