How to Calculate Change in Assets

by Bryan Keythman ; Updated April 19, 2017
Assets are resources, such as cash or real estate, that a company uses in its business.

A company's assets consist of items such as cash, buildings, equipment and patents. They are a company’s resources with which it generates sales and profits. The amount of a company’s assets changes over time as it buys and sells assets, and as it reinvests profits in its business. A company reports its assets on its balance sheet. You can calculate the change in a company’s assets between accounting periods. A greater amount of assets can help a company generate higher profit.

Step 1

Find a company’s most recent balance sheet and its balance sheet from the previous accounting period in either its 10-Q quarterly reports or 10-K annual reports. You can obtain these reports from the investor relations section of its website or from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s EDGAR online database.

Step 2

Find the amount of the company’s total assets from its most recent balance sheet and the amount of its total assets from its previous period’s balance sheet. For example, assume a company had $100,000 in total assets in its previous period and $120,000 in its most recent period.

Step 3

Subtract the amount of total assets in its previous period from the amount in its most recent period to calculate the dollar change in assets. A positive number means the company grew its assets, while a negative number means its assets decreased. In this example, subtract $100,000 from $120,000 to get $20,000. This means the company grew its assets by $20,000.

Step 4

Divide the dollar change in assets by the amount of total assets in the previous period to calculate the percent change in assets. In this example, divide $20,000 by $100,000 to get 0.2, or 20 percent. This means the company increased its assets by 20 percent.


  • Track the change in a company’s assets over different accounting periods. A growing company should be increasing its assets over time.

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