Straight-Line Depreciation: Method, Formula & Example Video & Lesson Transcript


Cost Of SalesThe costs directly attributable to the production of the goods that are sold in the firm or organization are referred to as the cost of sales. Level up your career with the world’s most recognized private equity investing program. And, a life, for example, of 7 years will be depreciated across 8 years. According to straight-line depreciation, your MacBook will depreciate $300 every year. The useful life of the asset—how many years you think it will last.

calculate the depreciation

The term “double-declining balance” is due to this method depreciating an asset twice as fast as the straight-line method of depreciation. The “2” in the formula represents the acceleration of deprecation to twice the straight-line depreciation amount. However, when using the declining balance method of depreciation, an entity is not required to only accelerate depreciation by two. They are able to choose an acceleration factor appropriate for their specific situation. Accumulated DepreciationThe accumulated depreciation of an asset is the amount of cumulative depreciation charged on the asset from its purchase date until the reporting date.

Can QuickBooks Help Me Keep Track of Depreciation?

These classes include properties that depreciate over three, five, ten, fifteen, twenty, and twenty-five years. The vehicle is estimated to have a useful life of 5 years and an estimated salvage of $15,000. According to straight line depreciation, the company machinery will depreciate $500 every year. A business purchased some essential operational machinery for $7,000. The machine is estimated to have a useful life of 10 years and an estimated salvage value of $2,000. A company building, for example, is being used equally and consistently every day, month and throughout the year.

depreciable cost

Depreciation expenses to determine how to reduce a capital asset’s value over its useful lifetime for tax purposes. The next step in the calculation is simple, but you have to subtract the salvage value. Unlike the other methods, the units of production depreciation method does not depreciate the asset based on time passed, but on the units the asset produced throughout the period. This method is most commonly used for assets in which actual usage, not the passage of time, leads to the depreciation of the asset.

Depreciation expense

Other methods of depreciation include units of production, sum of the years’ digits, declining balance and modified accelerated cost recovery systems . All of these methods are GAAP-compliant except for MACRS, which is required by the IRS for U.S. tax purposes. In addition to straight line depreciation, there are also other methods of calculating depreciation of an asset. Different methods of asset depreciation are used to more accurately reflect the depreciation and current value of an asset. A company may elect to use one depreciation method over another in order to gain tax or cash flow advantages. When calculating a business’s contra account, bad debts, depletion and depreciation of the company’s assets are all crucial deductions to make.

The straight line depreciation formula is a simple way of calculating the cost of an asset over time. It’s calculated by subtracting the salvage value of an asset from its cost. This is then divided by the estimated projected useful lifetime of the asset. While it’s simple to calculate straight line depreciation, there are drawbacks, such as possible inaccuracies with the projected estimated useful lifetime of the asset in question.

Straight-line depreciation is often the easiest and most straightforward way of calculating depreciation, which means it’ll result in fewer errors. To help you calculate the loss of value of a business asset, we’ve created this guide to help you understand and calculate straight-line depreciation. Read through to learn more about the straight-line method of depreciation, or use the links below to jump to a section of your choice. With this cancellation, the copier’s annual depreciation expense would be $1320.

Depreciation Expense & the Straight-Line Depreciation Method Explained with a Fixed Asset Example & Journal Entries

Those assets tend to wear out after several years and lose their value. Luckily, businesses can write off those expenses if they know about depreciation and how to calculate it. You would also credit an accumulated depreciation account, which is a type of asset account.

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  • However, this depreciation method isn’t always the most accurate, especially if an asset doesn’t have a set pattern of use over time.
  • The formula to calculate annual depreciation using the straight-line method is (cost – salvage value) / useful life.
  • Depreciation is typically calculated using one of several methods.

Whilst there are several other depreciation methods, the straight-line approach is the easiest to understand and is suitable for the needs of small businesses and freelancers. Straight-line method calculates depreciation expense in relation to time instead of actual use of asset. The depreciation charge from one period to the other will be same as the cost of the asset, useful life of the asset and the length of each period remains constant.

Most commonly, you’ll use the straight-line method or the declining balance method. Companies use depreciation and amortization to achieve the matching objective. Intangible assets are only amortized if their useful life is limited. Fixed and intangible assets, such as software and patents, are also amortized on a straight-line basis. The best time to use the straight-line depreciation method is when you don’t expect an asset to have a specific pattern of use over time.

Straight line is the most straightforward and easiest method for calculating depreciation. It is most useful when an asset’s value decreases steadily over time at around the same rate. Depending on how often they are used, different assets can wear out at different rates, and any method of calculating depreciation value may come in handy. Small and large businesses widely use straight line depreciation for its simplicity, accuracy, and functionality, but other methods of calculating an asset’s depreciation value exist. With straight line depreciation, the value of an asset is reduced consistently over each period until the salvage value is reached. When the organization sells the assets before the life of assets comes to an end so as to calculate the accurate profit or loss.

Still, the straight-line depreciation method is widely employed for its simplicity and functionality to determine the depreciation of assets being used over time without a particular pattern. Depreciation expenses include the sum of the year’s digits, double-declining balance, and units produced. By estimating depreciation, companies can spread the cost of an asset over several years.

Straight-line is a method of calculating depreciation whereby an asset is expensed consistently throughout its useful life. We call the running total of depreciation expense “accumulated depreciation” and it will be equal to the historical cost less the estimated salvage value. There are instances wherein assets used in businesses are interrelated.

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One what is a deposit slip accountants use to determine this amount is the straight line basis method. Straight line basis is calculated by dividing the difference between an asset’s cost and its expected salvage value by the number of years it is expected to be used. The IRS has categorized depreciable assets into several property classes.


The unit-of-production method is similar to straight-line depreciation, except that it measures depreciation in production units rather than dollars. Swat Tourism acquired a vehicle costing $20,000 during the year. It is expected that its useful life will be 10 years and by the end of it will fetch only $500. QuickBooks Accounting, you can keep all of your business finances in one place, making money management easier than ever. When crunching numbers in the office, you can record your vessel depreciating $21,000 per year over a 10-year period using the straight-line method.

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Therefore, the depreciation value recorded on the company’s income statement will be the same every year of the building’s useful life. It can be observed in the above graph, that the depreciation amount remains constant over a period of time and only the written down value of the asset decreases due to depreciation charged . The depreciation so calculated is to be charged over the life and debited to profit and loss account. Salvage value is the estimated value which can be realized at the end of the life of the asset. Life of asset is the expected life through which asset is expected to generate the revenue.

Purchases are generally most valuable and worth the most amount of money when they are new. Over time, the purchase loses value, and experiences depreciation. Every ten years, Jason buys a new automatic car washing machine to ensure that his customers have access to quality equipment. At the end of the equipment’s ten-year life period, Jason sells the equipment to a used parts store. The remaining value of a piece of equipment at the end of its useful life is called the residual value.

This serves to increase expenses, which reduces income for the period. It also increases the contra asset account, which reduces the running balance of its related asset when netted together. Adding to the difficulty, businesses may use different depreciation methods for its various categories of fixed assets, each with its own depreciation schedule.

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