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Depreciation Expense is a temporary account and as such is reported on the income statement. As a temporary account, at the end of each year, its balance is closed and the Depreciation Expense account begins the next year with a zero balance. Now, that we have an understanding of depreciation expense, is it recorded as a debit or credit? Let us look at what accounts are entered as debit and credit entries in the double-entry system to answer this question. When it comes to the bookkeeping of a business, debits and credits are very essential for the correct balancing of the financial accounts.

Charlene Rhinehart is a CPA , CFE, chair of an Illinois CPA Society committee, and has a degree in accounting and finance from DePaul University.

  • Therefore, in each accounting period, part of the cost of certain fixed assets will be moved from the balance sheet to depreciation expense on the income statement.
  • Accumulated depreciation is reported on the balance sheet as a contra asset that reduces the net book value of the capital asset section.
  • Depreciation allows the company to even out the cost of an asset over its useful life.
  • Accumulated depreciation is the total amount an asset has been depreciated up until a single point.

This salvage value is based on what a company expects to receive in exchange for the asset at the end of its useful life. When an asset is disposed of (sold, retired, scrapped) the credit balance in Accumulated Depreciation is reduced when the asset’s credit balance is removed by debiting Accumulated Depreciation. Other times, accumulated depreciation may be shown separately for each class of assets, such as furniture, equipment, vehicles, and buildings. The same is true for many big purchases, and that’s why businesses must depreciate most assets for financial reporting purposes. Alternatively, the accumulated expense can also be calculated by taking the sum of all historical depreciation expense incurred to date, assuming the depreciation schedule is readily available.

Module 9: Property, Plant, and Equipment

Calculating accumulated depreciation is a simple matter of running the depreciation calculation for a fixed asset from its acquisition date to the current date. Subtracting accumulated depreciation from an asset’s cost results in the asset’s book value or carrying value. Hence, the credit balance in the account Accumulated Depreciation cannot exceed the debit balance in the related asset account. Depreciation allows a company to spread the cost of an asset over its useful life, which avoids having to incur a significant cost from being charged when the asset is initially purchased.

They are frequently used by bookkeepers and accountants when recording transactions in accounting records. When a transaction is made, an amount must be entered on the right side of the balance sheet (credit) and the same account is recorded on the left side of the balance sheet (debit). This accounting system helps to provide accuracy and is known as a double-entry system.

In double-entry accounting, the debits and credit entries record changes in value resulting from business transactions. As a result, a debit entry in an account would basically mean a transfer of value to that account, whereas a credit entry would mean a transfer of value from the account. However, the accumulated depreciation is not a liability but a contra account to the fixed assets on the balance sheet. Likewise, the accumulated depreciation journal entry will reduce the total assets on the balance sheet while increasing the total expenses on the income statement.

Instead, depreciation is merely intended to gradually charge the cost of a fixed asset to expense over its useful life. A liability is a future financial obligation (i.e. debt) that the company has to pay. Accumulation depreciation is not a cash outlay; the cash obligation has already been satisfied when the asset is purchased or financed. Instead, accumulated depreciation is the way of recognizing depreciation over the life of the asset instead of recognizing the expense all at once.

  • Since we are using straight-line depreciation, $9,500 will be the depreciation for each year.
  • This accounting system helps to provide accuracy and is known as a double-entry system.
  • Using a similar approach, the equipment’s book value is zero at the end of the tenth year.
  • Depreciation expense account is an expense on the income statement in which its normal balance is on the debit side.
  • Under IRS guidelines, taxpayers may allocate fixed-asset costs using an accelerated depreciation method or straight-line depreciation method.
  • In its essence, it represents how much of an asset’s value has been used up over a specific period of time.

The accumulated depreciation balance increases over time, adding the amount of depreciation expense recorded in the current period. By having accumulated depreciation recorded as a credit balance, the fixed asset can be offset. In other words, accumulated depreciation is a contra-asset account, meaning it offsets the value of the asset that it is depreciating. As a result, accumulated depreciation is a negative balance reported on the balance sheet under the long-term assets section. Accounting for depreciation expense requires a continuing series of entries to charge a fixed asset to expense, and eventually to devalue the asset.

The journal entry for depreciation can be a simple entry designed to accommodate all types of fixed assets, or it may be subdivided into separate entries for each type of fixed asset. Over time, the accumulated depreciation balance will continue to increase as more depreciation is added to it, until such time as it equals the original cost of the asset. At that time, stop recording any depreciation expense, since the cost of the asset has now been reduced to zero.


The amount of accumulated depreciation for an asset will increase over time, as depreciation continues to be charged against the asset. The original cost of the asset is known as its gross cost, while the original cost of the asset less the amount of accumulated depreciation and any impairment charges is known as its net cost or carrying amount. To make sure your spreadsheet accurately calculates accumulated depreciation for year five, recalculate annual depreciation expense and sum the expenses for years one through five.

More so, accumulated depreciation is not a debit but a credit because fixed assets have a debit balance. Therefore, accumulated depreciation must have a credit balance to be able free hotel invoice template to properly offset the fixed assets. Thus, it appears immediately below the fixed assets line item within the long-term assets section of the balance sheet as a negative figure.

Accumulated Depreciation vs. Accelerated Depreciation

The accounting for depreciation requires an ongoing series of entries to charge a fixed asset to expense, and eventually to derecognize it. Accumulated Depreciation is credited when Depreciation Expense is debited each accounting period. A depreciation expense reduces net income when the asset’s cost is allocated on the income statement. Depreciation is used to account for declines in the value of a fixed asset over time.

Everything You Need To Master Financial Modeling

The concept of depreciation describes the allocation of the purchase of a fixed asset, or capital expenditure, over its useful life. 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 amount directly reduces the net worth of the company’s assets and can therefore influence equipment decisions about whether to invest in asset maintenance, upgrade, or replacement. By deducting the accumulated depreciation from the initial cost of assets, businesses can determine the net book value of an asset.

In accounting, the numbers from business transactions are recorded in at least two accounts, either as a debit or as a credit. For instance, when an entry to record depreciation is made to the depreciation expense account, there must be an offsetting entry to another account. This is why when an amount is recorded in the depreciation expense account as a debit, an offsetting credit entry of the same amount is made to the accumulated depreciation account. This accumulated depreciation account is a contra-asset account that offsets the fixed asset account. Many companies depend on capital assets for part of their business operations and in accordance with accounting rules, they must depreciate these assets over their useful lives. As a result, they have to recognize the accumulated depreciation which appears on the balance sheet as a contra asset that reduces the gross amount of the fixed asset (like property, plant, and equipment).

For example, say a company was depreciating a $10,000 asset over its five-year useful life with no salvage value. Using the straight-line method, an accumulated depreciation of $2,000 is recognized. Under the double-declining balance (also called accelerated depreciation), a company calculates what its depreciation would be under the straight-line method.

Example of the Depreciation Entry

Some accounting textbooks state that the cost of an expenditure that extends the useful life of an asset should be debited to the accumulated depreciation account instead of the asset account. Such an entry will also reduce the credit balance in the accumulated depreciation account. Accumulated depreciation is a running total of the depreciation expense that has been recorded over the years and is offset against the sale of the asset. It does not impact net income or earnings, which is the amount of revenue left after all costs, expenses, depreciation, interest, and taxes have been taken into consideration. In other words, the depreciated amount in the formula above is the beginning balance of the accumulated depreciation on the balance sheet of the company. Likewise, the accumulated depreciation in the formula represents the accumulated depreciation at the end of the accounting period which is the cutoff period that the company prepares the financial statements.

As more depreciation is charged against the fixed assets, the amount of accumulated depreciation will increase over time, resulting in an even lower remaining book value. Accumulated depreciation is the total decrease in the value of an asset on the balance sheet over time. It is the total amount of an asset’s cost that has been allocated as depreciation expense since the time that the asset was put into use.