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About Asset Valuation
Asset valuation simply pertains to the value assigned to a specific property, including stocks, options, bonds, buildings, machinery, or land, that is conducted usually when a company or asset is to be sold, insured, or taken over. The assets may be categorized into tangible and intangible assets. Valuations can be done on either an asset or a liability, such as bonds issued by a company.
Tangible assets refer to a company’s assets that are physical or that can be seen, which have been purchased by an organization to produce its products or goods or to provide the services that it offers. Tangible assets can be categorized as either fixed, such as structures, land, and machinery, or current, such as cash.
Other examples of assets are company vehicles, IT equipment, investments, payments, and on-hand stocks, as well as confirmed orders.
To compute for the value of a tangible asset:
- The company needs to look at its balance sheet and identify tangible and intangible assets.
- From the total assets, deduct the total value of the intangible assets.
- From what is left, deduct the total value of the liabilities. What is left are the net tangible assets or asset valuation.
Consider the following simple example:
- Balance sheet total assets: $5 million
- Total intangible assets: $1.5 million
- Total liabilities: $1 million
- Total tangible assets: $2.5 million
Valuation of fixed assets can be done using various methods, which include the following:
1. Cost Method
The cost method is the easiest way of asset valuation. It is done by basing the value on the price for which the asset was bought.
2. Market Value Method
The market value method bases the value of the asset on its market price or its projected price when sold in the open market. In the absence of similar assets in the open market, the replacement value method or the net realizable value method is used.
3. Base Stock Method
The base stock method requires a company to keep a certain level of stocks whose value is assessed based on the value of a base stock.
4. Standard Cost Method
The standard cost method uses expected costs instead of actual costs, often based on the company’s past experience. The costs are obtained by recording differences between expected and actual costs.
There are many reasons for valuing assets, including the following:
1. Right Price
Asset valuation helps identify the right price for an asset, especially when it is offered to be bought or sold. It is beneficial to both the buyer and the seller because the former won’t need to pay more than the asset’s value nor will the latter be paid less than the asset’s value.
Every individual or organization that owns property or other assets needs to pay taxes for their assets. By doing asset valuation, taxes are calculated accurately.
3. Company Merger
In the event that two companies are merging, or if a company is to be taken over, asset valuation is important because it helps both parties size up the business.
4. Loan Application
When a company applies for a loan, the bank or financial institution may require collateral as protection against possible debt default. Asset valuation is needed then for the lender to determine the loan amount that can be covered by the company offering its assets as collateral.
Companies, especially public ones, are regulated, which means they need to present financial audits and reports for transparency. Part of the audit process involves verifying the value of assets.
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