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Depreciated Cost


Depreciated cost refers to the original cost of an asset minus any accumulated depreciation. Accumulated depreciation is the total depreciation that an asset has been assigned up to a specific point. It shows the total value that has been written off from the asset’s initial cost over its usage or lifespan and represents the wear and tear and the eventual decrease in value over time.


The phonetics of the keyword “Depreciated Cost” is:Depreciated: /dɪˈpriːʃieɪtɪd/Cost: /kɔːst/

Key Takeaways

<ol><li>Depreciated Cost represents the original cost of an asset minus any accumulated depreciation. This value takes into account the wear and tear, age, and deterioration of the asset, thus providing a more accurate reflection of the asset’s current market value.</li><li>Depreciated cost is an important factor in financial and tax reporting. It helps in accurately assessing the economic value of an asset, decreasing taxable income, and presenting realistic financial conditions to stakeholders.</li><li>Calculating the depreciated cost involves determining the cost of the asset, its salvage value, and its useful life. There are several methods to calculate depreciation, including straight-line depreciation and reducing balance method, each serving different needs in financial management.</li></ol>


Depreciated cost, also known as accumulated depreciation, plays a critical role in the business and finance world as it represents the total value of wear and tear or obsolescence a company’s tangible assets have experienced over time. This figure is important because it allows businesses to write off the decreasing value of their assets, hence reducing their taxable income. Furthermore, the analysis of depreciated cost aids companies in planning potential replacements or upgrades by providing an understanding of the current value and lifecycle stage of business assets. Overall, it promotes effective asset management, prudent financial decision-making, and accurate calculation of net book value, thereby having an impact on profitability and strategic planning.


The concept of depreciated cost is used essentially to represent the value of an asset after accounting for wear and tear, ageing and obsolescence over time. It plays a significant role in businesses for determining the realistic current worth of assets, potential tax benefits, and making key investment, sale or purchase decisions. Assets like machinery, furniture, buildings or cars, among others, lose their value over time due to constant use, and that’s where depreciated cost comes in – it provides a measure of the economic usefulness of an asset that still remains after depreciation.Depreciated cost is also a vital component for budgeting and financial planning within a business. It can help determine asset sale timing or whether it may be more economical to replace an old asset. Furthermore, from an accounting standpoint, depreciated cost is used to spread the initial cost of an asset over its useful lifespan, thus accurately reflecting the expense incurred for using that asset in income statements. This methodical allocation ensures that a substantial portion of the asset’s cost is not immediately deducted in the year of purchase, which can substantially affect a company’s profitability reporting. Moreover, this allows businesses to take advantage of tax deductions over time, contributing to cost-efficiency.


1. Vehicles: If a company purchases a delivery van for its operations, the van will depreciate over time due to wear and tear and eventually it will become obsolete. The original purchase cost of the van is viewed as the depreciated cost, reflecting the asset’s reduction in value over time.2. Office Equipment: A business that buys a computer for $1,000 and expects it to have a useful life of 5 years. The $1,000 would be charged to the business’ income statement over five years to reflect the decreased value of the computer. Let’s assume it uses straight-line depreciation, so the depreciated cost would be $200 per year ($1,000/5) reflecting its decreased value over time.3. Real Estate Properties: If a business holds an office building, depreciation cost would be the decrease in the building’s value over time. For instance, if the building is valued at $1 million and is expected to have a useful life of 40 years, the company would realize a depreciated cost of $25,000 each year ($1 million/40) – not accounting for potential market value fluctuations.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is a Depreciated Cost?

Depreciated Cost is the original cost of a fixed asset, like machinery or equipment, minus all depreciation expenses recognized up to date. It represents the value of the asset after factoring in wear and tear or obsolescence over time.

How is Depreciated Cost calculated?

Depreciated Cost can be calculated using this formula: Original Cost of the Asset – Accumulated Depreciation = Depreciated Cost.

Is Depreciated Cost the same as Net Book Value?

Yes, the Depreciated Cost is often referred to as the Net Book Value. They both represent the current value of an asset after depreciation expenses have been subtracted from the original cost.

What is Accumulated Depreciation?

Accumulated Depreciation is the total amount of depreciation expense that has been recorded against an asset since the date of its acquisition.

Can Depreciated Cost be negative?

No, Depreciated Cost cannot be negative. If the accumulated depreciation of an asset exceeds its original cost, it might indicate an error in calculation or that the asset is fully depreciated and should have a salvage value instead.

What impact does Depreciated Cost have on a company’s financial statements?

Depreciated Cost can affect both the Balance Sheet and the Income Statement of a company. It reduces the value of assets on the Balance Sheet, and the annual depreciation expense reduces net income on the Income Statement.

How often is Depreciated Cost calculated?

The frequency of calculating Depreciated Cost can vary, but it typically aligns with a company’s financial reporting periods. Many companies calculate and record depreciation expense monthly, quarterly, or annually.

How is the depreciated cost used in business?

The Depreciated Cost is used in a variety of ways, including assessing the value of an asset, determining potential tax deductions, making decisions about asset disposal or replacement, and evaluating a company’s overall financial health.

Related Finance Terms

  • Amortization
  • Cumulative Depreciation
  • Residual Value
  • Asset Lifespan
  • Depreciation Schedule

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