From the perspective of accounting, assets are classified into two categories according to their ease to become cash:
- The rapid convertibility which are grouped as current assets (cash balances, bank accounts and credit collection rights granted short-term)
- No immediate convertibility called fixed assets (credit granted to medium and long term, capital equipment, and personal property)
That correspond to the classic concept of investment or capital (non-financial). It is also often referred to staff (human capital) of the company as intangible assets. This is due to the gradual increase has had the knowledge as a source of income in the total assets of a company.
Actually only considered for accounting purposes when there patents or industrial property rights or has paid for it, for example, in what is called goodwill. Overall, research, development and innovation (R + D + i) have produced new technologies, materials and processes that have reduced the number of employees, but they should be more qualified because they must know how to handle technologically complex instruments. The asset acquisition is called investment versus buying merchandise, hiring or payment of tax, which are examples of expenditure. The return on investment (profit per unit invested) is a very important reference to make decisions about the possibility of borrowing.
The latter is related to what is known as financial leverage and, ultimately, on the assumed risk in the investment.