ABSTRACT Depreciation is a complex, intricate and confusing term in the fields of engineering, social and management sciences. As a result, it has been over used, over stressed, and over worked by the accountants and professional valuers. International Accounting Standard (IAS) 4, qualifies assets for depreciation when assets are used for more than one accounting period, i.e. assets held by an enterprise for production or service, and has economic useful life. Whereas, under Standard Statement of Accounting Practice (SSAP) 12, depreciation is viewed as wearing out, consumption or other loss of value of fixed asset, whether arising from use, affluxion of time or obsolescence through technology and market changes. Complexity may arise when it is viewed as a fall in price, physical deterioration, allocation of cost, fall in value, valuation technique and asset replacement. Intricate and confusion are inevitable when accountants employ various methods of providing for depreciation on the same or similar assets of different life span. These methods may include straight line, reducing balance, sum of the year’s digit, revaluation, annuity, output, sinking fund etc which will definitely give different values in the financial statement. The consequential effect is either to undermine or overstate the reported profit or distributable profit in the hands of the stakeholders, hence the absurdity of the financial reports. It is recommended that depreciation should be used with caution especially when the anticipated economic useful lives of the asset is short lived by new technology or passage of time thereby making it extremely difficult to recover or replace the net book value of the asset.
Cite this paper
O. Attah Lawrence and U. Angus Okechukwu, "Review of Accounting Gimmicks Called Depreciation," Open Journal of Accounting, Vol. 2 No. 2, 2013, pp. 39-44. doi: 10.4236/ojacct.2013.22007.
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