Sum of years’ digits method

By: Rashid Javed | Updated on: October 23rd, 2021

The sum of years’ digits method is a form of accelerated depreciation charge that is based on the assumption that the productivity of the asset decreases with the passage of time. Under this method, a fraction is computed by dividing the remaining useful life of the asset on a particular date by the sum of the year’s digits. This fraction is applied to the depreciable cost of the asset to compute the depreciation expense for the period.

Sum of years’ digits method attempts to charge a higher depreciation expense in early years of the useful life of the asset and a lower expense in later years because the asset is most productive in early years less in later years of its economic life. Also the asset loses much of its productive efficiency in early years.


The following formula is used to calculate depreciation expense under sum of years’ digits method


Consider the following example for a better understanding.


The Monster company purchased a machine on January 1, 2015. The relevant information is given below:

  • Cost of the machine: $250,000
  • Expected useful life of machine: 5 years
  • Salvage value: $25,000

Required: Prepare a schedule showing the depreciation expense of each year of the useful life of the machine using sum of years’ digits method.


  • Depreciable cost (depreciable base): $250,000 – $25,000 = $225,000
  • Depreciation expense at the end of the first year: $225,000 × (5/15) = $75,000
  • Book value at the end of the first year: $250,000 – $75,000 = $175,000

Notice that as the remaining life of the machine decreases, the depreciation expense also decreases.

13 Comments on Sum of years’ digits method
  1. Bhargav

    what if an asset is purchased in the middle of the year!! Please provide an example

  2. Ravioli

    so clean so good

  3. Jennifer

    Dosent it have characteristic
    Nd purposes

  4. Dipak neupane

    Execellent man…thanks you…for helping us….👍️👍️

  5. Craig

    very good. had a lot of fun with this

  6. Felix


  7. Vuyo Lwetu

    made simple for us to understand, I didn’t think that I’ll understand at all, thanks a lot it was realy helpful

  8. Takunda makomeke

    very good and simple to understand

  9. David nyiti

    Thanks very much for your kind to share to us

Leave a comment