# When Recording the Adjusting Entry for Depreciation Expense the Fixed Asset Account Balance

When Recording the Adjusting Entry for Depreciation Expense, the Fixed Asset Account Balance

Depreciation is an accounting concept that allows businesses to allocate the cost of a fixed asset over its useful life. As fixed assets such as buildings, machinery, and equipment are used in the production process, they gradually lose value due to wear and tear, obsolescence, or other factors. To reflect this decrease in value, businesses record depreciation expenses each accounting period.

The adjusting entry for depreciation expense is a crucial step in the accounting cycle. It ensures that the financial statements accurately reflect the true value of fixed assets and the cost of their usage. By recording this entry, businesses can match the cost of using the asset with the revenue it generates in a given accounting period.

To record the adjusting entry for depreciation expense, the fixed asset account balance is reduced. This is done by debiting the depreciation expense account and crediting the accumulated depreciation account. Let’s look at an example to understand this process better:

Suppose a company has purchased a machine for \$10,000 with an estimated useful life of five years and no residual value. The company uses the straight-line method to calculate depreciation expense. Each year, the machine’s value decreases by \$2,000 (\$10,000 divided by 5). At the end of the first year, the adjusting entry for depreciation expense would be recorded as follows:

Debit Depreciation Expense \$2,000
Credit Accumulated Depreciation \$2,000

By debiting the depreciation expense account, the company recognizes the expense for the period. This reduces the net income and retained earnings of the business. On the other hand, by crediting the accumulated depreciation account, the fixed asset account balance decreases. Accumulated depreciation is a contra asset account that offsets the value of the fixed asset on the balance sheet.

As each accounting period passes, the accumulated depreciation account continues to increase, while the fixed asset account balance decreases. This gradual reduction in the fixed asset account reflects the decrease in value over time. Eventually, the fixed asset account balance will reach zero, indicating that the asset has been fully depreciated.

FAQs:

Q: What is the purpose of recording the adjusting entry for depreciation expense?
A: The adjusting entry for depreciation expense is recorded to accurately reflect the decrease in value of fixed assets over time. By matching the cost of using the asset with the revenue it generates in a given accounting period, businesses can present more accurate financial statements.

Q: How does the adjusting entry for depreciation expense affect the fixed asset account balance?
A: The adjusting entry reduces the fixed asset account balance. This is done by debiting the depreciation expense account and crediting the accumulated depreciation account. The accumulated depreciation account is a contra asset account that offsets the value of the fixed asset on the balance sheet.

Q: What is the difference between depreciation expense and accumulated depreciation?
A: Depreciation expense represents the cost of using a fixed asset in a given accounting period. It is recorded as an expense on the income statement, reducing the net income and retained earnings of the business. Accumulated depreciation, on the other hand, is a contra asset account that represents the total depreciation expense recorded over the life of the asset. It is subtracted from the fixed asset account balance on the balance sheet.