Capital assets

Also known as: Fixed assets, fixed investments, fixed assets

Fixed assets are assets that have existed in a company for years. Fixed assets are not only used in accounting, but also in national accounts.

Definition / explanation

Fixed assets are long-term investments of a company. They serve permanently and last for years on the assets side of a balance sheet. Fixed assets include tangible and financial assets and Intangible assets.

They are necessary for the functionality, construction and equipment and are therefore tied to a company in the long term. In contrast to current assets, it is not used for processing and processing and is one of the potential factors of a company.

Types of fixed assets

1. Tangible assets (can be easily assessed, are subject to minor fluctuations in value)

  • operational land
  • land rights
  • Furniture and fixtures
  • Machines and technical systems
  • Construction in progress
  • advance payments made

2. Intangible assets (difficult to assess, subject to strong fluctuations in value)

  • self-created industrial property rights
  • similar values and rights
  • Purchased patents, concessions and licenses
  • Goodwill
  • internal organization data

3. Financial investments (subject to strong fluctuations in value and exchange rates)

  • Fixed asset securities
  • Holdings
  • Loans to affiliated companies

Depreciable and non-depreciable fixed assets

depreciable fixed assets

  • Buildings, machinery and office equipment
  • is subject to depreciation
  • Compensation for the loss in value through depreciation

non-depreciable fixed assets

  • Securities, land and investments
  • no loss of value, therefore no depreciation

Valuation of fixed assets

  1. Aktivierung des Anlagevermögens zu den acquisition cost bzw. den Manufacturing costs in der Bilanz
  2. Depreciation
    • scheduled depreciation - Fixed assets with a limited useful life are subject to scheduled depreciation. Small assets can be written off in full
    • unscheduled write-offs - It is carried out in the event of permanent impairment. Reasons for this can be loss anticipation, extraordinary economic or technical wear and tear, correction of the depreciation plan or tax depreciation
  3. Write-up of fixed assets if the reason for an unscheduled depreciation no longer applies (write-up)


  • Fixed assets are long-term assets that serve the company on a permanent basis
  • Fixed assets are in contrast to current assets
  • A distinction is made between tangible and financial assets and intangible assets
  • there are tangible and non-wearing fixed assets
  • Differentiation between scheduled, unscheduled depreciation and write-ups
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Further explanations on financial accounting