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

Industries that are considered capital-intensive have a significant amount of fixed assets, such as oil companies, auto manufacturers, and steel companies. The effective functioning of a company is possible with the availability of certain economic resources used for the production of products or the provision of services. In the financial world, everything that a firm has and uses in production is called assets. Since these assets produce benefits for more than one year, they are capitalized and reported on the balance sheet as a long-term asset. This means when a piece of equipment is purchased an expense isn’t immediately recorded.

  • Although PP&E are noncurrent assets or long-term assets, not all noncurrent assets are property, plant, and equipment.
  • An organization’s asset is something that the management plans to use for the financial benefit of the company.
  • It’s determined by multiplying the difference between an asset’s purchase price and its projected salvage value by the number of years it’ll be in use.
  • Depreciation is the periodic allocation of an asset’s value(cost) over its useful life.
  • In addition to the products described in paragraph 2(a), the Company also produces and sells a broad range of non-agricultural products and services.
  • BooksTime is not responsible for your compliance or noncompliance with any laws or regulations.

It is also called a fixed-installment method, as equal amounts of depreciation are charged every year over the useful life of an asset. There are different methods of depreciation that a business entity can use. Many business entities use different depreciation methods for financial reporting and tax purposes.

Depreciation also helps spread the asset’s cost out over a number of years allowing the company to earn revenue from the asset. The below table shows the different depreciation calculations over 7 years of useful life using four different methods. Here we will use all 4 methods to calculate the machine’s depreciation. An alternative strategy used by some is “run-to-failure”, especially if a piece of equipment is deemed as “non-critical”.

However, the outcome of these decisions can only be as good as the quality of data being used in the process. This is why high-quality measurements and smart sensor technologies are the backbone of any Plant Asset Management system. Keeping proper financial records is time-intensive and small mistakes can be costly. BooksTime makes sure your numbers are 100% accurate so you can focus on growing your business. If you picture a business as a process that creates wealth for the owners, PP&E are the physical machine.

Nature of plant assets

Buildings that can be used as a plant asset aren’t limited to offices. Buildings can also contain equipment storage, warehouses for merchandising and sales, or on-site centers that assist employees and staff, especially for bigger companies. Buildings are assets that often retain higher quantities of value, such as office space or a physical location where consumers can do business. This might be a single storefront site for smaller companies or numerous locations or buildings for bigger enterprises. Even the smallest business has assets, which can include everything from cash in the bank, to the computer you’re working on, to the building where you manufacture piggy banks. The straight-line method is the most commonly used method in most business entities.

As time goes on, what is a depreciable assets wear down and must be replaced, although most companies try to extend useful life for as long as possible. A plant asset is an asset with a useful life of more than one year that is used in producing revenues in a business’s operations. 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.

What Is Property, Plant, and Equipment (PP&E)?

Left by themselves, PP&E just sit there, but put into action by people with energy and purpose, they become a money-making machine. Making continual improvements and continuously reviewing the quality of assets is an important part of keeping a company healthy. Improvements should be done on a regular basis or when a scenario necessitates intervention to extend the life of assets and avoid future issues with their capacity to serve a business. Improvement for one company will very certainly differ dramatically from that of another. As for buildings, per IRS rules, non-residential buildings can be depreciated over 39 years using the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) method of depreciation. Fixed assets can be used for a variety of purposes, such as building a house, buying a car, or renting a room in a hotel.

PP&E may be liquidated when they are no longer of use or when a company is experiencing financial difficulties. Of course, selling property, plant, and equipment to fund business operations is a signal that a company might be in financial trouble. It is important to note that regardless of the reason why a company has sold some of its property, plant, or equipment, it’s likely the company didn’t realize a profit from the sale.


Equipment is also one of the most varied forms of plant assets since it differs based on the industry or the specific demands of each company. Like any category of assets, it’s critical to evaluate plant assets on a company-by-company basis. From there, companies within an industry can often be easily compared. This method implies charging the depreciation expense of an asset to a fraction in different accounting periods. This method explains that the utility and level of economic benefit decrease as the age of asset increases. The second method of deprecation is the declining balance method or written down value method.

For example, if it sold an asset on April 1 and last recorded depreciation on December 31, the company should record depreciation for three months (January 1-April 1). When depreciation is not recorded for the three months, operating expenses for that period are understated, and the gain on the sale of the asset is understated or the loss overstated. Property, plant, and equipment assets are also called fixed assets, which are long-term physical assets.

Presentation of Plant Assets

The process continued until the asset’s value reached the salvage value of $50,000. The expected useful life of the machine is 7 years, and the salvage (scrap) value after 7 years will be $50,000. The assets on a balance sheet contribute to a company’s overall profitability and worth.

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. 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.

Current assets versus plant assets

Such disposal changes the asset’s ownership, reduces unnecessary damages, and ensures proper analysis of the company’s financial position. Machinery refers to the hardware technology that helps a company to produce goods and provide services. In comparison, equipment includes pipes, wiring, and other systems that provide essential utilities like water, electricity, manufacturing equipment, computers, trucks, and communication services. The land is a business area where a company establishes its factory or office to manufacture goods or provide services. On the other hand, land improvements include additional things like a parking lot, fence for security, or roads to access the facility.

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