As it applies to the accounting discipline, cash includes paper money, coins, checks, money orders, and money on deposit with banks. In general, an item is classified as cash if a bank will accept it for deposit.
Cash is classified as a current asset on the balance sheet of a company. When determining whether or not an item is considered a current asset, the length of time to convert the item into cash is typically less than 12 months.
Line items on the balance sheet are listed in order of decreasing liquidity, meaning the most liquid assets appear first. Liquidity is the ease of converting an asset into cash; therefore cash is the first asset appearing on the balance sheet.