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Depreciation and Amortization on the Income Statement

August 11, 2023
Bill Kimball

As a result, depreciation and amortization are not usually included in the calculation of gross profit. Typically, depreciation and amortization are not included in cost of goods sold and are expensed as separate line items on the income statement. Depreciation expense is not a current asset; it is reported on the income statement along with other normal business expenses.

  • Specifically, amortization occurs when the depreciation of an intangible asset is split up over time, and depreciation occurs when a fixed asset loses value over time.
  • There are many different terms and financial concepts incorporated into income statements.
  • However, depreciation is not designed to estimate the fair market value of an asset at any point in time, which could be subjective or difficult to measure.
  • Both are cost-recovery options for businesses that help deduct the costs of operation.

Accuracy is critical since depreciation reduces the value of assets on the balance sheet and affects numbers on the income statement as well as tax liability. A company acquires a machine that costs $60,000, and which has a useful life of five years. This means that it must depreciate the machine at the rate of $1,000 per month. For the December income statement at the end of the second year, the monthly depreciation is $1,000, which appears in the depreciation expense line item. For the December balance sheet, $24,000 of accumulated depreciation is listed, since this is the cumulative amount of depreciation that has been charged against the machine over the past 24 months.

Example of Depreciation Usage on the Income Statement and Balance Sheet

It’s important to note, however, that “profit” is really just an accounting creation. In theory, depreciation attempts to match up profit with the expense it took to generate that profit. An investor who ignores the economic reality of depreciation expenses may easily overvalue a business, and his investment may suffer as a result. Instead of realizing a large one-time expense for that year, the company subtracts $1,500 depreciation each year for the next five years and reports annual earnings of $8,500 ($10,000 profit minus $1,500).

p&l depreciation

With NetSuite, you go live in a predictable timeframe — smart, stepped implementations begin with sales and span the entire customer lifecycle, so there’s continuity from sales to services to support. Taxpayers should seek professional advice based on their particular circumstances. We continually strive to provide consumers with the expert advice and tools needed to succeed throughout life’s financial journey. The most commonly used methods of depreciation fall into three categories, although there are other specialty methods that can be applied for specific situations.

Depreciation expense is reported on the income statement as any other normal business expense. If the asset is used for production, the expense is listed in the operating expenses area of the income statement. This amount reflects a portion of the acquisition cost of the asset for production purposes. It also added the value of Milly’s name-brand recognition, an intangible asset, as a balance sheet item called goodwill.

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Although the company reported earnings of $8,500, it still wrote a $7,500 check for the machine and has only $2,500 in the bank at the end of the year. Depreciation on the income statement is for one period, while depreciation on the balance sheet is cumulative for all fixed assets still held by an organization. Say your business bought a new truck for $30,000 cash, and it estimates that the truck has an estimated useful life of 10 years. Under the most common depreciation method, called the straight-line method, your company would report no upfront expense but a depreciation expense of $3,000 each year for 10 years.

Instead of recording the purchase of an asset in year one, which would reduce profits, businesses can spread that cost out over the years, allowing them to earn revenue from the asset. Even smaller businesses can have hundreds of fixed assets, each with its own depreciation schedule. Accounting software can help businesses track depreciation with less effort and a lower probability of errors because it eliminates the hassle and potential mistakes that come with juggling multiple spreadsheets.

p&l depreciation

Specifically, amortization occurs when the depreciation of an intangible asset is split up over time, and depreciation occurs when a fixed asset loses value over time. By automating depreciation calculations for fixed assets, businesses can redirect employees, and the accounting team in particular, to focus on higher-value tasks such as strategic capital planning. Leading accounting software can not only calculate depreciation using various methods, but is integrated with a larger ERP suite that measures the performance of the entire business.

Does a Company Pay Income Tax on Retained Earnings?

Depreciation is a large expense for many businesses and is represented on the P&L statements of publicly traded companies. For example, Coca-Cola recorded more than $1 billion in depreciation expenses during 2019. The annual depreciation expense shown on a company’s income statement is usually easier to find than the accumulated depreciation on the balance sheet. The annual depreciation expense is often added back to earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) to calculate earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) as it is a large non-cash expense. Accumulated depreciation can be useful to calculate the age of a company’s asset base, but it is not often disclosed clearly on the financial statements.

p&l depreciation

So, whether you’re reading an article or a review, you can trust that you’re getting credible and dependable information. Accumulated depreciation is a measure of the total wear on a company’s assets. In other words, it’s the total of all depreciation expenses incurred to date.


As stated earlier, gross profit is calculated by subtracting COGS from revenue. For example, if it costs $15,000 in production costs to manufacture a car, and the car sells for $20,000, the difference of $5,000 is the gross profit on that one car. Depreciation expense is the amount that a company’s assets are depreciated for a single period (e.g,, quarter or the year).

The guidance for determining scrap value and life expectancy can be ambiguous. So, investors should be wary of overstated life expectancies and scrap values.

Calculating amortization and depreciation using the straight-line method is the most straightforward. You can calculate these amounts by dividing the initial cost of the asset by the lifetime of it. In a very busy year, Sherry’s Cotton Candy Company acquired Milly’s Muffins, a bakery reputed for its delicious confections. After the acquisition, the company added the value of Milly’s baking equipment and other tangible assets to its balance sheet. Bankrate’s content, including the guidance of its advice-and-expert columns and this website, is intended only to assist you with financial decisions. The content is broad in scope and does not consider your personal financial situation.

Are Depreciation and Amortization Included in Gross Profit?

Some investors and analysts maintain that depreciation expenses should be added back into a company’s profits because it requires no immediate cash outlay. These analysts would suggest that Sherry was not really paying cash out at $1,500 a year. They would say that the company should have added the depreciation figures back into the $8,500 in reported earnings and valued the company based on the $10,000 figure. The IRS also sets guidelines for the threshold value above which assets should be capitalized for tax purposes (currently $2,500 or $5,000, depending on whether the company has an applicable financial statement).

What is recoverable depreciation?

To illustrate the impact of different depreciation methods on a company’s P&L, consider the following example. Depending on the depreciation method selected, the depreciation expense recorded in the first year can more than triple. This approach reflects their use by the business and provides a clearer picture of business performance. Bankrate follows a strict
editorial policy, so you can trust that our content is honest and accurate.

For tax purposes, businesses must use a depreciation method prescribed by the IRS. For most fixed assets, the IRS says businesses must use the modified accelerated cost recovery system (MACRS) method. MACRS generates higher depreciation expenses in the early years of an asset’s life, which in turn creates a higher tax deduction and lower taxable income on a company’s tax return.

A different cost allocation process, called amortization, is applied to intangible assets. Depreciation is an accounting concept that applies to a business’ fixed assets, such as buildings, furniture and equipment. It spreads the cost of the fixed asset over its useful life so that the expense of the asset can be matched to income. Bankrate follows a strict editorial policy, so you can trust that we’re putting your interests first.