What is Depreciable Cost - Definition, Meaning, Example

What is Depreciable Cost - Definition, Meaning, Example

Depreciable, the cost that can be subtracted from an asset over time, is known as its depreciable cost or the foundation for depreciation. 

The depreciable cost is determined by deducting an asset's salvage value from its cost. This is the depreciable meaning.

What is Depreciation?

Depreciation is an accounting term for systematically reducing a fixed asset's recorded cost until the asset's value is zero or when it is sold.

This is necessary to ensure that the fixed asset's cost over its useful life and the profits the business realizes from it are equal to GAAP's matching principle. 

In doing so, a complete picture of the revenue-generating transaction is presented.

Objects with physical existence, such as furniture, machinery, buildings, and other tangible assets, are examples of depreciable amounts. For both tax and accounting reasons, businesses depreciate their assets.

Why Do Depreciation Costs Exist?

The cost of an asset minus accumulated depreciation equals depreciation costs, commonly known as net book value.

The purchase price of an asset minus cumulative depreciation equals depreciation cost.

The amount of depreciation shown on the income statement is referred to as depreciation expenditure or depreciation charges.

It is an allotted portion of a business's fixed asset cost that is suitable for the accounting period.

Costs associated with depreciation are noncash company expenses. This is because no monetary transactions are associated with the recurrent, monthly recording of these expenditures.

Instead, the monthly depreciation amount was credited to cumulative depreciation and debited to depreciation expense.

The financial accounts at the end of the year include both the starting cost and the cumulative depreciation for the year.

Businesses can maintain a solid income statement and balance sheet with the right profits reflected by calculating and recording the depreciable costs.

What Is Depreciable Value?

The cost of purchasing and installing an asset that can be depreciated less its salvage value is the asset's depreciable amount

For instance, an asset might cost $20,000 to purchase. You intend to sell it for $3,000 when its useful life is over.

This asset's depreciable value is $17,000 ($20,000 - $3000).

You must divide the asset's depreciable amount by its useful life to determine the annual depreciation. 

For instance, if an asset has a depreciable amount of $17,000 and a useful life of ten years, the cost of the item will be recognized as a cost of $1,700 year for the following ten years.

Three approaches are frequently used to determine depreciation. Which are:

  1. A straight-line approach
  2. Production-method unit
  3. Method of double-declining balance

To calculate depreciation, three key inputs are needed:

  1. The useful life- The useful life of a fixed asset is the time frame during which the organization deems it productive. The fixed asset is no longer cost-effective to operate when its useful life has passed.
  2. Salvage value - After the fixed asset's useful life is through, the corporation might think about selling it for less money. The asset's salvage value is what we're talking about here.
  3. The cost of the asset -The asset's purchase price takes into account shipping, taxes, and setup and preparation costs.

The unit requires the number of units employed during the manufacturing of the production technique. 

Let's examine each kind of depreciation strategy in further detail.

Why is it important for small firms to track depreciation?

We now understand what depreciation is, how it is calculated, and what inputs are needed, and we have seen instances of how it is calculated. Find out why it matters for small businesses to record depreciation.

As we already know, the goal of depreciation is to align the cost of a fixed asset throughout its useful life with the revenues generated by the asset for the firm. 

The cost of an asset is typically attributed to the number of years the asset is productive because it is highly challenging to directly link an asset's cost to revenues.

Cost is transferred from the balance sheet to the income statement as the fixed asset nears the end of its useful life. 

Alternative: Rather than a method that establishes the fair market value of the fixed asset, it is merely an allocation process per the matching principle.

If depreciation is not used in accounting, then all assets must be charged to expenses as soon as they are purchased. 

As a result, there will be significant losses in the following transaction period and great profitability when the equivalent revenue is taken into account without an offset charge. 

As a result, businesses that don't account for depreciation expense may experience front-loaded costs and greatly fluctuating financial outcomes.


An example would be a manufacturer. For a cost of $100,000, it buys a sizable piece of equipment for its manufacturing facility. 

To fit through the doors, the machine must be much larger. It must be disassembled and then put back together to fit inside the structure. 

The machine needs to be disassembled and rebuilt, costing the business $10,000. 

The machine's total cost is $110,000 when this expense is added to the original purchase price.

According to previous experience, management estimates that this equipment will likely last around 10 years and have a salvage value of around $15,000. 

Accordingly, the depreciable expense would be $95,000 ($110,000 - $15,000). 

To put it another way, the business can write off $95,000 of the machine's price over time. It can't be completely written off.

The amount of annual depreciation is also calculated by managerial accountants using the depreciable cost

The asset's useful life is multiplied by the depreciable cost to determine straight-line depreciation. 

The straight-line depreciation for our hypothetical plant asset would be $9,500 ($95,000 / 10 years). This indicates that the assets will amortize $9,500 of cost over ten years.

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Depreciation is a crucial component of accounting records that enables businesses to properly maintain their income statement and balance sheet with the correct profits recorded. 

Using reliable business accounting software, you can prevent manual errors when recording depreciation.

FAQs related to depreciable cost

1. What is a depreciable cost?

Depreciated cost is the cost of an asset after its initial cost has been subtracted from the cumulative depreciation. Accounting and valuation reasons require understanding the depreciation schedule and depreciated cost concepts. 

2. What does depreciation look like in business?

Depreciation occurs when a piece of equipment used in business depreciates over time. A working computer, for instance, rapidly loses value throughout its useful life, going from its initial purchase price of $0 down to $0.

3. Is a fixed cost an example of depreciation?

One such fixed cost that is represented as an indirect item is depreciation. Businesses adopt a depreciation expense schedule for investments in assets whose values decline over time.

4. Why is depreciation treated as a cost?

For accounting purposes, depreciation is treated as an expense because it increases a company's operating costs. Machines and other assets go through wear and tear as they are used, losing value throughout their useful life. On the income statement, depreciation is listed as an expense.

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