Depreciation Units-of-Activity, Double-Declining-Balance DDB, Sum-of-the-Years-Digits

The Units of Activity Method Calculator simplifies the often intricate process of calculating depreciation for assets whose value diminishes with each unit of production or hours of operation. This depreciation method will rely on the actual usage of assets so it will be more accurate than other methods. A factor is calculated based on the expected number of units for that asset, rather than the class life of the asset as done for Straight Line and Declining Balance methods of depreciation. Units of Activity or Units of Production depreciation method is calculated using units of use for an asset. Those units may be based on mileage, hours, or output specific to that asset. ¨ The declining-balance method produces a
decreasing annual depreciation expense over the useful life of the asset.

  • Depreciation is a way to quantify how the value of an asset decreases over time.
  • Like the double declining balance method a declining balance depreciation schedule front-loads depreciation of an asset.
  • Simply put, it takes into account the value addition life of the asset rather than just time-lapse.
  • Note that the estimated salvage value of $8,000 was not considered in calculating each year’s depreciation expense.
  • Instead, amortization of these
    accounts is recorded as a direct decrease (credit) to the asset account.

In many production facilities, businesses have to manage additional costs after an increased volume such as additional labor, supervisors, and energy costs, etc. The Activity-Based Depreciation allows businesses to recover higher costs when the production levels increase after a certain limit. The output level from any asset directly relates to the expenses incurred in production. The profitability levels fluctuate with different levels of the activities too. As with activity-based costing, the depreciation method connects the profitability with asset activities. The yearly profits and costs can be really spread out based on the actual performance and utility of the underlying assets.

The Formula for the Unit of Production Method Is

Depreciation is the process of allocating a cost to an expense over an asset’s estimated useful life. Many companies use the units of activity method to calculate this amount. The useful life of an asset is the number of units it is expected to produce within a year.

  • The double-declining-balance (DDB) method, which is also referred to as the 200%-declining-balance method, is one of the accelerated methods of depreciation.
  • Activity-Based Depreciation expense is suitable for the assets which produce countable output.
  • The depreciation for the 2nd year will be 9/55 times the asset’s depreciable cost.
  • For the second year depreciation, subtract year one’s depreciation from the asset’s original depreciation basis.

Double Entry Bookkeeping is here to provide you with free online information to help you learn and understand bookkeeping and introductory accounting. You purchase a construction vehicle for your business for $225,000 and you expect it to have a life of 15,000 hours with a salvage value of $5,000 after about 10 years. Harold Averkamp (CPA, MBA) has worked as a university accounting instructor, accountant, and consultant for more than 25 years. Activities Based Depreciation allows the management to match between revenue and depreciation expense. The “sum-of-the-years’-digits” refers to adding the digits in the years of an asset’s useful life. For the following example, we’ll assume our sample asset has yearly depreciation of $2,000, using Straight-line Depreciation.

It ends when the cost of the unit is fully recovered or the unit has produced all units within its estimated production capacity, whichever comes first. We can calculate the activity method of deprecation by estimating the total output in the lifetime of the asset. And then calculate the cost per unit of output which is simply the purchase price less scrap value and divided by total output.

This method is useful for businesses with varying output levels, as it allows for more accurate cost matching. This method of depreciation is based on the amount of operational activity of an asset, such as the number of hours used or units produced. While the activity method can be a good option for long-lived plant assets, it has certain disadvantages and is not universally applied. In addition, it is not an exact science and may not be appropriate for all industries. Like the double declining balance method a declining balance depreciation schedule front-loads depreciation of an asset.


The units of depreciation method is also known as the units of activity method. The MUP depreciation method involves selecting a measure for the asset’s use. In either case, the objective is to determine the correct measure for the asset’s useful life. Choosing the right measure modular home floor plans and designs can be difficult if the asset is used in many different production processes. Using the actual miles, we multiply by the factor to determine depreciation expense. Net Book Value is calculated by taking the cost of the asset and subtracted the accumulated depreciation.

(Cost of $225,000 – $25,000 of expected salvage value divided by the expected 100,000 operations.) In an accounting year when 8,000 robot operations occur, the depreciation will be $16,000. In a year when 23,000 operations occur, the depreciation will be $46,000. The robot depreciation will continue until a total of $200,000 of depreciation has been taken (and the book value will be $25,000). Depreciation expense is an accounting method used to allocate the cost of a long-term asset over its useful life.

Methods of Depreciation

Businesses often use depreciation to offset the initial cost of acquiring an asset for tax purposes. Rather than fully deduct the cost of an asset in the same year it was purchased, businesses can deduct part of the cost of the asset each year according to a calculated depreciation schedule. At the end of 10 years, the contra asset account Accumulated Depreciation will have a credit balance of $110,000. When this is combined with the debit balance of $115,000 in the asset account Fixtures, the book value of the fixtures will be $5,000 (which is equal to the estimated salvage value). This is due to the fact that output levels can vary significantly from year to year, making it difficult to create an accurate estimate.

It can be used for long-lived plant assets

The monthly accounting close process for a nonprofit organization involves a series of steps to ensure accurate and up-to-date financial records. ¨ Intangibles do not usually use a contra asset
account like the contra asset account Accumulated Depreciation used for plant
assets. Instead, amortization of these
accounts is recorded as a direct decrease (credit) to the asset account. ¨ Book value is the difference between the cost of
the plant asset and the accumulated depreciation to date. Depreciation is a crucial accounting concept that allocates the cost of an asset over its useful life.

Other depreciation methods consider time as the main cost spreading factor. The activity-based depreciation method considers the number of units or the output from the asset. Therefore, the DDB depreciation calculation for an asset with a 10-year useful life will have a DDB depreciation rate of 20%. In the first accounting year that the asset is used, the 20% will be multiplied times the asset’s cost since there is no accumulated depreciation. In the following accounting years, the 20% is multiplied times the asset’s book value at the beginning of the accounting year. This differs from other depreciation methods where an asset’s depreciable cost is used.

The activity-based depreciation method is a depreciation method that links the costs of assets with their output levels over time. This method is useful for businesses with what is gross profit varying output levels, as it allows for more accurate cost matching. The other type of depreciation such as straight line and declining is depending on the time. They simply take the cost of assets and spread it over the estimated useful life.

The unit of production method is a method of calculating the depreciation of the value of an asset over time. It becomes useful when an asset’s value is more closely related to the number of units it produces rather than the number of years it is in use. This method often results in greater deductions being taken for depreciation in years when the asset is heavily used, which can then offset periods when the equipment experiences less use. In the case of an asset with a 10-year useful life, the depreciation expense in the first full year of the asset’s life will be 10/55 times the asset’s depreciable cost.

Besides, this method of depreciation has some disadvantages, including its incompatibility with certain accounting practices. The units of activity method of depreciation matches an asset’s expense with its revenue. Hence, the activity method of depreciation is suitable for machines and vehicles that depreciate at a high rate during the productive year.

In the U.S. companies are permitted to use straight-line depreciation on their income statements while using accelerated depreciation on their income tax returns. Notice that the double declining balance method described above uses a depreciation factor of 2. The declining balance method uses a factor unique to the asset being depreciated. For example if you had a luxury RV rental business you might want to depreciate your fleet by a factor of 3.5 due to immediate depreciation and high levels of wear and tear on your vehicles. For the first year depreciation you’d find the straight line depreciation amount and multiply it by 3.5. Subtract this amount from the original basis amount and multiply the result by 35% to get the second year’s depreciation deduction.

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