Everything that an incorporated or unincorporated enterprise owns which has a monetary value. The characteristics of assets are their control by the enterprise, the expectation that they will provide future benefits to the enterprise and that they are the outcome of a prior event or transaction. Total assets may be tangible (with physical substance, such as land and buildings) or intangible (without physical substance, such as patents and rights granted by a Government). The assets of a direct investment enterprise cover all the assets of the enterprise carried on its balance sheet, regardless of how they are financed; whether they are financed by the direct investors, or from other non-resident or resident sources.
Fixed assets are regarded as tangible assets with a useful life in excess of one year, which are used in the operation of a business enterprise and subject to depreciation. Current assets, on the other hand are regarded as tangible assets with a life of one year or less which can be readily turned into cash, for example, bank deposits, bills receivable and securities.