August 27, 2021
From Ukombozi Review (Kenya)

You would continue repeating this calculation for each subsequent year until the end of the asset’s useful life or the book value (Initial Cost – Accumulated Depreciation) becomes less than the depreciation expense. The accumulated depreciation is listed at $22,631 million in 2023 and $21,137 million in 2022. These figures have a negative balance and reduce the total PP&E to arrive at the net PP&E figure. This is where the accumulated depreciation comes into the picture and helps identify the real worth of the assets. With gradual and yearly deductions, the company could have recorded a value to estimate a cumulative depreciation, until the value came to zero.

  • A liability is a future financial obligation (i.e. debt) that the company has to pay.
  • For accounting purposes, the depreciation expense is debited, and the accumulated depreciation is credited.
  • Book value refers to the amount a company considers an asset to be worth and what is entered on the balance sheet.
  • An important aspect of accounting is calculating the depreciation of assets.

In this section, we concentrate on the major characteristics of determining capitalized costs and some of the options for allocating these costs on an annual basis using the depreciation process. In the determination of capitalized costs, we do not consider just the initial cost of the asset; instead, we determine all of the costs necessary to place the asset into service. Accumulated depreciation is incorporated into the calculation of an asset’s net book value.


You need to track the accumulated depreciation of significant assets because it helps your company understand its true financial position. It also helps with projections for the future and with business planning. Depreciation represents an asset’s decrease in value over a specific timeframe.

Accumulated depreciation only comes close to the original price of the asset but will never exceed it. Once the asset is old or the company sells off the asset, accumulated depreciation is revered and no longer has to appear on the income statement. Net income statement value does not necessarily reflect an asset’s market value.

  • Accumulated depreciation specifies the total amount of an asset’s wear to date in the asset’s useful life.
  • Meanwhile, its balance sheet is a life-to-date running total that is not clear at year-end.
  • The annual depreciation expense shown on a company’s income statement is usually easier to find than the accumulated depreciation on the balance sheet.
  • Accumulated depreciation keeps a running total of all the depreciation expense recorded to date for that asset, while depreciation expense is an annual amount that only appears on the current year’s income statement.

Assuming the asset will be economically useful and generate returns beyond that initial accounting period, expensing it immediately would overstate the expense in that period and understate it in all future periods. 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. The journal entry to record the purchase of a fixed asset (assuming that a note payable free expense report templates is used for financing and not a short-term account payable) is shown here. If using the double-declining balance method (DDB), which is arguably the most popular, the depreciation rate in the above formula is 2. For example, a company purchases a piece of printing equipment for $100,000. To calculate accumulated depreciation using the straight-line method, you’ll first need to calculate the depreciation for every year of the asset’s usable lifetime.

Depreciation and Taxes

Another type of fixed asset is natural resources, assets a company owns that are consumed when used. These assets are considered natural resources while they are still part of the land; as they are extracted from the land and converted into products, they are then accounted for as inventory (raw materials). Natural resources are recorded on the company’s books like a fixed asset, at cost, with total costs including all expenses to acquire and prepare the resource for its intended use.

Accumulated Depreciation: Definition and Examples

Accumulated depreciation is a credit balance on the balance sheet, otherwise known as a contra account. It is the total amount of an asset that is expensed on the income statement over its useful life. Depreciation expense is recorded on the income statement as an expense or debit, reducing net income.

Where Is Accumulated Depreciation Recorded?

Accumulated depreciation is used to calculate an asset’s net book value, which is the value of an asset carried on the balance sheet. The formula for net book value is cost an asset minus accumulated depreciation. Put another way, accumulated depreciation is the total amount of an asset’s cost that has been allocated as depreciation expense since the asset was put into use. Many popular methods are used universally to calculate depreciation expenses. The only difference is that the divisor is taken as ‘1 divided by the years of the useful life of the asset, which is then multiplied by 2’. In simple terms, it includes subtracting the asset’s salvage value from its original cost.

However, there are some significant differences in how the allocation process is used as well as how the assets are carried on the balance sheet. Accumulated depreciation is used in calculating an asset’s net book value. Net book value is the cost of an asset subtracted by its accumulated depreciation. For example, a company purchased a piece of printing equipment for $100,000 and the accumulated depreciation is $35,000, then the net book value of the printing equipment is $65,000. Assets often lose a more significant proportion of its value in the early years of its service than in its later life. You can account for this by weighting depreciation towards the initial years of use.


Depreciation expense is the amount that a company’s assets are depreciated for a single period (e.g,, quarter or the year). Accumulated depreciation, on the other hand, is the total amount that a company has depreciated its assets to date. Accumulated depreciation reduces the value of the corresponding asset on the balance sheet, therefore reflecting the total depreciation expense incurred since the asset’s acquisition. It helps to ascertain the true value of an asset over time, influences purchasing decisions and plays an essential role in tax planning.

Finally, in terms of allocating the costs, there are alternatives that are available to the company. We consider three of the most popular options, the straight-line method, the units-of-production method, and the double-declining-balance method. If an asset is sold or disposed of, the asset’s accumulated depreciation is removed from the balance sheet. Net book value, however, isn’t necessarily reflective of the market value of an asset.

Recording accumulated depreciation is a systematic process that ends up on the balance sheet. This is recorded as a contra-asset account, which is an account that offsets the value of a related asset account. You should note that the expense recorded each time is added to the accumulated depreciation account.

Double Declining Balance Depreciation Method

Accumulated depreciation is not recorded separately on the balance sheet. Instead, it’s recorded in a contra asset account as a credit, reducing the value of fixed assets. The accumulated depreciation account is an asset account with a credit balance (also known as a contra asset account).

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