How To Calculate Capital Expenditures

How to calculate capital expenditures
  1. Obtain your company’s financial statements. To calculate capital expenditures, you’ll need your company’s financial documents for the past two years. …
  2. Subtract the fixed assets. …
  3. Subtract the accumulated depreciation. …
  4. Add total depreciation.

This enables you to invest in things like new business technology or another kind of asset that can support business growth. If you want to expand and maintain business operations, capex can be crucial. This is as a result of your investments in new PP&E (property, plant, and equipment).

It’s important to remember that you must expense a fixed asset on your income statement if its useful life is less than a year. When this happens, they can’t get considered to be CapEx. Plus, investors and financial analysts pay attention to your CapEx. This is because they won’t appear on your income statement but instead may have a favorable effect on cash flow.

Capital Expenditure Formula (Examples) | How to Calculate CAPEX?

How to calculate capital expenditures

You won’t have to make a calculation by hand if you have access to your company’s income statement, balance sheet, or cash flow statement. In either case, performing the calculation by hand will enable you to comprehend the idea and what it entails better. Follow these steps to calculate capital expenditures:

1. Obtain your companys financial statements

You’ll need the company’s financial records from the previous two years in order to calculate capital expenditures. You will receive the values required to complete the calculation from these documents.

2. Subtract the fixed assets

The fixed assets listed for the most recent year will then be subtracted from those on the financial statement for the prior year. This will determine the change in these fixed assets. As capital expenditure only uses expenditures on tangible assets, you must next eliminate intangible assets. Additionally, it’s crucial to stay away from any assets that your business acquired during the reporting period.

3. Subtract the accumulated depreciation

Then, take the accumulated depreciation for the most recent year and divide it by the accumulated depreciation for the prior years. This will give you that years total depreciation.

4. Add total depreciation

Add the depreciation calculated in step three to the change in fixed assets determined in step two after making the necessary subtraction. The total capital expenditures for the time period you’re measuring will result from this.

You can use the following formula using the income statement and balance sheet, where PP&E stands for property, plant, and equipment. Your company’s balance sheet includes a line item for property, plant, and equipment.

PP&E (current period) minus PP&E (prior period) plus depreciation (current period) equals capital expenditures.

What are capital expenditures?

The amount spent by businesses or corporations on the acquisition, upkeep, or improvement of fixed, tangible assets is known as capital expenditure. This is frequently referred to as a capital expense and is referred to by the acronym CAPEX. Any assets that will be used for operating purposes in the future (over the course of more than one accounting period) are considered fixed assets and include a variety of items such as equipment, land, computer purchases, vehicles, or buildings. Depending on the type of business and industry your company is in, these assets will change. Typically, businesses buy them when they want to start a new project or improve an existing one.

A company’s cash flow statement for a particular accounting period can show a negative value for capital expenditures because they are an expense. On the balance sheet, it is also listed as an asset. Over time, the used assets will start to lose value, but the exact timing will vary based on usage and the asset in question. For instance, a building will last much longer than a computer, which may only last five years. Whatever the case, the amount of depreciation can be written off from the business’ taxes.

How to use capital expenditures

You can use the sum of your company’s capital expenditures to aid in your financial planning once you’ve calculated them. This is because you can determine how much money is being invested in new or existing fixed assets by looking at your company’s capital expenditures.

Based on how much you spent on fixed assets in prior periods, this can then help guide your decisions. Ideally, you want to put money into assets that will increase your company’s profits. Choosing assets with a long lifespan is also a wise decision. You can gain insight into your upcoming investments by calculating your capital expenditures in the hope of preventing any financial losses. Your company’s financial decisions could either hurt or boost its ability to turn a profit. Make sure to use good judgment and to calculate capital expenditures in a thorough and accurate manner.


Various scenarios can help you better understand capital expenditures. Here are a few illustrations to help you with your calculations:

Example 1

Let’s say you run a furniture business and decided to invest in new machinery and an expanded facility in 2018. You then make the decision to determine your company’s capital expenditures for that year. You determine the following information:

Given these values, you can begin your capital expenditure calculations.

The PP&E value at the start of 2018 ($35,000) should be subtracted from the PP&E value at the end of 2018 ($50,000). This will give you a change in PP&E of $15,000. Next, add this value to the depreciation expense ($15,000). As a result, a capital expense of $30,000 will be required in 2018.

Example 2

You bought new tools and computers for your workplace in 2018 because you own a boutique. From your financial records, you have gathered the following data to calculate your capital expenditures for 2018:

Calculate your companys capital expenditures using the following formula:

PP&E (current period) minus PP&E (prior period) plus depreciation (current period) equals capital expenditures.

capital expenditures = ($15,000 – $10,000) + $20,000

capital expenditures = $5,000 + $20,000

capital expenditures = $25,000

Therefore, your companys capital expenditures for 2018 was $25,000.

Jobs that work with capital expenditures

There are several jobs in the financial industry that involve calculating capital expenditures. The following positions might require you to research a company’s capital expenditures:


What is capital expenditure with example?

Capital expenditures, also referred to as CapEx or capital expenses, include the acquisition of new machinery, equipment, land, buildings, or warehouses, furniture and fixtures, commercial vehicles, software, or intangible assets like a patent or license.

How do you calculate CapEx on a cash flow statement?

The cash flow from investing activities section of a company’s cash flow statement is where CapEx can be found. Analysts and investors may see CapEx listed as capital spending, purchases of property, plant, and equipment (PP&E), or acquisition expense because different companies highlight CapEx in various ways.

What is counted as capital expenditure?

Government capital expenditures include funds used to develop machinery, equipment, buildings, healthcare facilities, educational facilities, etc. Additionally, it covers the costs incurred by the government for investments that will generate profits or dividends in the future, such as land purchases.

How is capital expenditure ratio calculated?

By dividing cash flow from operations by capital expenditures, the CF/CapEX ratio is calculated. The cash flow statement includes both of these line items. Because capital expenses are viewed as an investment for future years, they are included in cash flow from investing.

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