What Is Carrying Value? Definition, Comparisons and Examples

Carrying value is an accounting measure of value in which the value of an asset or company is based on the figures in the respective company’s balance sheet. For physical assets, such as machinery or computer hardware, carrying cost is calculated as (original cost – accumulated depreciation).

In our professional lives, we often prioritize certain values such as success, productivity, and efficiency. We focus on these values because they are integral to our professional success and often come with tangible rewards. However, there is another value that is sometimes overlooked: carrying value. Carrying value is the idea that an individual can have a lasting impact on their team, organization, and community by embodying certain traits that demonstrate the importance of hard work and dedication. In this blog post, we will discuss what carrying value is, why it is important, and how we can cultivate it in our own lives. We will explore how carrying value can lead to greater success not only in our professional lives, but also in our personal ones. Through cultivating a greater understanding of this concept, we can learn how to truly embody it and use it to inspire others and achieve our own goals.

What is a carrying amount or book value of an asset – Part 3

How to calculate carrying value

The annual depreciation amount for an asset must be determined before carrying value can be calculated. Companies often use a method called straight-line depreciation:

Impairment charge is a related idea that refers to a sharp decline in an asset’s value brought on by things like damage, obsolescence, or limitations on the use of the asset. For instance, if you spend $500,000 on a piece of equipment but it suffers damage from neglect, its value may decrease by 50%. Therefore, using a $250,000 revised original value as a base, you would recalculate the carrying value.

What is carrying value?

Carrying value is an accounting concept used to determine the current value of an asset or a company. It is also referred to as carrying amount or book value. An asset’s carrying value is equal to its original purchase price less accumulated depreciation. Depreciation, or amortization for intangible assets, occurs annually. Common tangible and intangible business assets that depreciate include:

Carrying value vs. fair value

Both carrying value and fair value are metrics for figuring out the values of assets, but they arrive at values in different ways. Fair value denotes an asset’s intrinsic value, whereas carrying value, as determined by the owning company, equals the original cost less depreciation. In order for each party to receive what they reasonably expect, fair value assessment also aims to offer a price that both the buyer and the seller can accept. Fair value is therefore frequently the more accurate method of estimating an asset’s value.

The difference between an asset’s fair value and carrying value could be quite large. For instance, if a manufacturing facility spends $100,000 on new machinery, it might anticipate a depreciation rate of $5,000 annually. However, if they maintain the equipment to keep it in top condition, its fair value might hold steady or even increase depending on its particular function, effectiveness, and customers’ willingness to purchase it from the business.

Carrying value vs. market value

Market value is the amount that an asset can be sold for or the amount that buyers are willing to pay. The market value of an asset, if a company wanted to sell it, might be the mean of prices for other assets of a similar age and condition. Comparing carrying value to market value, the latter is continuously declining. Consequently, just like with fair value, there might be a big gap between an asset’s market value and carrying value.

A building owned by a company, for instance, might lose $10,000 in value every year, but the same structure might increase in value on the commercial real estate market. Though the building’s carrying value is significantly below both the original purchase price and the selling price if the company were to sell it on the open market

Examples of carrying value

To comprehend carrying value better, think about the examples below:

Example 1

A business spends $10,000 on desktop computers for use in the office. When the computers reach the end of their useful lives, the company hopes to salvage $1,000 from them and use them for another five years. $9,000 is the original cost less the salvage value; this difference, multiplied by five years, equals $1,800 in annual depreciation. The computer’s current carrying value, assuming two years have passed since the purchase, is $6,400.

Rapid advancements in computing over the past two years have made it possible to produce desktop computers that are more powerful and faster while maintaining prices that are comparable to those mentioned above. The value of the company’s used computers has decreased to less than $1,000 due to the availability of better alternatives on the market. The carrying price far exceeds the market value.

Example 2

A moving company spends $30,000 to purchase a used truck to assist with moving tasks. The company estimates the truck has at least ten years of use and can be salvaged for $2,000 by the end of that time given its limited history of repairs and use. Given that the truck has a 10-year useful life and a $28,000 difference between the original price and salvage value, the annual depreciation on the truck is $2,800.

The carrying value of the moving truck after a year, determined by the aforementioned calculation, is $27,200, or the difference between $30,000 and $2,800. Depreciation has accumulated to $11,200 after four years, bringing the carrying value to $18,800.

Example 3

A factory spends $20 million on machinery, plus an additional $1 million for transportation, insurance, and installation. The total original cost is $21 million. The factory estimates a 15-year useful life and a $10 million salvage value. Subtract the salvage value of $10 million from the original cost of $21 million to get the annual depreciation, leaving a difference of $11 million. Now multiply that amount by 15 years, which gives you an estimated annual depreciation cost of $733,333. The company can anticipate a carrying value of about $13,670,000 after ten years.


What is carrying value vs book value?

The accounting practice of recording an asset’s value based on its original historical cost in the books less depreciation is where the term “book value” originates. Carrying value examines an asset’s value over the course of its useful life and is calculated using depreciation.

What is the difference between carrying value and salvage value?

The total value at which an asset is carried on the balance sheet of the business is referred to as the book value. The estimated total resale value of every asset for the business at the end of its useful life is what is referred to as the salvage value.

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