sum of the years digits depreciation method

When a long-term asset is purchased, it should be capitalized instead of being expensed in the accounting period it is purchased in. Now, considering the above example, let us try to create a depreciation schedule for the asset using the Sum of year depreciation method. The method is more appropriate than the more commonly-used straight-line depreciation if an asset depreciates more quickly or has greater production ca­pacity in its earlier years than it does as it ages. The total amount of depreciation is identical no matter which depreciation method is used – the choice of depreciation method only alters the timing of depreciation recognition. Sum-of-the-years’ digits is an accelerated method for determining an asset’s expected depreciation over time. The gross profit is the amount of revenue that is reported on the classified income statement by a company. Discover the definition and formula of gross profit, the calculation of gross profit, and the components of gross product.

What are the depreciation methods?

There are four methods for depreciation: straight line, declining balance, sum-of-the-years’ digits, and units of production.

In this case, the company should use the sum of years digits depreciation method on the fixed assets that can produce higher productivity in the early year and such productivity will gradually drop down as time passes. Most income tax systems allow a tax deduction for recovery of the cost of assets used in a business or for the production of income. Where the assets are consumed currently, the cost may be deducted currently as an expense or treated as part of cost of goods sold. The cost of assets not currently consumed generally must be deferred and recovered over time, such as through depreciation. Some systems permit the full deduction of the cost, at least in part, in the year the assets are acquired.

Sum Of The Years Digits Depreciation Method

For example, computers and printers are not similar, but both are part of the office equipment. Depreciation on all assets is determined by using the straight-line-depreciation method. The table below illustrates the units-of-production depreciation schedule of the asset. If the asset had many years of expected service life then it would be better and faster to use the above formula to find the denominator of the fraction where n stands for years of useful life of the property. After applying the numbers from the assumption to the formula the result will be still 10. When it comes to sum-of-years digits as a mode of asset depreciation, Companies need to identify the strategy that works best for the asset within the context of the balance sheet.

What are the 3 methods of depreciation?

Your intermediate accounting textbook discusses a few different methods of depreciation. Three are based on time: straight-line, declining-balance, and sum-of-the-years’ digits. The last, units-of-production, is based on actual physical usage of the fixed asset.

It’s well-known that vehicles are fast-depreciating assets that lose significant value almost immediately. In this case, an accelerated depreciation makes sense, since it paces the actual depreciation of the asset.


In the second year, the asset value subject to depreciation would be expensed 4/15 (26.67%). In the third year, the asset value subject to depreciation would be expensed 3/15 (20%). This would continue until the asset was fully depreciated, having been completely expensed on the income statement and fully sum of the years digits depreciation method depreciated on the balance sheet. On the other hand, the sum of years’ digits can be determined by totaling the digits in every year of the fixed asset’s useful life. For example, if the fixed asset has 5 years of useful life, the sum of years’ digits can be determined to be 15 (5 + 4 + 3 + 2 + 1).

sum of the years digits depreciation method

If you are using the double declining balance method, just select declining balance and set the depreciation factor to be 2. It can also calculate partial-year depreciation with any accounting year date setting.


Learn accounting fundamentals and how to read financial statements with CFI’s free online accounting classes. The sum of the year depreciation method is useful for depreciating an asset that may become obsolete quickly. For e.g., Computers can become obsolete very fast due to technological advancements; thus, it makes sense to charge the expense in the early years of useful life. Since the depreciation expense is high, the Company can report lower net income, thus decreasing the tax expense. Notice that as the remaining life of the machine decreases, the depreciation expense also decreases.

  • Depreciation is calculated under sum-of-the-years’ digits by adding up the number of years in an asset’s useful economic life.
  • This is often referred to as a capital allowance, as it is called in the United Kingdom.
  • And, a life, for example, of 5 years will be depreciated across 6 years.
  • There are several ways a business can depreciate an asset—namely through straight line or accelerated modes.
  • To find the delivery truck’s remaining useful life, we need to count it from the start of each year rather than the end.

The advantages and disadvantages of this method are more or less the same as the declining balance method. The exception is that the calculations needed in sum-of-the-years’ digits are slightly more complex. In this method, you multiply the depreciable basis amount by an annual fraction. The denominator is the sum of the digits from 1 to n, where n is the number of years in the asset’s service life. We need to count the remaining useful life from the asset’s timeline rather than the accounting periods’ perspective. For calculating depreciation for the first accounting period that ends on 31 December 2020 , the remaining useful life of the delivery truck will be taken as 4 years. Like the sum of the years’ digits calculated in Step 1, the depreciation base does not change over the asset’s life and therefore only needs to be calculated once.

Syd: Sum

The earlier years will have a tax advantage as higher deductions will be made. However, the later years will have lower deductions and higher income tax. Now you have to estimate the useful life of the asset and add the useful years.

Sum-of-years digits allows the company to quickly depreciate that burden, while still gaining value from a critical asset. The sum of the years’ digits depreciation schedule is shown below. Partial-year depreciation also can be calculated using the sum-of-the-years’ digits method. Depreciation determined in this way constitutes the annual depreciation expense, which is applied to the cost of acquisition or construction of the asset to be depreciated rather than the asset’s written-down value. The following example shows how you can work your way through each of the above steps to calculate depreciation using the sum of the years’ digits method. With the help of the Sum of year’s digits method of depreciation, we can predict the usefulness of the asset.

The Best Method Of Calculating Depreciation For Tax Reporting Purposes

It starts with the value n in the first year and decreases by 1 each year until it equals 1 in the final year of the asset’s estimated service life. The only guideline is that the depreciation method should be systematic and rational, and as we noted, all of the depreciation methods discussed so far meet this requirement. High-tech products are examples of assets in which the decline of benefits is likely to follow such a pattern. Accelerated depreciation is also appropriate for assets that have higher repair expenses in later years. We need to deduct the salvage value ($2000) from the initial cost ($12000) to calculate the delivery truck’s depreciation base. For example, if an asset costs $1000 and has a salvage value of $200, its depreciation base is $800. For example, if an asset has a useful life of 5 years, the sum of its years’ digits will equal 15 (1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5).

Double Declining Balance (DDB) Depreciation Method Definition – Investopedia

Double Declining Balance (DDB) Depreciation Method Definition.

Posted: Sat, 25 Mar 2017 22:10:12 GMT [source]

Under the United States depreciation system, the Internal Revenue Service publishes a detailed guide which includes a table of asset lives and the applicable conventions. The table also incorporates specified lives for certain commonly used assets (e.g., office furniture, computers, automobiles) which override the business use lives.

The assumption is that assets have higher productivity in early years of useful life than in later years. The other assumption is that some of the assets are subject to rapid obsolescence, e.g., computers and other electronics, so accelerated depreciation helps to recover their initial cost more quickly. A company is considering an asset to get accelerated depreciation due to its less productivity and poor performance. Therefore the company wants their accountant to calculate the depreciation using the sum of year’s digits method of depreciation. The Sum of year digits method of depreciation is a type of depreciation method which means the depreciation is being calculated by doing the sum of the year’s digits. In this method, it is being assumed that the productivity of the asset will decrease as time passes. Therefore, in this case, the depreciation is calculated by taking the No. of years of the remaining life of the asset dividing by the Total of all digits of life of the asset.

sum of the years digits depreciation method

It is expected that machine has a useful life of 5 years at the end of which residual value will be $30,000. Entity uses sum-of-years’-digits method to calculate depreciation. The depreciation schedule using sum-of-the-years’ digits for equipment is shown below.

Example Of Sum Of The Years Digits Depreciation

Calculate the sum of years’ digits depreciation for each year of the fixed asset above. With the Sum of the year’s digits method, it causes variability in the reported net income of the Company. The assets are depreciated at a higher rate in the early years, and thus, the net income is lower in the early life of the asset. But as the useful life of the asset increases, the reported net income increases.

Such consumable assets are not recorded in the balance sheet at the year-end. So, it is better to go with the sum of the year’s digits depreciation method if the asset is more productive in the earlier years or it depreciates more quickly, for example, automobiles.

sum of the years digits depreciation method

This table shows decimal equivalents of sum of the years-digits fractions corresponding to remaining lives from 1 to 100 years. Of the unrecovered cost or other basis of the asset after adjustment for salvage. Cost refers to the historical cost of the asset being depreciated. aims to provide the best accounting and finance education for students, professionals, teachers, and business owners. Beth purchased a display shelf for her bakery costing $10,000 on 1 January 2020. The has a useful life of 4 years after which it is expected to have no residual value. To find the delivery truck’s remaining useful life, we need to count it from the start of each year rather than the end.

Under such a convention, all property of a particular type is considered to have been acquired at the midpoint of the acquisition period. One half of a full period’s depreciation is allowed in the acquisition period . United States rules require a mid-quarter convention for per property if more than 40% of the acquisitions for the year are in the final quarter.

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