B3: 3.11 The Non-current asset register

The non-current asset register

A non-current asset register (which also known as a fixed asset register) records information about a business’ non-current assets. By doing so it enables the business to maintain a higher degree of control over its assets and reduces the risk of loss from theft and the risk that assets are underused.

In a similar way that a Sales Ledger splits the Sales Ledger Control Account balance between different customers, the non-current asset register provides details of the cost and depreciation for each non-current asset of the business. The register can therefore be used to check the General Ledger balances relating to the cost and depreciation of its non-current assets.

The non-current asset register will usually be sub-divided into sections which will record different classes or types of non-current assets. For example, a business might have the following sections in its register:

  • Property
  • Plant and machinery
  • Fixtures and fittings
  • Motor vehicles

Information to be recorded for each asset

A non-current asset register would typically record the following information for each of its non-current assets:

  • A description of the asset (to enable it to be identified)
  • The date it was acquired
  • The cost of the asset
  • How the asset was funded
  • The depreciation that has been charged for each accounting period
  • The carrying value (also referred to as the Net Book Value) of the asset at the end of each accounting period
  • The date of disposal (if appropriate)
  • Details of the disposal proceeds

Many businesses will also include additional information if they believe it will be useful to do so; e.g.

  • The gain or loss made on disposal
  • The location of the asset (or who it has been assigned to)
  • The asset’s servicing regime to help in its maintenance
  • Details of any impairments or damage done to the asset
  • Purchase and, if appropriate, sale invoice references

An example of an extract from a non-current asset register is shown below.

The above format is one that the AAT often uses in its exam questions. Note the following:

  1. Each asset has a number of rows devoted to it which provide space to enable each year’s depreciation to be recorded and the asset’s carrying value to be updated for each year
  2. In the year when an asset is disposed of, we will record any depreciation charged up to the date of disposal but remember that the item is no longer an asset of the business – as such its carrying value must be recorded as £0.