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Accounting for Stock Purchase vs. Asset Purchase

Original post by Kathy Adams McIntosh of Demand Media

Businesses engage in a variety of financial transactions throughout the course of their activities. These companies use their cash for different purposes, including purchasing stock in other companies or purchasing assets to use in the business. When a company purchases stock, it evaluates various companies to find the right stock. It evaluates the potential risk of each investment and the financial outlay required. When a company purchases an asset, it evaluates the equipment's ability to meet the company's needs. Several differences exist in the accounting for stock purchases and asset purchases.

Investment

Stock purchases and asset purchases both represent investments for the company. The company accountant analyzes the costs and benefits of each investment before the company confirms the purchase. A stock purchase represents a financial investment. The accountant determines the total cost to purchase the stock along with the potential return the company expects to receive. Asset purchases represent a business investment. The accountant evaluates the expected use of the asset, including the financial benefits of owning the equipment along with the total cost of acquiring the asset.

Financing

The accountant determines what financing options make sense for the company with each type of investment. Stock purchases generally require the company to pay cash. The company needs to use excess cash or borrow cash from a lender. Asset purchases present financing options in addition to cash purchases. The accountant evaluates the cost of financing the asset.

Journal Entries

The accountant records each purchase through a journal entry. To record the stock purchase, the accountant debits Investment In Company and credits Cash. At the end of each period, the accountant evaluates the value of the investment. If the value declined, the accountant records an entry debiting Impairment of Investment in Company and credits Investment in Company. The accountant records the asset purchase by debiting Asset and crediting Cash or Note Payable. Assets decline in value through the process of depreciation. The accountant records this decline by debiting Depreciation Expense and crediting Accumulated Depreciation.

Reporting

Whether the company purchased stock or an asset, it reports this value on the balance sheet. Both stock investments and assets appear in the asset section. The asset appears in the Fixed Asset section of the balance sheet. The stock investment appears with Other Noncurrent Assets on the balance sheet.

                   

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About the Author

Kathy Adams McIntosh started writing professionally in 2001. She has been published in "Cup of Comfort," "Community Connection" and "Wisconsin Christian News." Adams McIntosh belongs to the Fearless Freelancers and the Broadway Writers Guild. She earned her Master of Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin.

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