DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FIXED ASSETS AND NON-CURRENT ASSETS

Although the terms "fixed assets" and "non-current assets" are often used interchangeably, there are some slight differences between them

Non-current assets include tangible and intangible economic resources of a company which are expected to provide future economic benefits for a period extending more than one year

On the other hand, fixed asset primarily includes the economic resources of a company which are expected to provide future economic benefits to it for more than one year.

Difference between Non-current assets and Fixed assets

1. Non-current asset is a superset of fixed assets in that it includes fixed assets and other assets that are not current assets

Fixed asset, on the other, is a subset of non-current assets in that it is just one of the many forms of a non-current asset.

In short, all fixed assets are non-current assets but not all non-current assets are fixed assets.

2. Non-current assets are tangible and intangible assets that are anticipated to last longer than one year, whereas fixed assets are primarily tangible assets that are expected to last longer than one year.

3. Depreciation is primarily applied to fixed assets, but non-current assets may be depreciated or amortized.

Non-current assets that are tangible are depreciated, but those that are intangible are amortized.

4. Fixed assets are usually recorded in the balance sheet as property, plant and equipment while non-current assets are recorded as property, plant and equipment plus other long-lived assets.

5. Examples of fixed assets include land, building, equipment and plants. Examples of non-current assets include all fixed assets plus intangible assets (patents, trademarks), deferred charges and long-term investment 

Therefore, the major difference between fixed assets and non-current assets is that fixed assets include primarily tangible long-term assets whilst the non-current also comprise fixed assets as well as intangible assets and other forms of non-current assets.

Before we conclude, you should note the following:

1. Not all fixed asset is depreciated. For instance, land normally does not depreciate.

2. Not all non-current assets are amortized or depreciated. For instance, trademarks are not amortized because they almost always retain their value indefinitely.

3. If a company's non-current assets are all tangible, then its non-current asset will equal its fixed assets.

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Therefore, a company's non-current assets will be the same as its fixed assets if it has no intangible assets.

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