What is Depreciation?What is Depreciation?




In this episode of the I Hate Numbers podcast, we explain what depreciation is and its importance in business. Albeit often misunderstood,  it is crucial for accurately determining profitability. Essentially, we clarify that it is not merely a reflection of value loss but rather an allocation of the asset’s cost over its useful life. Subsequently, we discuss how businesses categorize expenses into revenue and capital, identifying the latter as subject to depreciation. Specifically, we outline two primary methods of calculating depreciation: the straight-line method and the reducing balance method, offering practical examples for each.

Key Concepts

Revenue vs. Capital Expenses

Before exploring what depreciation is, we differentiate between revenue and capital expenses. Revenue expenses are daily operational costs such as hiring staff or buying food. Conversely, capital expenses include investments in infrastructure like equipment or buildings, vital for generating revenue but not intended for immediate sale.

What Depreciation Is

Depreciation involves spreading the cost of fixed assets over their useful lives, thus aligning expenses with revenue generation. Hence, we clarify that it is not about the asset’s current market value but its cost allocation.

Calculation Methods

We explore two main methods:

  • Straight-Line Method: Allocates depreciation evenly across the asset’s lifespan.
  • Reducing Balance Method: Allocates more depreciation in earlier years, reflecting higher initial usage and diminishing benefits over time.

Impact on Financial Statements

Depreciation affects the income statement and balance sheet. However, it does not impact cash flow directly, though it is crucial for accurate profit reporting.


Overall, understanding what depreciation is helps in better financial management and accurate profit calculation. Therefore, it’s essential to grasp its role in aligning costs with revenue over time.

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