Which of the Following Would Be Classified as External Depreciation

Which of the Following Would Be Classified as External Depreciation?

Depreciation is the reduction in the value of an asset over time. It is a normal occurrence for most assets, including tangible and intangible ones. Depreciation can be classified into two main categories: internal depreciation and external depreciation. In this article, we will focus on external depreciation and explore some examples of assets that fall under this classification.

External depreciation refers to the reduction in the value of an asset due to external factors beyond the control of the owner. These factors can be economic, environmental, technological, or political in nature. Unlike internal depreciation, which is caused by wear and tear or obsolescence, external depreciation is a result of factors outside the asset itself.

Examples of assets that can experience external depreciation include:

1. Real estate: Properties can be affected by external factors such as changes in the neighborhood, zoning regulations, or economic conditions. For instance, the construction of a noisy factory nearby can significantly reduce the value of a residential property.

2. Vehicles: Cars, trucks, and other vehicles can depreciate due to factors like changes in fuel efficiency standards, new emission regulations, or advancements in technology. An example of external depreciation for vehicles is the decline in value of diesel cars after the Volkswagen emissions scandal in 2015.

3. Technology: Electronic devices and software can quickly become outdated due to rapid advancements in technology. For instance, a smartphone that was top-of-the-line a few years ago may lose significant value as newer models with better features enter the market.

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4. Intellectual property: Patents, copyrights, and trademarks can lose value if new laws or regulations weaken their protection or if new inventions render them obsolete. Changes in the legal landscape or the emergence of competing technologies can result in external depreciation of intellectual property.


Q: Can internal and external depreciation occur simultaneously?
A: Yes, it is possible for an asset to experience both internal and external depreciation simultaneously. For example, a vehicle may lose value due to wear and tear (internal depreciation) while also depreciating due to changes in emission regulations (external depreciation).

Q: Can external depreciation be predicted?
A: External depreciation can be more challenging to predict compared to internal depreciation. External factors are often influenced by unpredictable events or changes in the business or regulatory environment. However, monitoring trends and staying informed about relevant industry developments can help anticipate potential external depreciation risks.

Q: How can one mitigate the impact of external depreciation?
A: While it may not be possible to completely avoid external depreciation, there are steps that asset owners can take to mitigate its impact. These include staying updated on industry trends, regularly assessing the value of assets, and adapting to changing market conditions. Diversifying investments and maintaining a well-maintained asset can also help minimize the effects of external depreciation.

Q: Can assets appreciate despite external factors?
A: Yes, assets can appreciate even in the presence of external factors. External depreciation does not guarantee a decrease in value; it simply means that the potential for depreciation exists. Factors such as improvements in the asset’s location, market demand, or technological advancements can counteract external depreciation and lead to appreciation.

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In conclusion, external depreciation occurs when an asset’s value decreases due to factors beyond the owner’s control. Real estate, vehicles, technology, and intellectual property are some examples of assets that can experience external depreciation. While it may be challenging to predict and mitigate the impact of external depreciation, staying informed and adapting to changing market conditions can help asset owners minimize its effects.

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