Depreciation vs. Amortization: Definitions, Differences and Examples

Amortization is the practice of spreading an intangible asset’s cost over that asset’s useful life. Depreciation is the expensing of a fixed asset over its useful life.

Understanding and accounting for depreciation and amortization are important aspects of financial statement analysis. Depreciation and amortization are distinct but related concepts, and it is important for businesses to be aware of the differences between them. Depreciation and amortization affect both the financial statements of a business, as well as its taxes. When a business considers any new asset purchase, it is important to take into consideration the impact that depreciation and amortization will have on the financials. In this blog post, we will discuss the differences between depreciation and amortization and the different ways they are applied. We will explore why each is important, how they affect a company’s financial statements, and the tax implications of each. Additionally, we will examine the best practices for accounting for depreciation and amortization in order to ensure accurate financial reporting.

Amortization and depreciation | Finance & Capital Markets | Khan Academy

What is amortization?

Amortization is the process of reducing the cost of an intangible over a predetermined amount of time. Examples of intangible items include the following:

Amortization is a term that can be used in two different contexts: when discussing debt payments and for long-term loans. An amortization schedule, which details the principal and interest amount applied through monthly installment payments, is followed by people with mortgages, student loans, and auto loans. In the beginning of the loan, interest usually makes up the majority of the monthly payment.

Second, amortization describes how intangible assets related to capital expenses are distributed over a specific period of time. Amortization is commonly calculated using the straight-line method.

What is depreciation?

Depreciation is a method of cost-cutting that divides the costs related to an asset’s long-term costs. These fixed assets are tangible, or physical, and their value depreciates over time. Depreciation calculations aid business owners in estimating an item’s cost in relation to the revenue it generates. Examples of fixed assets include:

It is typical for tangible assets to continue to be valuable after the end of their estimated useful lives. This amount is subtracted from an item’s original cost and is referred to as the asset’s salvage value or resale value. Typically, businesses deduct the depreciated amount incurred over the course of the asset’s useful life. A tangible item’s depreciated value over time can be calculated using a variety of techniques. These include:

Depreciation vs. amortization

Depreciation and amortization are two techniques for tracking business assets over time. Although both terms have differences, one of the most significant ones is whether they are used to expense out a tangible or intangible asset. Other key differences include:

Examples of depreciation

To help you comprehend how they work, the following examples of various depreciation methods are provided:

Example 1: Straight-line method

Business Solutions invested in a specialized device to speed up the filing of forms. The estimated life of the machine is five years. The salvage value is 10% of the purchase value.

Use the steps below to calculate the depreciation value using the straight-line method:

Make a list of values following the format below:

Depreciated value or machine lifecycle = annual machine depreciation

Annual machine depreciation = $450,000/5
Annual depreciation = $90,000

Example 2: Declining balance depreciation

Accountants use the accelerated method to calculate the depreciation of some fixed assets, such as vehicles. This indicates that they depreciate more of the asset’s value during the first few years of its life.

For the purpose of facilitating easy access to the building during the winter, Gravity Jump spent $1,700 on a snowblower. The manager calculates that a snowblower has a residual value of $200 and a useful life of 10 years. The rate of depreciation is 20%. See the estimated depreciation amount resulting from anticipated wear and tear using the equation below:

Straight-line percentage x remaining depreciable amount for each year

The declining balance depreciation is greatest during the first five years:


Is amortization the opposite of depreciation?

Plants, buildings, machines, and other items are examples of assets that can be depreciated. Patents, trademarks, lease rental agreements, concession rights, brand value, and other types of intangible property are examples of intangible assets that are amortized.

Does depreciation include amortization?

Using depreciation and amortization, you can determine an asset’s value over time. Depreciation is the amount of asset value lost over time. Amortization is a technique for lowering an asset’s cost over time. Amortization typically uses the straight-line depreciation method to calculate payments.

What assets are amortized?

Amortization and depreciation are two terms for the process of dividing the cost of assets over the course of their useful lives. Depreciation and amortization differ primarily in that depreciation is applied to tangible assets while amortization is applied to intangible assets.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *