What Is the Residual Value of Fixed Assets and How to Calculate It


Residual value, often known as salvage value, is an asset’s projected scrap value by the completion of its lease or financial or valuable life.

It shows the amount of value the asset’s owner will receive or assume to receive as the asset is ultimately dispositioned.

The key task with the residual value conception is determining how much the chances of extraction of money from an item later are.

In short, the predictable worth of an asset by the completion of its useful life is referred to as residual value, salvage value, or junk value, and frequently assumed value for this amount is zero.

In general, an asset’s lease period or useful life is inversely related to its residual value.

Understanding Residual Value

When considering leasing a vehicle for the next seven years. Then there’s the residual value, which is the value of the car after seven years.

It is frequently determined by the bank that will grant the lease, and it is fully dependent on previous agreements and forecasts. It is critical in determining the car’s monthly lease payments due to interest rates and applicable taxes.

The salvage value is a term used in finance to describe the value of a company’s cash flows after the expected period.

If a projection prediction for the next 20 years is made on the assumption that the company will continue to function for the next twenty years, the cash flows forecasted for the future years are evaluated.

In this case, discounted cash flows estimate the project’s or company’s net present value, which is then transferred to the project’s or company’s market value.

It indicates how much an asset is worth after it has been finished or stopped being used, or when the asset’s cash flows cannot be predicted reliably in capital planning projects.

How to Accounting Change in Residual Value of Fixed Assets?

Accounting for a change in the residual value of fixed assets requires an adjustment to the depreciation expense and the asset’s carrying amount. The residual value is the estimated value of an asset at the end of its useful life, and any change in the residual value affects the total depreciation expense over the remaining useful life of the asset.

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Here are the steps to account for a change in the residual value of fixed assets:

  1. Evaluate the reason for the change in the residual value of the fixed asset. If the change is due to a change in market conditions or the asset’s expected useful life, it is appropriate to adjust the residual value.
  2. Determine the new residual value of the asset based on the updated information. This can be done by estimating the future market value of the asset or by considering the asset’s remaining useful life and estimating its scrap value.
  3. Calculate the difference between the old and new residual values of the asset. This difference represents the adjustment that needs to be made to the depreciation expense.
  4. Adjust the asset’s carrying amount by subtracting the old residual value from the original cost and then adding the new residual value.
  5. Adjust the annual depreciation expense by dividing the difference in residual values by the remaining useful life of the asset.
  6. Record the adjustment to the depreciation expense and the asset’s carrying amount in the company’s accounting records.

It’s important to note that any change in the residual value of fixed assets must be disclosed in the financial statements, and any significant changes should be clearly explained in the footnotes.

How to Calculate Residual Value of Fixed Assets

The method for calculating an asset’s residual value varies by field and industry. On the other hand, the residual value of an asset is normally computed using the asset’s anticipated salvage value.

The salvage value of assets can be calculated using the comparable approach, which is based on the market value of similar assets.

Both the cost of asset disposal and the expected salvage value are required to determine the value. The residual value is equal to the projected salvage value minus the cost of ordering the asset. The formula for residual value is as follows:

Residual value = (estimated salvage value) – (cost of asset disposal)

Three Methods to Calculate Residual Value

Various methods determine what an owner will receive from a future asset. Below are some examples of these methods:

  • No Value – For assets with lower value, the first and most important alternative is to perform a no residual value estimate. The presumption is that these assets will be worthless at the end of their useful life. Many accountants prefer it because it simplifies the depreciation calculation. It is a particularly efficient method for assets with a value that is significantly less than a defined threshold. However, when this approach is used, the total amount of depreciation is more than when a residual value is taken into consideration.
  • Comparables – When the residual value is computed, the second technique is identical to the worth of comparable assets in an effective market. It is the most practical method in use. If there is a strong market for used vehicles, for example, the residual value for a comparable kind of vehicle can be calculated using this information.
  • Policy – Some company policies may assume that the residual value of all assets in a certain class is always the same. Although the policy-derived value may be greater than the market rate, this technique is not justified because it saves corporation money on depreciation. As a result, this technique rarely works until the policy-constraint values are set at a conventional level on purpose.
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Residual Value Examples

  1. Consider the example of printing equipment as an example. The printing equipment costs $20,000, and its projected service life is ten years, according to the manufacturer. By the completion of its useful life, it should be able to be sold for $3000 as scrap metal at a dumping place. Furthermore, the cost of ordering of the machinery is $200 that includes the expense of transferring the machine to the junkyard. The printing machinery’s scrap value is thus estimated to be $2,900 ($3000-$200).
  1. A company invests $100,000 in a truck driven 75,000 miles during the next five years. Based on market prices of similar vehicles, a reasonable residual value would be $24,000 at that level of usage. The company then uses this amount to determine the truck’s official residual value, depreciating only the $76,000 ($100,000 – $24,000) portion of the truck’s cost that will be used throughout the asset’s expected five-year life.
  1. Let’s say a $15,000 machine has a 10-year expected service life and can be sold as scrap metal to the disposal for $2,000 at the end of its life. If the machine’s transportation to the disposal costs $100, the machine’s residual worth is $1,900 ($2,000 value – $100 transportation costs).

Outcome of Residual Value

The residual value is used to calculate the worth of an enterprise’s cash flows over a given time period. In order to anticipate a company’s operability for, say, 15 years, the corporation must evaluate the cash flows for those 15 years.

As a result, the corporation will discount the cash flows to determine their net value. This current net worth is then added to the company’s market value.

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This value is the aspect that gives a clearer image when accounting is done or even when the corporation wishes to sell off an asset beyond its useful life.

Advantages of Residual Value

The following are some of the advantages of residual value:

  • Determining Lease Rates: One of the main strategies a lessor employs to establish the amount a lessee will pay in recurring lease fees is residual value. In a vehicle leasing agreement, for example, the monthly lease rate is calculated using the vehicle’s residual value and tax and interest rates.
  • Amortization and Depreciation Calculations: They are crucial for accounting. Companies now use residual value as one of the key variables in determining their annual amortization (for intangible assets) and depreciation (for tangible assets) numbers. When calculating the entire depreciable sum to be used in their depreciation schedule, businesses must account for the residual worth of their assets.

In general, corporations should determine the residual worth of their assets at the end of each year. When the estimated residual value changes, the change should be documented.

Companies with multiple exclusive fixed assets including medical kits, vehicles, and other heavy machinery, may consider purchasing residual value insurance.

This insurance serves to reduce asset-value risk by guaranteeing the post-useful-life value of assets that have been properly maintained.