Balances depreciation with other costs like maintenance, avoiding calculation issues. 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. This results in a reasonably constant expense related to the asset because depreciation expense declines as repair expense increases. From a conceptual perspective, these methods are most suited for assets that give up a greater portion of their benefits in their early years. To demonstrate how this fraction is worked out, suppose that an asset has a 5-year life.

The DDB function is used for calculating double-declining-balance depreciation (or some other factor of declining-balance depreciation) and contains five arguments. The first four (cost, salvage, life, and period) are required and the same as used in the DB function. The fifth argument, factor, is optional and determines by what factor to multiply the rate of depreciation. If it is left blank, Excel will assume the factor is 2 — the straight-line depreciation rate times two, which is double-declining-balance depreciation. To start, a company must know an asset’s cost, useful life, and salvage value.

The useful life is how long you expect the asset will be useable before it is fully depreciated. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offers a list of useful lives, referred to as recovery periods, by classification of asset. 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. 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.

Strategies Behind Sum-of-Years Digits Depreciation

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). The difference between the SYD formula and the SYD Excel function is that when using the function, one does not need a new depreciation amount for each year as it only uses the initial cost. Finally, a depreciation schedule can be created as we have all the components for calculating the depreciation expense in Year 1. Therefore, it can be said that SYD provides a realistic depreciation expense since the method acknowledges that assets are typically more productive and valuable in their early years.

There are several ways a business can depreciate an asset—namely through straight line or accelerated modes. For an accelerated depreciation schedule, sum-of-years digits is typically the most common. Sum-of-years digits is an accelerated depreciation method that applies a percentage of depreciation based on the number of years left in the asset’s useful life. The declining balance method is a type of accelerated depreciation used to write off depreciation costs earlier in an asset’s life and to minimize tax exposure. With this method, fixed assets depreciate more so early in life rather than evenly over their entire estimated useful life. An accelerated depreciation method, the double-declining method calculates depreciation twice as fast as that in the declining balance method.

Formula of Sum of The Years’ Digits Depreciation Model

We were assuming a 5-year useful life and a salvage value of $100,000, with $200,000 in transportation expenses. As with the double-declining-balance method, the sum-of-the-years’ digits method allocates more depreciation in the early years and less in later years. In the example above, your straight-line depreciation expense would have been $20,000 each year—$100,000 x 1 /5. Additionally, in later years, your depreciation deduction for this asset will be lower under the sum of the years’ digit method. 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.

Calculate Sum of Years Digits Depreciation with Formula in Excel

As the depreciation rate decreases over time, so does the depreciation charge. As an accelerated depreciation rate, sum-of-years digits allows companies to write down more of an asset’s value quicker, tapering the total amount of depreciation over time. While the asset will still end up fully depreciated at the end of the schedule, this method allows a business to alleviate more of that asset from its balance sheet earlier. It’s a common accounting tactic for companies that make significant asset investments that they’ll rely on for a long period of time. In this article, we will calculate the sum of years’ digits depreciation with formula in Excel.

Step 3 of 3

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. We only need to calculate this value one time in an asset’s life when we estimate its depreciation for the first time. We will use the same value to calculate the depreciation expense of the future accounting periods. The SYD depreciation schedules using the formula and Excel function showcased how the depreciation expense is distributed over the equipment’s useful life.

Let’s go through an example using the two methods of depreciation described so far. As with the previous example, assume that our company has an asset with an initial cost of $50,000, a salvage value of $10,000, and a useful life of five years and 3,000 units. This time, we are going to create a depreciation schedule for the asset using the two types of depreciation shown in the screenshot below. To follow along in Excel, access the spreadsheet here and go to the second tab.


It leads to low profits immediately, which are followed by higher profits when the period ends. It is also more complex to calculate than straight-line depreciation, which can lead to errors in the calculation. Also known as the “sum of years method,” this model rapidly reduces an asset’s value. It permits larger deductions in the asset’s early years and smaller deductions in later years, emphasizing the asset’s economic utility rather than time of use. Depreciable cost in sum of years digits depreciation can be calculated with the formula of fixed asset cost deducting its salvage value. 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 in the earlier years.

The sum of Years’ Digits Depreciation Method Formula

Depreciation accounts for decreases in the value of a company’s assets over time. In the United States, accountants must adhere to generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) in calculating and reporting depreciation on financial statements. GAAP is a set of rules that includes the details, complexities, and legalities of business and corporate accounting. GAAP guidelines highlight several separate, allowable methods of depreciation that accounting professionals may use. Under this method, the percentage of depreciation rate for each year is calculated by the years remaining in the useful life divided by the sum of remaining life every year throughout the asset’s life. Sum of the Years Digits is an accelerated depreciation method, meaning more depreciation is expensed in the early years of the class life of an asset.