Burden calculations: How to allocate your indirect cost pools to specific jobs

The double-declining balance (DDB) method is an even more accelerated depreciation method. It doubles the (1/Useful Life) multiplier, making it essentially twice as fast as the declining balance method. It is important to consider depreciation when assessing the profitability of a business, as it is a non-cash expense that can have a significant effect on the financial statements. On the other hand, truck depreciation is considered an indirect expense since it is used for sales and distribution, not production. The classification of an asset’s expense as either direct or indirect depends on its usage and the nature of the cost object.

  • Although the two terms look similar, depreciated cost and depreciation expense come with very different meanings and should not be confused with one another.
  • Some other examples of indirect costs include overhead, security costs, administration costs, etc.
  • AAFCPAs assumes no obligation to inform the reader of changes or other factors that could affect the information contained herein.
  • Provides the separate rates for allocating employee benefits (e.g., payroll taxes, vacation, sick, retirement, health care, bonus, deferred compensation, insurance).

If the machine’s life expectancy is 20 years and its salvage value is $15,000, in the straight-line depreciation method, the depreciation expense is $4,750 [($110,000 – $15,000) / 20]. The depreciated cost can be used as an asset valuation tool to determine the useful value of an asset at a specific point in time. It can be compared with the market value to examine whether there is an impairment to the asset. If an asset is sold, the depreciated cost can be compared with the sales price to report a gain or loss from the sale. Earnings before interest taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) is another financial metric that is also affected by depreciation.

This affects the value of equity since assets minus liabilities are equal to equity. Overall, when assets are substantially losing value, it reduces the return on equity for shareholders. Subsequent years’ expenses will change as the figure for the remaining lifespan changes. So, depreciation expense would decline to $5,600 in the second year (14/120) x ($50,000 – $2,000). Accumulated depreciation totals depreciation expense since the asset has been in use. Tracking the depreciation expense of an asset is important for reporting purposes because it spreads the cost of the asset over the time it’s in use.

Double-Declining Balance (DDB)

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The cost available for depreciation is equally allocated over the asset’s life span. As the depreciation expense is constant for each period, the depreciated cost decreases at a constant rate under the straight-line depreciation method. As such, the actual cash paid out for the purchase of the fixed asset will be recorded in the investing cash flow section of the cash flow statement. Companies may choose to finance the purchase of an investment in several ways. Regardless they must make the payments for the fixed asset in separate journal entries while also accounting for the lost value of the fixed asset over time through depreciation.

Declining Balance Depreciation

This expense can be direct or indirect expense depending on how the related asset is used in the business. Burden is a practical and meaningful method of allocating your indirect costs to specific jobs. Your burden rate(s) provide a truer picture of total costs than direct costs alone. Typically you will obtain specific bids for subcontractors & materials, and then estimate direct labor based on experience. These direct costs are then attributed to a specific job, incurred if/when you work on that project.

Indirect Cost

Assume a company has a variety of manufacturing departments, one of which is the Finishing Department. The Finishing Department’s equipment is used for producing only one product line, which has three different versions (basic, deluxe, and premier). Each of the three versions uses a different amount of the equipment’s time. A direct cost is one that varies in concert with changes in a related activity or product. The information contained herein is general in nature and is not intended, and should not be construed, as legal, accounting, or tax advice or opinion provided by AAFCPAs to the user. The user of this should contact his or her AAFCPAs advisor prior to taking any action based on this information.

This formula is best for companies with assets that lose greater value in the early years and that want larger depreciation deductions sooner. This formula is best for small businesses seeking a simple method of depreciation. Other factors can affect how depreciation is classified, such as industry type, business goals and internal accounting rules. Salvage value can be based on past history of similar assets, a professional appraisal, or a percentage estimate of the value of the asset at the end of its useful life. The company decides that the machine has a useful life of five years and a salvage value of $1,000. Based on these assumptions, the depreciable amount is $4,000 ($5,000 cost – $1,000 salvage value).

Burden calculations: How to allocate your indirect cost pools to specific jobs

The more units produced by the equipment, the greater amount the equipment is depreciated, and the lower the depreciated cost is. Although the two terms look similar, depreciated cost and depreciation expense come with very different meanings and should not be confused with one another. The depreciation expense refers to the value depreciated during a certain period. While this is merely an asset transfer from cash to a fixed asset on the balance sheet, cash flow from investing must be used. On the balance sheet, a company uses cash to pay for an asset, which initially results in asset transfer. Because a fixed asset does not hold its value over time (like cash does), it needs the carrying value to be gradually reduced.


It’s most useful where an asset’s value lies in the number of units it produces or in how much it’s used, rather than in its lifespan. The formula determines the expense for the accounting period multiplied by the number of units produced. dollar-value lifo method calculation The sum-of-the-years’-digits method (SYD) accelerates depreciation as well but less aggressively than the declining balance method. Annual depreciation is derived using the total of the number of years of the asset’s useful life.

For example, in the second year, current book value would be $50,000 – $10,000, or $40,000. $3,200 will be the annual depreciation expense for the life of the asset. In other words, depreciation spreads out the cost of an asset over the years, allocating how much of the asset that has been used up in a year, until the asset is obsolete or no longer in use.