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Straight Line Depreciation: Definition, Formula, Examples & Journal Entries

straight line depreciation formula

It also considers that depreciation charges are higher in the early years of an asset’s life and lower in the later years. Whenever calculating an asset’s cost, ensure to add all related expenses such as labor, material, taxes, and more. Depreciation is an accounting value charge that reduces an asset’s original cost to its scrap value at the end of its useful life. And this method is the fixed percentage method of the original cost method. Depreciation is calculated using a straight line technique in which the value of a fixed asset is diminished during its useful life. The most important difference between this formula and other common depreciation formulas is the denominator.

straight line depreciation formula

All of our content is based on objective analysis, and the opinions are our own. Suppose an asset for a business cost $11,000, will have a life of 5 years and a salvage value of $1,000. The straight line calculation, as the name suggests, is a straight line drop in asset value. Now, let’s assume you run a large fishing business that sets out on the Bering Sea every summer to capture fresh salmon. You can calculate the asset’s life span by determining the number of years it will remain useful. It’s possible to find this information on the product’s packaging, website or by speaking to a brand representative.

How to Calculate Straight Line Depreciation Using Formula in Excel

Accountants commonly use the straight-line basis method to determine this amount. There are good reasons for using both of these methods, and the right one depends on the asset type in question. The straight-line depreciation method is the easiest to use, so it makes for simplified accounting calculations. For example, let’s say that you buy new computers for your business at an initial cost of $12,000, and you depreciate their value at 25% per year. If we estimate the salvage value at $3,000, this is a total depreciable cost of $10,000.

When a company purchases a capital asset, it is recorded at its original cost in the fixed assets section. The accumulated depreciation, which is a contra asset account, is used to represent the total depreciation expense that the asset has accumulated over its useful life. To apply the units of production method, the total depreciable cost of the asset is first divided by its estimated useful life in terms of output or usage (e.g., machine hours).

Straight-line Method of Depreciation

The purpose of using depreciation to gradually reduce the recorded cost of a fixed asset is to recognize a portion of the asset’s expense at the same time the company records the fixed asset’s revenue. The depreciation journal entry can be a simple entry that facilitates all types of fixed assets, or it can be broken down into separate entries for each type of tangible asset. All businesses require some sort of machinery or equipment or any other physical asset that helps them to generate revenue. For any business to arrive at a conclusive and authentic accounting report, it is important to value these tangible assets, while taking into account the drop in asset value. For instance, if you are using the straight-line method to calculate depreciation expenses for your company’s assets each month.

For information pertaining to the registration status of 11 Financial, please contact the state securities regulators for those states in which 11 Financial maintains a registration filing. Learn more about bookkeeping tasks and responsibilities in our small business bookkeeping guide. Fixed asset management is part of the bookkeeping so this guide can help you understand the full picture of the process. It prevents bias in situations when the pattern of economic benefits from an asset is hard to estimate. Depreciation already charged in prior periods is not revised in case of a revision in the depreciation charge due to a change in estimates.

Step 2: Calculate and subtract salvage value from asset cost

So, the amount of depreciation declines over time, and continues until the salvage value is reached. 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. The total depreciation over the asset’s useful life is $40,000, and the machine produces 100,000 units. The amount of expense posted to the income statement may increase or decrease over time.

straight line depreciation formula

These assets typically have a predetermined useful life, which makes them suitable for the straight line depreciation method. For instance, a machine may have a useful life of 10 years, allowing the company to allocate its cost uniformly over the expected life. The double declining balance method calculates the annual depreciation rate by doubling the straight-line rate. For example, for an asset with a 10-year life, the straight-line rate would be 10% (100% / 10 years). Straight line depreciation is an accounting method used to allocate the cost of a fixed asset over its expected useful life.

Learn what outsourced accounting involves, its advantages, and whether or not it’s right for you. Check out our guide to Form 4562 for more information on calculating depreciation and amortization for tax purposes. Sally can now record straight line depreciation for her furniture each month for the next seven years. Other assets lose their value in a steady manner (furniture or real estate are good examples), so it makes more sense to use straight-line depreciation in these cases. Calculating straight line depreciation is a five-step process, with a sixth step added if you’re expensing depreciation monthly.

Another factor affecting straight line depreciation calculations is the salvage value. The salvage value, also known as the residual value, represents the estimated amount an organization can sell the asset for at the end of its useful life. By taking the salvage value into consideration, the depreciation calculation is done on the depreciable cost alone. This means that the value of the machine will decrease by $16,000 each year for the next 5 years until it reaches its estimated salvage value of $20,000. Being the simplest method, it allocates an even rate of depreciation every year on the useful life of the asset.

Depreciating furniture

Notice the three depreciation methods at the start of an asset than at the end. The sum of the years’ digits method is an accelerated depreciation that calculates a percentage based on the sum of an asset’s useful life years. The rate of depreciation under straight-line depreciation is the percentage of the total cost of an asset to be charged as depreciation during the useful lifetime of an asset.


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