Fixed Assets

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Accounting for Fixed Assets

Accounting for Fixed Assets
Second Edition

Raymond H. Peterson

John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Copyright © 2002 by John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning or otherwise, except as permitted under Sections 107 or 108 of the 1976 United States Copyright Act, without either the prior written permission of the Publisher, or authorization through payment of the appropriate per-copy fee to the Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923, (978) 750-8400, fax (978) 750-4744. Requests to the Publisher for permission should be addressed to the Permissions Department, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 605 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10158-0012, (212) 850-6011, fax (212) 850-6008, E-Mail: PERMREQ @ WILEY.COM. This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional services. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. This title is also available in print as ISBN 0-471-09210-X. Some content that appears in the print version of this book may not be available in this electronic edition.

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To a number of people who influenced my life and prepared me for the job of creating this book: First, my mother, who not only taught me to read, but allowed me to experience the enjoyment of reading. She opened up for me the vast knowledge available in libraries. Dr. Wade Moorehouse, retired Professor of Accounting and former Chairman of the Department of Business and Economics at California State University, Hayward, who many years ago, when I was an undergraduate student in his accounting course, stimulated my excitement about the accounting function. Blessed with classes of fewer than six students in a new university, we spent many class hours discussing the theory of accounting. These discussions had a large impact on my career direction. Earl Malone, a District Accounting Manager, who early in my career forced me to develop my own thoughts and not just rely on past practice. He also forced me to aquire the skill of dictation, which made the creation of this book a possibility. Dodie Peterson, world’s best secretary, who converted my ramblings into a manuscript.

Contents

About the Author Preface Chapter 1 What Is Accounting for Fixed Assets? Introduction Consumption of Benefits Characteristics of Assets Need to Change Chapter 2 What Is an Asset? Introduction Historical Cost Matching Principle Fixed Assets Property Plant Equipment Defining Assets Government Accounting User Fees Not-for-Profit Accounting

xv xvii 1 1 3 4 9 11 11 12 13 14 16 17 18 20 22 24 24

vii

viii

Contents

Chapter

3

Classifications of Asset Transactions Introduction Classification Systems Accounting Policy Decisions Coding of Transactions Property Record Coding System

27 27 28 31 33 34 39 39 39 40 44 47 48 49 49 52 52 54 54 55 55 56 57 58 58 59 59

Chapter

4

Determining Base Unit Introduction Definition of Base Unit Purpose of a Base Unit Establishing Base Units Decision Rules Difficulties in Establishment Land Buildings Equipment Criteria for Establishing Base Units Examples Spare Parts

Chapter

5

Control of Property, Plant, and Equipment Introduction Asset Accountant Asset Custodian Inventories Property Record System Identification of Assets Farm Owner Applied Numbers

Contents

ix

Identification of Specific Asset Items to Be Tagged Bar Coded Tags Security Chapter 6 Asset Policies Manual Introduction Purpose Creating the Manual Partial Sample...
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