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MGT101 - Financial Accounting - I - Lecture Handout 17

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FIXED ASSETS & DEPRECIATION

Depreciation is a systematic allocation of the cost of a depreciable asset to expense over its useful life. It is a process of charging the cost of fixed asset to profit & loss account.

Fixed Assets are those assets which are:

  • Of long life
  • To be used in the business to generate revenue
  • Not bought with the main purpose of resale.

Fixed assets are also called “Depreciable Assets”

When an expense is incurred, it is charged to profit & loss account of the same accounting period in which it has incurred. Fixed assets are used for longer period of time. Now, the question is how to charge a fixed asset to profit & loss account. For this purpose, estimated life of the asset is determined. Estimated useful life is the number of years in which a fixed asset is expected to be used efficiently. It is the life for which a machine is estimated to provide more benefit than the cost to run it. Then, total cost of the asset is divided by total number of estimated years. The value, so determined, is called ‘depreciation for the year’ and is charged to profit & loss account. The same amount is deducted from total cost of fixed asset in the financial year in which depreciation is charged. The net amount (after
deducting depreciation) is called ‘Written down Value’.

WDV = Original cost of fixed asset – Accumulated Depreciation

Accumulated Depreciation is the depreciation that has been charged on a particular asset from the time of purchase of the asset to the present time. This is the amount that has been charged to profit and loss account from the year of purchase to the present year.

Depreciation accumulated over the years is called accumulated depreciation.

Useful Life

  • Useful Life or Economic Life is the time period for machine is expected to operate efficiently.
  • It is the life for which a machine is estimated to provide more benefit than the cost to run it.

Grouping of Fixed Assets

Major groups of Fixed Assets:

  • Land
  • Building
  • Plant and Machinery
  • Furniture and Fixtures
  • Office Equipment
  • Vehicles

No depreciation is charged for ‘Land’. In case of ‘Leased Asset/Lease Hold Land’ the amount paid for it is charged over the life of the lease and is called Amortization.

Journal entries for recording Depreciation

Purchase of fixed asset:
Debit: Relevant asset account
Credit: Cash, Bank or Payable Account
For recording of depreciation, following two heads of accounts are used:

  • Depreciation Expense Account
  • Accumulated Depreciation Account

Depreciation expense account contains the depreciation of the current year. Accumulated depreciation contains the depreciation of the asset from the financial year in which it was bought up to the present financial year. . Depreciation of the following years in which asset was used is added up in this account. In other words, this head of account shows the cost of usage of the asset up to the current year. Depreciation account is charged to profit & loss account under the heading of Administrative Expenses. In the balance sheet, fixed assets are presented at written down value i.e.

WDV = Actual cost of fixed asset – Accumulated Depreciation.

Journal entry for the depreciation is given below:

Debit: Depreciation Expenses Account
Credit: Accumulated Depreciation Account

Presentation of Depreciation

Charging depreciation to any head in profit & loss account depends upon the nature of work performed by the asset. Consider an organization has purchased computers. If computers are being used by the management, this means that administrative work is done by computers. So, depreciation of computers will be charged to Administrative Expenses. On the other hand, if machines working in the factory are computerized. The value of depreciation of the computers attached with the machines will be charged to cost of goods sold. The reason being, the computers are the part of manufacturing process & depreciation of computers will be charged to the cost of production. Again consider the selling department of the business is very large. Depreciation of computers used in selling department will be
charged to selling expenses.
You can see that computer is a single asset and its depreciation is charged in three different heads depending upon the nature of work done by the computer.
Depreciation for the year is charged to:
i. Cost of Goods Sold
ii. Administrative Expenses
iii. Selling Expenses
In balance sheet Fixed Assets are shown at Cost less Accumulated Depreciation i.e. written Down Value
(WDV).

Methods of calculating Depreciation

There are several methods for calculating depreciation. At this stage, we will discuss only two of them
namely:
• Straight line method or Original cost method or Fixed installment method
• Reducing balance method or Diminishing balance method or written down method.

Straight Line Method

Under this method, a fixed amount is calculated by a formula. That fixed amount is charged every year irrespective of the written down value of the asset. The formula for calculating the depreciation is given below:

Depreciation = (cost – Residual value) / Expected useful life of the asset

Residual value is the cost of the asset after the expiry of its useful life.
Under this method, at the expiry of asset’s useful life, its written down value will become zero. Consider the following example:

  • Cost of the Asset = Rs.100,000
  • Life of the Asset = 5 years
  • Annual Depreciation = 20 % of cost or Rs.20,00

Written down value method

  • Cost of the Asset = Rs. 100,000
  • Annual Depreciation = 20%
    • Year 1 Depreciation = 20 % of 100,000 = 20,000
    • Year 1 WDV = 100,000 – 20,000 = 80,000
    • Year 2 Depreciation = 20 % of 80,000 = 16,000
    • Year 2 WDV = 80,000 – 16,000 = 64,000

Illustration:

Cost of an asset: Rs. 120,000
Residual value: Rs. 20,000
Expected life: Rs. 5 years

Calculate depreciation and the written down value of the asset for five years.

Solution

Straight line method

Depreciation = (120,000 – 20,000) / 5 = Rs. 20,000

Particulars Depreciation (Rs) Written Down Value (Rs.)
Depreciable cost
Dep. Of the 1st year
Dep. Of the 2nd year
Dep. Of the 3rd year
Dep. Of the 4th year
Dep. Of the 5th year
(20,000)
(20,000)
(20,000)
(20,000)
(20,000)
100,000
80,000
60,000
40,000
20,000
0

Reducing Balance Method

Under this method, depreciation is calculated on written down value. In the first year, depreciation is calculated on cost. Afterwards written down value is calculated by deducting accumulated depreciation from the cost of that asset(cost – accumulated depreciation) and depreciation is charged on that value. In this method, the value of asset never becomes zero. Consider the following example:
Cost of an asset Rs. 100,000
Expected life Rs. 5 years
Depreciation rate 20%

Solution

Particulars Depreciation
(Rs)
Accumulated
Depreciation
(Rs.)
Written Down Value (Rs.)
Depreciable cost







  100,000
Dep. Of the 1st year
100,000 x 20%
20,000 20,000 80,000
Dep. Of the 2nd year
80,000 x 20%
16,000 36,000 64,000
Dep. Of the 3rd year
64,000 x 20%
12,800 48,800 51,200
Dep. Of the 4th year
51,200 x 20%
10,240 59,040 40,960
Dep. Of the 5th year
40,960 x 20%
8,192 67,232 32,768

You see, at the end of five years, WDV of the asset is Rs. 32,768, not zero. But in case of straight line method, the WDV, after five years was zero. So, in the opinion of some people, reducing balance method is better than that of straight line method, but both methods are effective. It is the management that has to decide, which method is best suited to their business.

Once an asset has been fully depreciated, no more depreciation should be recorded on it, even though the property may be in good condition and may be in use. The objective of depreciation is to spread the cost of an asset over the periods of its usefulness; in no case can depreciation be greater than the amount paid for the asset. When a fully depreciated asset is in use beyond the original estimate of useful life, the asset account and the accumulated depreciation account should remain in the accounting records without further entries until the asset is retired.

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