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Definition of amortization in Business, Finance, Accounting

intangible asset account

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  • The credit balance in the liability account Premium on Bonds Payable will be amortized over the life of the bonds by debiting Premium on Bonds Payable and crediting Interest Expense.
  • For coverage of the similar accounting practice, depreciation, see the article Depreciation Expense.
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For more information about or to do calculations involving depreciation, please visit the Depreciation Calculator. For book purposes, companies generally calculate amortization using the straight-line method. This method spreads the cost of the intangible asset evenly over all the accounting periods that will benefit from it. In business, accountants define amortization as a process that systematically reduces the value of an intangible asset over its useful life. It’s an example of the matching principle, one of the basic tenets of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles . The matching principle requires expenses to be recognized in the same period as the revenue they help generate, instead of when they are paid. Amortization is the accounting process used to spread the cost of intangible assets over the periods expected to benefit from their use.


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What is the journal entry for amortization?

Amortization schedules provide the information required to amortize expenses, but you must generate the amortization journal entries to post expenses to the general ledger. This step is required even if you use cash basis reporting.

When an asset brings in money for more than one year, you want to write off the cost over a longer time period. Use amortization to match an asset’s expense to the amount of revenue it generates each year. Accounting and tax rules provide guidance to accountants on how to account for the depreciation of the assets over time. If an intangible asset has an unlimited life, then it is still subject to a periodic impairment test, which may result in a reduction of its book value. The two basic forms of depletion allowance are percentage depletion and cost depletion.

Intangible Asset Amortization

News of the sale caused two other inventors to challenge the application of the patent. ABZ successfully defended the patent but incurred legal fees of $50,000. ABZ Inc. spent $20,000 to register the patent, transferring the rights from the inventor for 20 years. Company ABZ Inc. paid an outside inventor $180,000 for the exclusive rights to a solar panel she developed. The customary method for amortization is the straight-line method.

What is amortization vs accrual?

Amortization is the systematic recognition of an income or expense related to an accrual or other asset. Whereas accruals create assets or liabilities, amortizations create income or expense.

Subtract the residual value of the asset from its original value. If the asset has no residual value, simply divide the initial value by the lifespan. The term amortization is used in both accounting and in lending with completely different definitions and uses. Amortization and depreciation differ in that there are many different depreciation methods, while the straight-line method is often the only amortization method used. Since a patent is only valid for a limited number of years, a business is required to amortize it. Every year, the amortization amount is subtracted from the value of the copyright and is listed as an expense. This would make the amortization rate of the bond’s premium equal to $1,000 per year.


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economic or legal

The templates for the primary https://bookkeeping-reviews.com/ are in the main Revenue Recognition / Amortization subtab. The templates selected on the item record are the default for the item. They may be changed when the actual transactions such as vendor bills are created. After purchasing XYZ, $15 million will be the goodwill amount that BCD will record as Goodwill in their books of account.

Amortization (accounting)

Depreciation is used for fixed tangible assets such as machinery, while amortization is applied to intangible assets, such as copyrights, patents and customer lists. Calculating amortization for accounting purposes is generally straightforward, although it can be tricky to determine which intangible assets to amortize and then calculate their correct amortizable value. For tax purposes, amortization can result in significant differences between a company’s book income and its taxable income. For tangible assets, the total book value subject to depreciation is usually the cost of record less residual value. Definite intangible assets, however, are usually have no residual value, and so amortizable value for them is normally the full book value. When firms purchase certain definite intangibles for use over a limited time (e.g., usage of patent rights), the useful life is the amortization life.

  • The business then relocates to a newer, bigger building elsewhere.
  • You may need a small business accountant or legal professional to help you.
  • When businesses amortize expenses over time, they help tie the cost of using an asset to the revenues that it generates in the same accounting period, in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles .
  • This is because amortization schedules must take into account the time value of money.
  • Investors and managers pay attention to the above part specifically to understand the company’s financial position and liabilities.

In the final month, only $1.66 is paid in interest, because the outstanding loan balance at that point is very minimal compared with the starting loan balance. The ending loan balance is the difference between the beginning loan balance and the principal portion.

Bonds Issued at a Premium

Having a great accountant or loan officer with a solid understanding of the specific needs of the company or individual he or she works for makes the process of amortization a simple one. Depending on the asset and materiality, the credit side of the amortization entry may go directly to to the intangible asset account. On the other hand, depreciation entries always post to accumulated depreciation, a contra account that reduces the carrying value of capital assets. Of the different options mentioned above, a company often has the option of accelerating depreciation. This means more depreciation expense is recognized earlier in an asset’s useful life as that asset may be used heavier when it is newest.


The costs incurred to develop the technology, such as R&D facilities and your engineers’ salaries, are deductible as business expenses. The costs of intangible assets with identifiable useful lives are amortized over their economic/legal life. Recognized intangible assets deemed to have indefinite useful lives are not to be amortized.


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