Accounting Dictionary

Accelerated Depreciation

Accelerated Depreciation means expensing more of an asset at the beginning of its life than at the end.

Let’s say you have an asset worth $20,000 that will last five years. If you depreciated it evenly you would take $20,000, divide it by 5, and expense $4,000 each year. You would be depreciating 20% each year. Using double declining balance depreciation you would deduct 40% each year. The first year you would deduct $8,000 (.40 x 20,000). The second year you would have $12,000 left to expense so you would take .40 x 12,000 or $4,800. The third year you would have $20,000 -$8000 -$4800 or $7,200 left to deduct. .40 x 7200 = $2880. Under accelerated depreciation, as the asset ages the depreciation becomes less; there is more depreciation expense at the beginning of the asset’s life than at the end. Some assets like cars and computers lose their value more rapidly at the beginning of their life than at the end so this depreciation choice often provides better matching.

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