# What Is Depreciation, and How Is It Calculated?

For example, vehicles are assets that depreciate much faster in the first few years; therefore, an accelerated depreciation method is often chosen. Depreciation is the process of spreading or allocating the cost of an asset over its useful life. Over time, the asset value will decrease due business succession planning to usage, wear and tear, or obsolescence. Different companies may use different types of depreciation methods, especially those in different industries; that’s why there are many depreciation methods. Thus, it means that depreciation rate is charged on the reducing balance of the asset.

• Thus, the methods used in calculating depreciation are typically industry-specific.
• The examples below demonstrate how the formula for each depreciation method would work and how the company would benefit.
• Salvage value is also known as the net residual value or scrap value.
• Businesses have some control over how they depreciate their assets over time.
• The equipment is going to provide the company with value for the next 10 years, so the company expenses the cost of the equipment over the next 10 years.

Accumulated depreciation, on the other hand, is the total amount that a company has depreciated its assets to date. For example, factory machines that are used to produce a clothing company’s main product have attributable revenues and costs. To determine attributable depreciation, the company assumes an asset life and scrap value.

## Formula of Sum of the Years Digits Depreciation

The sum-of-the-years’ digits (SYD) method also allows for accelerated depreciation. For example, an asset with a useful life of five years would have a reciprocal value of 1/5, or 20%. Double the rate, or 40%, is applied to the asset’s current book value for depreciation. Although the rate remains constant, the dollar value will decrease over time because the rate is multiplied by a smaller depreciable base for each period.

• Even though accumulated depreciation will still increase, the amount of accumulated depreciation will decrease each year.
• Thus, the method is based on the assumption that more amount of depreciation should be charged in early years of the asset.
• If you have business assets that you think can be depreciated, check with your tax professional about the process to report depreciation on your business tax return.
• Sum-of-the-years’ digits depreciation does the same thing but less aggressively.
• Instead, you need to manually track depreciation using journal entries.

Each year the contra asset account referred to as accumulated depreciation increases by \$10,000. For example, at the end of five years, the annual depreciation expense is still \$10,000, but accumulated depreciation has grown to \$50,000. It is credited each year as the value of the asset is written off and remains on the books, reducing the net value of the asset, until the asset is disposed of or sold. Depreciation and a number of other accounting tasks make it inefficient for the accounting department to properly track and account for fixed assets. They reduce this labor by using a capitalization limit to restrict the number of expenditures that are classified as fixed assets.

These are straight-line, declining balance, double-declining balance, sum-of-the-years’ digits, and unit of production. A 2x factor declining balance is known as a double-declining balance depreciation schedule. As it is a popular option with accelerated depreciation schedules, it is often referred to as the “double declining balance” method. When a long-term asset is purchased, it should be capitalized instead of being expensed in the accounting period it is purchased in. To avoid doing so, depreciation is used to better match the expense of a long-term asset to periods it offers benefits or to the revenue it generates.

## Video Explanation of Accumulated Depreciation

A business might buy a property and pay it off over a decade then significantly profit from selling the space because the land value appreciated. Depending on the type of business you have, types of depreciating assets might include your equipment, fleet of vehicles, furniture, and/or technology. In Year 1, Company ABC would recognize \$2,000 (\$10,000 x 20%) of depreciation and accumulated depreciation. In Year 2, Company ABC would recognize \$1,600 ((\$10,000 – \$2,000) x 20%). For example, imagine Company ABC buys a company vehicle for \$10,000 with no salvage value at the end of its life.

## Why Are Assets Depreciated Over Time?

The method takes an equal depreciation expense each year over the useful life of the asset. A noncash expense is an expense that is reported on the income statement of the current accounting period but there is no related cash payment during the period. A business can also depreciate the deduction and write the asset’s value off over its expected useful lifecycle.

The company ABC bought a machine for \$25,000 for production in the company. The machine expected to last for 8 years with a residual value of \$800. The machine expected to last for 8 years with the residual value of \$1,000.

Now, as the book value of the asset reduces every year so does the amount of depreciation. Accordingly, higher amount of depreciation is charged during the early years of the asset as compared to the later stages. Furthermore, depreciation is a non – cash expense as it does not involve any outflow of cash.

The depreciation expense of the fixed assets each year, from the first year to the last year of the fixed assets, will be the same. We credit the accumulated depreciation account because, as time passes, the company records the depreciation expense that is accumulated in the contra-asset account. However, there are situations when the accumulated depreciation account is debited or eliminated. For example, let’s say an asset has been used for 5 years and has an accumulated depreciation of \$100,000 in total. Under the double-declining balance (also called accelerated depreciation), a company calculates what its depreciation would be under the straight-line method. Then, the company doubles the depreciation rate, keeps this rate the same across all years the asset is depreciated and continues to accumulate depreciation until the salvage value is reached.

## Formula and Calculation of Accumulated Depreciation

Many companies rely on capital assets such as buildings, vehicles, equipment, and machinery as part of their operations. In accordance with accounting rules, companies must depreciate these assets over their useful lives. As a result, companies must recognize accumulated depreciation, the sum of depreciation expense recognized over the life of an asset. Accumulated depreciation is reported on the balance sheet as a contra asset that reduces the net book value of the capital asset section.

## What is depreciation expense?

The company can also scrap the equipment for \$10,000 at the end of its useful life, which means it has a salvage value of \$10,000. Using these variables, the accountant calculates depreciation expense as the difference between the asset’s cost and its salvage value, divided by its useful life. Accumulated depreciation is initially recorded as a credit balance when depreciation expense is recorded. Depreciation expense is a debit entry (since it is an expense), and the offset is a credit to the accumulated depreciation account (which is a contra account). Accumulated depreciation is the total amount of depreciation of a company’s assets, while depreciation expense is the amount that has been depreciated for a single period. Depreciation is an accounting entry that represents the reduction of an asset’s cost over its useful life.

## Double declining balance depreciation

But with that said, this tactic is often used to depreciate assets beyond their real value. The company decides on a salvage value of \$1,000 and a useful life of five years. Based on these assumptions, the depreciable amount is \$4,000 (\$5,000 cost – \$1,000 salvage value). It is based on what a company expects to receive in exchange for the asset at the end of its useful life.

Finally, depreciation is not intended to reduce the cost of a fixed asset to its market value. Market value may be substantially different, and may even increase over time. Instead, depreciation is merely intended to gradually charge the cost of a fixed asset to expense over its useful life. Depreciation expense is reported on the income statement as any other normal business expense. If the asset is used for production, the expense is listed in the operating expenses area of the income statement. This amount reflects a portion of the acquisition cost of the asset for production purposes.