Activity Method Depreciation Calculator

When writing income statements businesses can also enter asset depreciations as an expense or cost of doing business. The cost of an asset and its expected lifetime are factors that businesses use to find the best way to deduct depreciation expenses against revenues. The asset depreciation for an accounting period is based on the level of activity in that accounting period. Activity units can be defined in any number of ways to suit the asset and the business, such as number of hours used, or number of miles driven. Activities Based Depreciation will be calculated base on the production output of the machinery.

Many industries such as real estate do not incur changing output levels over time. Hence the activity-based depreciation method cannot be uniformly applied across all industries. As in activity-based costing, the Activity depreciation method changes the cost behavior with the fluctuating output. 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 double-declining-balance (DDB) method, which is also referred to as the 200%-declining-balance method, is one of the accelerated methods of depreciation. DDB is an accelerated method because more depreciation expense is reported in the early years of an asset’s useful life and less depreciation expense in the later years. The units of activity method of depreciation is also referred to as the units-of-production method. 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.

Activity Method Depreciation Calculator

When the entry is posted to the accounts, Depreciation Expense has increased and Accumulated Depreciation has increased. The new Accumulated Depreciation total then moves to the Balance Sheet where it shows the total reduction in the assets value from the time the asset was purchase. This method can be used either in case an entity desires to register low depreciation during periods of low productivity or in case it seeks high depreciation during high productivity times.

  • Not all assets are suitable with activity method depreciation as it is impossible to estimate the output over its life.
  • Those units may be based on mileage, hours, or output specific to that asset.
  • The activity depreciation method is used to allocate the depreciation expense base on the production activity.
  • It is really hard to estimate, as we need to make assumptions over another assumption.

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. The units-of-activity depreciation method is also called the units of production method. Suppose a company Green Star purchases a small food processing machine for $ 130,000. The Machine comes with an estimated output of 1 million units over the useful life.

To calculate the depreciation expense for a specific period, use the following formula:

If the equipment continues to be used, no further depreciation expense will be reported. The account balances remain in the general ledger until the equipment is sold, scrapped, etc. This is due to the fact that output levels can vary significantly from year to year, making it difficult to create an accurate estimate.

The “sum-of-the-years’-digits” refers to adding the digits in the years of an asset’s useful life. For example, if an asset has a useful life of 5 years, the sum of the digits 1 through 5 is equal to 15 (1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5). Harold Averkamp (CPA, MBA) has worked as a university accounting instructor, accountant, and consultant for more than 25 years. The journal entry is a debit to Depreciation Expense and a credit to the contra asset Accumulated Depreciation. Unauthorized duplication, in whole or in part of content of this website is strictly prohibited. Company ABC purchases a new Excavator that cost $ 220,000 for a construction project.

This method is designed to better match the costs with the revenue generated by the output. In other words, it ensures that the costs are properly assigned to the activity that caused them. Depreciation is a crucial accounting concept that allocates the cost of an asset over its useful life. Various methods exist for calculating depreciation, and one such method is the Units of Activity Method. This method is particularly useful when an asset’s wear and tear is directly related to the number of units it produces or the hours it operates.

How to Calculate Units of Activity or Units of Production Depreciation

Thus, the asset’s life is measured either in the output volume it provides (number of products that result by consuming the asset), or in an input figure such as the number of hours it can function. In DDB depreciation the asset’s estimated salvage value is initially ignored in the calculations. However, the depreciation will stop when the asset’s book value is equal to the estimated salvage value. We are tracking the loss in value using the Accumulated Depreciation contra asset account.

The activity-based depreciation method considers the number of units or the output from the asset. Like the double declining balance method a declining balance depreciation schedule front-loads depreciation of an asset. Since new assets such as vehicles and machinery lose more value in the first few years of their life the declining balance method of depreciation is sometimes more realistic. The units of activity depreciation method can be used to calculate the depreciation expense for property, plant and equipment based on the level of activity or usage of the asset. The activity-based depreciation method takes a contradictory approach from other methods of depreciation.

Straight Line Depreciation

Multiply that amount by 20% to get the second year’s depreciation deduction. Continue subtracting the depreciation from the balance and multiplying by 20% to get each year’s depreciation. Note that the double declining balance method of depreciation may not fully depreciate value of an asset down to its salvage value. Which method you use depends on the cost of the asset, its length of useful life, and your business concerns. You will probably want to find a balance between the yearly depreciation expense and generated revenue or long-term cost of maintaining the asset. For some industries like manufacturing or transportation, the fluctuating levels of output incur different costs.

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. The calculator employs this formula to provide a clear and accurate depreciation expense for each accounting period. Depreciation calculators online for primary methods of depreciation including the ability to create and print depreciation schedules. Note that the estimated salvage value of $8,000 was not considered in calculating each year’s depreciation expense. In our example, the depreciation expense will continue until the amount in Accumulated Depreciation reaches a credit balance of $92,000 (cost of $100,000 minus $8,000 of salvage value).

Subtract this amount from the original basis amount and multiply the result by 35% to get the second year’s depreciation deduction. Note that declining balance methods of depreciation may not completely depreciate value of an asset down to its salvage value. Partial years and years are irrelevant while using this method of depreciation.


In the first year of purchase, this Excavator has used for 1,500 hours. For the following example, we’ll assume our sample asset has yearly depreciation of $2,000, using differences between ebitda and operating cash flow Straight-line Depreciation. You purchase a car for your business for $22,000 and you expect it to have a life of 60,000 miles with a final salvage value of $2,000.

To simplify these complex calculations, the Units of Activity Method Calculator becomes an invaluable tool for businesses and accountants alike. The best use of the activity-based depreciation can be in a situation where the assets are utilized on calculable outputs. Usually, the manufacturing and processing businesses will prefer the unit of production depreciation method. The unit of production method most accurately measures depreciation for assets where the “wear and tear” is based on how much they have produced, such as manufacturing or processing equipment.

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