does accumulated depreciation is an asset

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Is Accumulated Depreciation an asset or liabilities or capital?

For financial reporting purposes, accumulated depreciation is neither an asset or a liability. Instead, it is classified as a contra asset account and is used to reduce an asset's value on the balance sheet to reflect the total amount of wear and tear on that asset to date.

Companies usually depend on various assets such as vehicles, computers, buildings, equipment, etc. to ease their daily business operations. As the assets get used over time, their value reduces due to the wear and tear that comes with constant use. The reduction in value means does accumulated depreciation is an asset that when the company wants to sell such assets, it will have to sell them at a lower price than it originally purchased them. Hence, companies keep a record of the asset’s depreciation and its cumulative depreciation to account for the reduction in the asset’s value.

Depreciation vs. Accumulated Depreciation

This is so to ensure that the figures in the balance sheet are in tune with each other. Accumulated depreciation is the cumulative depreciation recorded against an asset since its purchase. One last thing to note is that the accumulated depreciation ratio may not provide an accurate picture if accumulated depreciation is not calculated properly. Companies may have very little or very big metrics compared to their assets’ real condition so they may be either replacing these assets too soon or too late.

It is important to note that an asset’s book value does not indicate the vehicle’s market value since depreciation is merely an allocation technique. Harold Averkamp has worked as a university accounting instructor, accountant, and consultant for more than 25 years. At First National Realty Partners, we specialize in the acquisition and management of grocery store anchored retail centers. If you are an accredited investor and would like to learn more about our current opportunities, click here. The extra amounts of depreciation include bonus depreciation and Section 179 deductions. Suzanne received a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance and has worked as a journalist for over a decade.


Accumulated depreciation is a repository for depreciation expenses since the asset was placed in service. Depreciation expense gets closed, or reduced to zero, at the end of the year with other income statement accounts. Since accumulated depreciation is a balance sheet account, it remains on your books until the asset is trashed or sold. 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. Accumulated depreciation represents the total depreciation of a company’s fixed assets at a specific point in time.

does accumulated depreciation is an asset

A decreasing balance approach accelerates the reporting of depreciation expenditure for assets in their early stages of useful life. The difference between an asset’s total expenditures and its anticipated salvage value at the end of its useful life is known as the depreciable base. It allows a more accurate reflection of the asset’s value over time by spreading its cost over its useful life. Its basis is that an investment will last longer than its estimated lifetime, even if one uses it only half the time. Depreciation allows a more accurate reflection of the asset’s value over time. With the above explanations in hand, accumulated depreciation is neither an asset nor a liability .

How to Record Abandonment on Cash Flow Statements

A liability is a future financial obligation (i.e. debt) that the company has to pay. Accumulation depreciation is not a cash outlay; the cash obligation has already been satisfied when the asset is purchased or financed. Instead, accumulated depreciation is the way of recognizing depreciation over the life of the asset instead of recognizing the expense all at once. Accumulated depreciation is a contra asset that reduces the book value of an asset. However, accumulated depreciation is reported within the asset section of a balance sheet.

Is depreciation is an asset?

Depreciation expense is the amount that a company's assets are depreciated for a single period (e.g, quarter or the year), while accumulated depreciation is the total amount of wear to date. Depreciation expense is not an asset and accumulated depreciation is not an expense.