Wednesday, October 26, 2016

What is Depreciation?

Definition. Meaning:

The common English meaning of the word is devaluation or reduction in the value of an asset. This fall in value may be for many reasons including normal wear and tear, fall in market price and so on. However in accounting/ financial parlance the word depreciation is used in the sense of normal wear and tear of fixed assets on account of use and time.

Depreciation is treated as an expense every year while computing the profits and drawing up the ‘Profit & Loss Account’ of a business.

Assets loose value owing to wear and tear which is called depreciation
Picture showing depreciation of factory assets due to normal wear and tear

Methods of Calculation:

Depreciation is calculated usually under two methods:

  1. Straight-line: The residual value of the asset is written off equally over the useful life of the asset. Results in uniform charge throughout.
  2. Written Down Value: At the end of every year the depreciation charged during the year is reduced from the value of the asset (written down value). In the next year the depreciation rate is applied on the written down value. Results in higher depreciation in the initial years and lower charge in latter periods.


Depreciation is an expense arising out of normal wear and tear of fixed assets due to use and passage of time. It is charged off as an expense every year in the profit and loss statement.

Depreciation Slide

Depreciation is wear and tear of assets
Slide showing Depreciation owing to wear and tear of factory assets

Tangible Assets Slide

Slide showing examples of tangible assets
Slide Showing Examples of Tangible Assets

What are Tangible Assets?

Examples of tangible assets
Examples of Tangible Assets


The word tangible means touchable - it means that tangible things can be perceived by the sense of touch. However, today, in the financial or accounting parlance the term is used to cover all the assets that can be easily quantifiable and readily convertible into cash or other similar assets or touchable assets. Tangible assets includes virtually all kind of assets that can actually be touched as well some that may not actually be touched – say customer receivables or balance lying with banks but exclude items like brand, business goodwill, etc.


  1. Land
  2. Buildings and other civil works
  3. Plant and machinery
  4. Motor vehicles, ships and aircraft
  5. Inventory
  6. Customer receivables
  7. Cash and bank balances
  8. Loans, advances and deposits


  1. Brand or brand value
  2. Goodwill
  3. Other such assets