It works by multiplying the depreciable cost of the asset by a decreasing fraction, which is based on the remaining years of useful life at the beginning of each year divided by the total number of years of useful life. This method allows for larger deductions in the earlier years of an asset’s life and smaller deductions in the later years. Suppose any company chooses its asset to get the sum of year digits method of depreciation. In that case, they have a higher depreciation rate in the earlier years; after that, the depreciation rate decreases. Accelerated depreciation uses decreasing charge methods, including the sum-of-the-years’ digits (SYD), providing higher depreciation costs in earlier years and lower depreciation charges in later periods. Under the SYD method, the depreciation rate percentage for each year is calculated as the number of years in remaining asset life for the same year divided by the sum of remaining asset life every year through the asset’s life.

- The straight-line Depreciation expense is the same each year, because there are no residual values involved.
- This method results in larger depreciation expenses in the earlier years of an asset’s life and smaller expenses in the later years, reflecting the fact that assets tend to lose value more quickly when they are new.
- The Sum of year digits depreciation method is very effective and relevant because taking higher depreciation in the earlier years is logical.
- Unlike the straight-line method, depreciation expense is different for every depreciation period.

The depreciation schedule using sum-of-the-years’ digits for equipment is shown below. In the second full year of the asset’s life, the amount of depreciation will be $40,000 (4/15 of $150,000). In the third full year of the asset’s life, the depreciation will be $30,000 (3/15 of $150,000). The fourth year depreciation will be $20,000 (2/15 of $150,000), and the fifth year will be $10,000 (1/15 of $150,000).

## Sum-of-the-Years’ Digits: Definition and How to Calculate

As companies anticipate higher profits, they will experience lower deductions due to having claimed a larger portion of the deduction in earlier years. This is a practical problem with the sum of year’s digits method of depreciation. But this method is very helpful for small businesses because the immediate tax liability is managed with the help of higher deductions. The financial accounting term sum of the years’ digits depreciation refers to one of several methods of allocating the cost of an asset over its expected lifetime. The sum of the years’ digits approach is an accelerated method of depreciation and is based on the assumption an asset’s value declines at a greater rate in the early years of its serviceable life.

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However, Mega Coffee needs to pay $100,000 in shipping costs in order to move this massive order of computers across the country in due time. In addition, Mega Coffee is faced with a $400,000 installation charge to ensure that its computers are installed correctly and function at full capacity. An asset is purchased on 1 July 2020 and has an estimated useful life of 6 years. To find the delivery truck’s remaining useful life, we need to count it from the start of each year rather than the end. This may seem strange to you at first, but you will get the hang of it soon with practice. A financial professional will offer guidance based on the information provided and offer a no-obligation call to better understand your situation.

## Disadvantages of Sum of the Years’ Digits Depreciation

We will use the same value to calculate the depreciation expense of the future accounting periods. Depreciation expense for the remaining three years is calculated in a similar way. Both the declining balance and sum-of-the-years’ digits methods are examples of accelerated depreciation.

- Sum-of-years’-digits method is one of the the accelerated methods of depreciation and charges higher deprecation in earlier periods of useful life of asset and reduces with every passing period.
- In other words, the difference is in the timing of when the same total amount of depreciation will be reported.
- The depreciation schedule using sum-of-the-years’ digits for equipment is shown below.

Sum-of-years’-digits method is one of the the accelerated methods of depreciation and charges higher deprecation in earlier periods of useful life of asset and reduces with every passing period. Because it’s an accelerated depreciation method, the sum of the years’ digit more accurately reflects the true value of assets that use up a higher percentage of their useful value outsourcing bookkeeping guide in the earlier years. It also allows you to take a larger depreciation deduction faster than using straight-line depreciation. Sum-of-the-years’ digits is a method that uses an arbitrary arithmetic system to derive the annual depreciation charges. We only need to calculate this value one time in an asset’s life when we estimate its depreciation for the first time.

## Sum of the Years’: Digits Accelerated Depreciation Method

Sum of the Years’ Digits Method involves finding the sum of all digits between zero and the number of years in the asset’s useful life. Depreciation expense under this method is calculated by multiplying the depreciable cost of an asset by the fraction of its remaining useful life and the sum of its years’ digits. The two most common accelerated depreciation methods are double-declining balance and the sum of the years’ digits. Companies typically use accelerated depreciation to minimize their taxable income because it allows for greater depreciation expense deductions in the earlier years of the equipment or asset’s life.

For calculating depreciation for the asset’s first year that ends on 30 September 2021 (Year 1), we will count the remaining useful life of 4 years. For the next year of the asset’s life that ends on 30 September 2022 (Year 2), the remaining useful life will be counted as 3 years. For Years 3 and 4 of the asset, the remaining useful life will be counted as 2 and 1, respectively. If an asset is acquired on the first day of an accounting period or if it is the accounting policy to charge a full year’s depreciation in the year the asset is received, this will be the last step of the SYD depreciation calculation.

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For example, if an asset costs $1000 and has a salvage value of $200, its depreciation base is $800. For example, if an asset has a useful life of 5 years, the sum of its years’ digits will equal 15 (1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5). Notice that as the remaining life of the machine decreases, the depreciation expense also decreases. The articles and research support materials available on this site are educational and are not intended to be investment or tax advice. All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly.

The sum of years method of depreciation is also popular with firms that are looking to write off equipment that has a high probability of becoming obsolete before the salvage value is reached. For example, a company may choose this method to depreciate assets such as computers, which may become obsolete very quickly given the rate of technological advancements in the world today. In later years, when the depreciation amount is smaller, the net income will be overstated. To calculate depreciation using the SYD formula, we need to input the remaining useful life of the asset at the start of the period (1 July 2021) which is 5 years. To calculate how much depreciation needs to be charged to each accounting period, we need to see the depreciation expense of each year of the asset (Step 4) that overlaps each accounting period.

## Sum-of-the-Years’ Digits: Definition

In this depreciation scenario, an asset, such as a piece of equipment, has its book value reduced on the balance sheet at a faster rate than a traditional straight-line depreciation method. Companies use a few different methods for achieving this, such as the Sum of Years’ Digits (SYD) method. The sum of years depreciation method works by depreciating the asset’s depreciable amount by a depreciation factor unique to each year. The depreciable amount is equal to the asset’s total acquisition cost less the asset’s salvage value. The total acquisition cost refers to the total capital expenditure that the company had to undertake in order to gain possession of said assets. After calculating the annual depreciation expense, LN then

proportionally divides each year’s expense across the number of periods for

that year.

In the second year, the asset value subject to depreciation would be expensed 4/15 (26.67%). In the third year, the asset value subject to depreciation would be expensed 3/15 (20%). This would continue until the asset was fully depreciated, having been completely expensed on the income statement and fully depreciated on the balance sheet. Many companies calculate their depreciation expense using an accounting method called accelerated depreciation.

The same asset, using straight-line depreciation and zero salvage value, would be depreciated at $5,000 per year for five years ($25,000 ÷ 5) until the asset depreciates to zero value. The same company, with the exact same assets, would appear to be earning different amounts of profit and have assets carried at different values on the balance sheet, depending upon which depreciation method was utilized. Mega Coffee believes that at the end of the computers’ 5-year useful life, they will be worth $200,000. The company decides to depreciate the assets using the SYD method as it faces a fairly harsh tax environment. Also, there is a high probability that the computers will become obsolete before their useful life is up.

Also many assets lose much of their productive efficiency during the early years of their economic life. The sum of the years’ digits approach takes into consideration the salvage value of the asset when calculating the annual depreciation expense. In any given accounting period, the numerator would contain the remaining life of the asset while the denominator would contain the sum of the years’ digits. To calculate depreciation charges using the sum of the years’ digits method, you’ll need to first get the depreciable base, which is the cost of the asset. Second, you’ll calculate the salvage value of the asset, which works the same for both the SYD and straight-line depreciation methods.

The sum of years’ digits method is a form of accelerated depreciation charge that is based on the assumption that the productivity of an asset decreases with the passage of time. Under this method, a fraction is computed by dividing the remaining useful life of the asset on a particular date by the sum of the year’s digits. This fraction is applied to the depreciable cost of the asset to compute the depreciation expense for the period.

## Calculating Sum of the Years’ Digits Depreciation

Based on the depreciation expense calculated for each year of the asset’s life in Step 4, calculate the depreciation amount that needs to be charged for each accounting period. Regardless of these conceptual arguments, a company’s managers can choose between these accelerated depreciation methods for any depreciable asset. The benefit of using an asset will decline as the asset gets older, meaning an asset provides greater service value in earlier years.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offers a list of useful lives, referred to as recovery periods, by classification of asset. As a small business owner, you are well acquainted with the tax deduction for depreciation. In addition to the tax benefit depreciation provides, it also allows you to track and decrease the value of your assets over their useful life. When you depreciate an asset, you recognize an expense that represents the value of the asset used during the period. This approach requires straight-line Depreciation rates and an asset’s useful life (which is the time period over which it will be used/depreciated). Finally, this method requires management to determine the appropriate Depreciation rate.