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Describes the accounting cost carried in the books and reflecting the cost of the item at the time it was purchased, rather than its current value.
In the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, the original cost of an asset on a balance sheet. Many assets, particularly illiquid assets, are recorded on a balance sheet according to their historical cost. A notable exception to this rule is the recording of marketable securities, which are recorded according to their market value. The historical cost usually bears little or no relationship to the market value after an asset has been held for several years.
The amount of money that was originally used to pay for an asset. A company records assets on a balance sheet at historical cost, which often bears little relation to the market value of the assets after they have been owned several years. Also called original cost.