What is Depreciation Expense?

In accounting terminology, depreciation is the term that is defined as the reduction of recorded cost of a fixed asset in a systematic manner until the value of the asset becomes zero or negligible.

Machinery, vehicle, equipment, building are some examples of assets that are likely to experience wear and tear or obsolescence.

Also Check: What is Depreciation?

Meaning of Depreciation Expense

Depreciation expense refers to the expenses that are charged to fixed assets based on how much the assets get consumed during the accounting period according to the accounting policy of the business.

For accounting purposes, depreciation expense is not represented as a cash transaction, but it shows how much of an asset’s value the business has utilized over a period.

Here are certain factors that are essential to calculate depreciation

  1. Useful Life: It refers to the period within which the asset can be considered to be productive. Beyond its useful life, the fixed asset is no longer considered to be cost-effective for continuing the operation of the asset.
  2. Salvage Value: Salvage value is the price of the asset at which it can be sold post the useful life of the asset.
  3. Cost of the asset: It includes taxes, setup, and shipping expenses.

There are three different methods of calculating depreciation expense, which are:

  1. Straight Line Method
  2. Declining balance method
  3. Unit Production method

Let us look into each of these methods to get well acquainted with the depreciation expenses that can occur.

Straight Line Method

It is the simplest method of calculating depreciation. It is also the most commonly used. In this method, the depreciation expense is determined by deducting the residual value from the actual cost of the asset and dividing it by the useful life of the asset.

Depreciation Expense = (Original Value – Residual Value) / Remaining Useful Life of the Asset.

We will understand this concept with an example.

Suppose a firm has purchased machinery worth Rs. 100000 with a useful life of 10 years and a residual value of 10000. Then the depreciation expenses can be calculated as

Depreciation Expense = (100000-10000) /10 = Rs.9000

Thus, Rs.9000 can be taken as the depreciation amount for the next ten years.

Declining Balance Method

The declining balance method is also known as the double-declining method. It acts on the premise that some assets are more productive during the first year and significantly show a reduction in performance over the course of years.

This method is also known as accelerated depreciation because assets tend to depreciate faster during the first year and progressively slow down in the subsequent years.

The formulae for calculating depreciation using this method is:

Double Declining Balance = 2 X Cost of the asset / Useful Life or Double Declining Balance = 2 X Book Value of the Asset / Useful Life

Book value = Cost of the asset – accumulated depreciation value of the asset.

Let us understand it through an example.

Suppose a firm has purchased machinery worth Rs. 100000 with a useful life of 4 years. Then the depreciation expenses can be calculated as

Double Declining Balance = 2 X 100000 / 4 = Rs. 50000 (For 1st year)

For 2nd year it will be

Double Declining Balance = (100000-50000) x 2 / 5 = Rs. 20000

Similarly, it can be calculated for the remaining years.

Also Read: DK Goel Solutions for Chapter 16 Depreciation

Unit Production Method

The Unit Production Method is a method of calculating depreciation of an asset in which an asset’s value is based on the number of units it produces than its useful life. This results in depreciation being calculated more for the period during which asset is most actively used.

The formula for calculating depreciation using this method is

Per unit Depreciation = (Asset cost – Residual value) / Useful life of the asset in terms of units of production

Total Depreciation Expense = Per Unit Depreciation value * Units Produced

Let us understand it through an example.

A company purchases a printer for Rs.10000 with a useful life of 100000 prints and a residual value of 5000. It prints 5000 copies. The Depreciation expense will be as follows.

Per unit Depreciation = (10000 – 5000) / 100000 = Rs 0.05

Total Depreciation Expense = 0.05 * 5000 = 250

This article serves as a guide to understand the concept of depreciation expenses in business; this concept is essential for students of Commerce to understand the decline in value of an asset over time in accounting terms. Stay tuned to BYJU’S for more such interesting concepts.