An asset is any item that has a recorded cash value and can be owned or controlled to produce economic benefit . For example, when a company buys equipment, the name and purchase price of the equipment is recorded in the company's asset register. Each year, the value of the asset is depreciated (reduced) to take into account the use and age of the product. Over time an asset will finally reduce to a zero value. For tax purposes, companies need to keep a register of all assets. The rate at which the value of the asset is depreciated (this is a rate provided by SARS) can be deducted as an expense in the company financials. Assets can also be things like trademarks, patents, property, cash, inventory or accounts.