# Is Accumulated Depreciation Debit or Credit?

When accounting for business transactions, the numbers are recorded in the debit and credit columns. The debit and credit entries are used within a business’s chart of accounts to record every transaction. For every transaction recorded, a debit entry has to have a credit entry that corresponds with it while equaling the exact amount. That is, for accounting purposes, the debit total and credits total for any transaction must always equal each other so that the accounting transaction will be considered to be in balance.

If not, presenting only a net book value figure might mislead readers into thinking that the business has never invested substantial amounts in fixed assets. Accumulated depreciation is a running total of depreciation expense for an asset that is recorded on the balance sheet. An asset’s original value is adjusted during each fiscal year to reflect a current, depreciated value. Assume that ABC company had paid \$480,000 for its office building (excluding land).

Subsequent years’ expenses will change as the figure for the remaining lifespan changes. So, depreciation expense would decline to \$5,600 in the second year (14/120) x (\$50,000 – \$2,000). For example, if a company purchased a piece of printing equipment for \$100,000 and the accumulated depreciation is \$35,000, then the net book value of the printing equipment is \$65,000. Accumulated depreciation totals depreciation expense since the asset has been in use. Tracking the depreciation expense of an asset is important for reporting purposes because it spreads the cost of the asset over the time it’s in use. The formula for calculating the accumulated depreciation on a fixed asset (PP&E) is as follows.

Accumulated depreciation is a direct result of the accounting concept of depreciation. Depreciation is expensing the cost of an asset that produces revenue during its useful life. Buildings, machinery, furniture, and fixtures wear out, computers and technology devices become obsolete, and they are expensed as their value approaches zero. Accumulated depreciation is the total amount of depreciation expense allocated to each capital asset since the time that asset was put into use by a business. Accumulated depreciation is an important component of a business’s comprehensive financial plan.

## Accumulated depreciation journal entry

Since accumulated depreciation is a credit entry, the balance sheet can show the cost of the fixed asset as well as how much has been depreciated. From there, we can calculate the net book value of the asset, which in this example is \$400,000. Instead of expensing the entire cost of a fixed asset in the year it was purchased, the asset is depreciated. Depreciation allows a company to spread out the cost of an asset over its useful life so that revenue can be earned from the asset. Depreciation prevents a significant cost from being recorded–or expensed–in the year the asset was purchased, which, if expensed, would impact net income negatively. When the fixed assets are sold or disposed of, the accumulated depreciation of the fixed assets that are sold or disposed of will need to be removed as well from the balance sheet together with the fixed assets themselves.

• Financial-market participants pay close attention to fixed-asset expenses that department heads unveil in corporate budgets, because these blueprints often provide insight into long-term growth strategies.
• Depreciation expense is the amount that a company’s assets are depreciated for a single period (e.g,, quarter or the year).
• Accumulated depreciation is reported on the balance sheet as a contra asset that reduces the net book value of the capital asset section.
• It allows analysts and investors to see how much of a fixed asset’s cost has been depreciated.

In this article, we will discuss depreciation expense and its journal entry to ascertain whether depreciation expense is a debit or credit. Hence, the amount of accumulated depreciation at the end of the third year is \$3,000 which will be included in the balance sheet as the contra account for the cost of equipment. Likewise, the net book value of the equipment is \$2,000 at the end of the third year.

## Understanding Accumulated Depreciation

In accounting, the numbers from business transactions are recorded in at least two accounts, either as a debit or as a credit. For instance, when an entry to record depreciation is made to the depreciation expense account, there must be an offsetting entry to another account. This is why when an amount is recorded in the depreciation expense account as a debit, an offsetting credit entry of the same amount is made to the accumulated depreciation account. This accumulated depreciation account is a contra-asset account that offsets the fixed asset account. The accumulated depreciation account is a contra asset account on a company’s balance sheet. Accumulated depreciation specifies the total amount of an asset’s wear to date in the asset’s useful life.

Otherwise, only presenting a net book value figure might mislead readers into believing that a business has never invested substantial amounts in fixed assets. You should note that the expense recorded each time is added to the accumulated depreciation account. Thus, accumulated depreciation is an aggregation of individual depreciation expenses over time. Accumulated depreciation refers to the cumulative amount of depreciation expense charged to a fixed asset from the moment it comes into use. It is used to offset the original cost of an asset, providing a more accurate representation of its current value on a balance sheet.

## Is Depreciation Expense a Current Asset?

Each year, the depreciation expense account is debited, expensing a portion of the asset for that year, while the accumulated depreciation account is credited for the same amount. Over the years, accumulated depreciation increases as the depreciation expense is charged against the value of the fixed asset. However, accumulated depreciation plays a key role in reporting the value of the asset on the balance sheet. The yearly depreciation expense then adds to the balance of the accumulated depreciation account.

## What is Accumulated Depreciation?

A certified public accountant and certified financial manager, Codjia received a Master of Business Administration from Rutgers University, majoring in investment analysis and financial management. Harold Averkamp (CPA, MBA) has worked as a university accounting instructor, accountant, and consultant for more than 25 years. Say that five years ago, you dedicated a room in your home to create a home office. You estimate the furniture’s useful life at 10 years, when it’ll be worth \$1,000. Charlene Rhinehart is a CPA , CFE, chair of an Illinois CPA Society committee, and has a degree in accounting and finance from DePaul University.

As a result, a debit entry in an account would basically mean a transfer of value to that account, whereas a credit entry would mean a transfer of value from the account. Assume that a company has lots of equipment with a total cost of \$600,000 that is reported in the asset account Equipment. The company’s total amount of accumulated depreciation is \$380,000 which appears as a credit balance in the contra asset account Accumulated Depreciation.

This account is paired with the fixed assets line item on the balance sheet, so that the combined total of the two accounts reveals the remaining book value of the fixed assets. Over time, the amount of accumulated depreciation will increase as more depreciation is charged against the fixed assets, resulting in an even lower remaining book value. Accumulated depreciation is not a debit but a credit because it aggregates the amount of depreciation expense charged against a fixed asset. On the balance sheet, the accumulated depreciation is paired with the fixed assets line item, so that the combined total of the two accounts reveals the remaining book value of the fixed assets. As more depreciation is charged against the fixed assets, the amount of accumulated depreciation will increase over time, resulting in an even lower remaining book value.

To calculate annual depreciation, divide the depreciable value (purchase price – salvage value) by the asset’s useful life. The desk’s annual depreciation expense is \$1,400 (\$14,000 depreciable value ÷ 10-year useful life). When you first purchased the desk, you created the following depreciation schedule, storing everything you need to know about the purchase. Like most bank draft definition small businesses, your company uses the straight line method to depreciate its assets. Accumulated depreciation reduces the value of the corresponding asset on the balance sheet, therefore reflecting the total depreciation expense incurred since the asset’s acquisition. Finally, depreciation is not intended to reduce the cost of a fixed asset to its market value.