Concept and Accounting of Depreciation - Sinking Fund Method

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What is the Sinking Fund Method?

The sinking fund method is a technique, where an asset is depreciated while generating enough money to replace it at the end of its own useful life. As depreciation charges are incurred to reflect the asset's value, the same matching amount of cash is also to be reinvested. These funds sit in a sinking fund account and generate the interest. We will chalk the details further to know about the sinking fund method in detail. In the sections, the prevailing concept of sinking funds is to be enunciated.


Understanding the Sinking Fund Method

Many companies use depreciation to expense an asset over time, not only just in the period that it was purchased. The depreciation here has stretched out the cost of the assets over many different accounting periods. This enables the companies to benefit from them without deducting the full cost from the net income.

One disadvantage of depreciation is to determine how much to expense. For companies who want to put the money aside to purchase a replacement asset upon the full depreciation of the old one, here the sinking fund method may be a good option to be used.

Under the sinking fund method, the amount of the money is to be added to the asset-replacement fund each year. After this, the calculation is done to determine the cost which is to be replaced by the asset. The calculation is also required for the number of years the asset is expected to last, for the expected rate of return on the investment, as well as for the potential earnings from the effects of the compounding interest.


Solved Example on Sinking Fund Method

An example is illustrated to further explain the method:

ABC Ltd. issues Rs. 100,000 of the bond to start a new store. Since the issuance, ABC Ltd. created a fund by regularly depositing Rs. 1,000 in it to pay off the principal.

Now, ABC Ltd. plans to repurchase 50 percent of its Rs. 100,000 outstanding bonds in the open market in the current year to lower the principal balance which it will owe at the maturity period. Since the interest rates increase and decrease over time, the price of the bonds might as well increase or decrease. Obviously, ABC Ltd. doesn’t want to purchase the bonds for more than their face value, so the company included a sinking fund provision in the original issuance.

This meant that the company can either purchase the bonds back at random for the market price or the face value, whichever is lower. Thus, ABC Ltd. chooses any bonds to repurchase based on their serial numbers. While purchasing the bonds, it will lower the outstanding principal. There can be limitations on the amount or percent of bond issues which can be repurchased per the fund provisions.

After ABC Ltd. recalls the bonds, it will have effectively lowered the outstanding principal to Rs. 50,000. Thus, it spread the principal payments over a period of time to nullify the effect of a large principal payment on the date of maturity.


Sinking Fund Method Formula

The formula for sinking fund:

Sinking Fund, A= [(1+(r/m) n*m-1] / (r/m) * P

  • P is the Periodic contribution to the sinking fund,

  • R is the annualized rate of interest.

  • n is the No. of years.

  • m is the No. of payments per year.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1. Define Net Income.

Ans. Net income is the residual or the remaining amount of earnings after all the deductions which have been taken from the gross pay, such as the payroll taxes, retirement plan contributions and other such deductions. For example, a person earns wages of Rs.1,000 and Rs. 300 in deductions are taken from his paycheck. Thus, his net income will be Rs.700.


Net income is also known as net profit, which is a single number, that represents a specific type of profit. Net income is the renowned factor on a financial statement.

Q2. What is Compounding Interest?

Ans. Compound interest is the phenomenon where the interest associated with a bank account, loan, or investment increases exponentially, rather than linearly over the time period. To understand the concept, we need to magnify the word “compound”. Suppose you make an Rs. 1000 investment in a business that pays you a 10% dividend every year. You have the choice of either pocketing those dividend payments as cash, or you can reinvest those payments into additional shares. If you choose the second option of reinvesting the dividends and compounding them together with your initial Rs. 1000 investment, then the returns generated will start to grow eventually over time.

Q3. What are Outstanding Bonds?

Ans. Outstanding Bonds are the aggregated value of the total number of bonds which are not redeemed or otherwise discharged. Outstanding bonds means all the previously issued bonds that remain outstanding as of the first interest or principal payment date by following the current fiscal year.