Certified Financial Accountant Designation
Depreciation does not generate cash flow. If a million dollar piece of equipment is purchased, an accountant would reflect that the company now owns a million dollar asset. Without depreciation, the company would still show a million dollar asset on the books even though we all know the equipment's value is decreasing. As such, the company's value would be overstated in the books. I found this from Wikipedia, so I believe the above answer should be modified.
From Wikipedia - "Depreciation recognized for tax purposes will, however, affect the cash flow of the company, as tax depreciation will reduce taxable profits; there is generally no requirement that treatment of depreciation for tax and accounting purposes be identical. Where depreciation is shown on accounting statements, the figure usually does not relate to depreciation for tax purposes."
The above answer is correct. This is an additional point.
Depreciation is a source of funds (not cash). Think about this - When you deduct depreciation from your profits, your net income figure gets reduced and if there is any distribution of cash which is based on net income, the amount of cash that is going out of the business will also be reduced. In that way, the company is able to retain part of its cash within the business that could have gone out, had the depreciation not been done.
Additional comment -
And even more to add regarding the taxes thing (at least in Canada). Depreciation is not an allowable expense for calculating taxable income. What happens is that you add the depreciation that you expensed back, but then you are allowed to take a deduction for capital cost allowance (at specified rates for the particular class of asset) to calculate taxable income. In the US it is a a legit expense and is typical done with straight line or MACRS.
Additional comment -
Regarding the first post: depreciation in accounting terms (amortization) is not meant to reflect the value of the asset. Rather, it is the gradual allocation of its cost to expense over its useful life. The fair market value of an asset may increase significantly over its original purchase price while at the same time its book value will decrease yearly due to depreciation. Strictly speaking, depreciation is a non-cash expense (no physical outflow of cash is involved). However, as mentioned above by others, it serves to reduce taxable income, which, in turn, reduces the income tax paid.
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Point===No. It’s a non-money transaction entry. Depreciation charge gives a true cost of business activity; and at the time of replacement of old assets P/L account does not get a jerk to accommodate a huge expenditure at a time.
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What is the purpose of depreciation?
[pic][pic][pic][pic][pic][pic]The purpose of depreciation is to match the cost of a productive asset (that has a useful life of more than a year) to the revenues earned from using the asset. Since it is hard to see a direct link to revenues, the asset’s cost is usually allocated to (assigned to, spread over) the years in which the asset is used. Depreciation systematically allocates or moves the asset’s cost from the balance sheet to expense on the income statement over the asset’s useful life. In other words, depreciation is an allocation process in order to achieve the matching principle; it is not a technique for determining the fair market value of the asset. The...