In by Key Commercial Capital

Within the assets segment of a balance sheet, accounts are listed from top to bottom in order of their liquidity, that is, the ease with which they can be converted into cash. They are divided into current assets, those which can be converted to cash in one year or less; and non-current or long-term assets, which cannot.

Here is the general order of accounts within current assets:

Cash and cash equivalents: the most liquid assets, these can include Treasury bills and short-term certificates of deposit, as well as hard currency
Marketable securities: equity and debt securities for which there is a liquid market
Accounts receivable: money which customers owe the company, perhaps including an allowance for doubtful accounts (an example of a contra account), since a certain proportion of customers can be expected not to pay
Inventory: goods available for sale, valued at the lower of the cost or market price
Prepaid expenses: representing value that has already been paid for, such as insurance, advertising contracts or rent

Long-term assets include the following:

Long-term investments: securities that will not or cannot be liquidated in the next year
Fixed assets: these include land, machinery, equipment, buildings and other durable, generally capital-intensive assets
Intangible assets: these include non-physical, but still valuable, assets such as intellectual property and goodwill; in general, intangible assets are only listed on the balance sheet if they are acquired, rather than developed in-house; their value may therefore be wildly understated—by not including a globally recognized logo, for example—or just as wildly overstated