# Amortization Definition, Amortization of Loan and Assets

It is hard to write in numerical terms the value of intangible assets, especially something like goodwill that doesn’t have a practical use. The sum-of-the-years digits method is an example of depreciation in which a tangible asset like a vehicle undergoes an accelerated method of depreciation. Under the sum-of-the-years digits method, a company recognizes a heavier portion of depreciation expense during the earlier years of an asset’s life. In theory, more expense should be expensed during this time because newer assets are more efficient and more in use than older assets.

This means that for a mortgage, for example, very little equity is being built up early on, which is unhelpful if you want to sell a home after just a few years. As an example, if a business prepaid its insurance one year in advance at a cost of \$12,000, the expense would be amortized at \$1,000 per month. In this way, the asset value of the prepaid expense will be reduced to zero at the end of the time period which was paid for in advance. More than 4,200 companies of all sizes, across all industries, trust BlackLine to help them modernize their financial close, accounts receivable, and intercompany accounting processes.

## What Are Liabilities In Accounting?

You want to borrow \$100,000 for five years when the interest rate is 5%. Assume that the loan was created on January 1, 2018 and totally repaid by December 31, 2022, after five equal, annual payments. When a borrower takes out a mortgage, car loan, or personal law firm bookkeeping loan, they usually make monthly payments to the lender; these are some of the most common uses of amortization. A part of the payment covers the interest due on the loan, and the remainder of the payment goes toward reducing the principal amount owed.

It can be presented either as a table or in graphical form as a chart. Amortization can be calculated using most modern financial calculators, spreadsheet software packages (such as Microsoft Excel), or online amortization calculators. When entering into a loan agreement, the lender may provide a copy of the amortization schedule (or at least have identified the term of the loan in which payments must be made). A business may pay for six months or a year of coverage in advance to receive a discount on the premium. In other words, the business must determine what the expense would cost if it were paid for on a monthly basis instead of all at once for the entire year. The process also has the effect of incrementally reducing the total value of the prepaid asset over the duration of its useful life.

## Here’s a breakdown of how the balance sheet and income statement will reflect this amortization over the three-year period

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• Amortization is the perfect tool for managing significant expenses such as loan repayments or asset purchases.
• For many car owners or homeowners, the term might sound a little familiar.
• If related to obligations, it can also mean payment of any debt in regular instalments over a period of time.
• When fixed/tangible assets (machinery, land, buildings) are purchased and used, they decrease in value over time.

Interest costs are always highest at the beginning because the outstanding balance or principle outstanding is at its largest amount. It also serves as an incentive for the loan recipient to get the loan paid off in full. As time progresses, more of each payment made goes toward the principal balance of the loan, meaning less and less goes toward interest. Amortization refers to the process of paying off a debt through scheduled, pre-determined installments that include principal and interest. In almost every area where the term amortization is applicable, the payments are made in the form of principal and interest.

## Example for calculating amortization for accounting

The method of amortization would follow the same rules as intangible assets with finite useful lives. Amortization is recorded in the financial statements of an entity as a reduction in the carrying value of the intangible asset in the balance sheet and as an expense in the income statement. Methodologies for allocating amortization to each accounting period are generally the same as these for depreciation. This schedule is quite useful for properly recording the interest and principal components of a loan payment. For example, if a business pays for a legal retainer for one year of service, the value of that retainer will be amortized over twelve months.

Understand customer data and performance behaviors to minimize the risk of bad debt and the impact of late payments. Monitor changes in real time to identify and analyze customer risk signals. Amortization is the process of spreading a value over a period and reducing that value periodically. The word may refer to either reduction of an asset value (spreading advance payment over invoices) or reduction of a liability (periodic payment towards a loan).

## What is the Cash Payment Journal? Example, Journal Entries, and Explained

Land is one of the rare examples where a physical asset should never be depreciated. For intangible assets though, it’s much more common to have an asset than should not be amortized. In the prior section, we went over intangible assets with definite useful lives, which should be amortized. When a consumer borrows money, she can expect to not only repay the amount borrowed, but also to pay interest on the amount borrowed. When she makes periodic loan payments that pay back the principal and interest over time with payments of equal amounts, these are considered fully amortized notes.

• Depreciation is levied on tangible assets, whereas amortization applies to intangible assets.
• A similar entry would be made to record amortization expense for each type of intangible asset.
• The word may refer to either reduction of an asset value (spreading advance payment over invoices) or reduction of a liability (periodic payment towards a loan).
• Meanwhile, amortization often does not use this practice, and the same amount of expense is recognized whether the intangible asset is older or newer.
• First, the company will record the cost to create the software on its balance sheet as an intangible asset.
• Investors and managers pay attention to the above part specifically to understand the company’s financial position and liabilities.

We help them move to modern accounting by unifying their data and processes, automating repetitive work, and driving accountability through visibility. Since our founding in 2001, BlackLine has become a leading provider of cloud software that automates and controls critical accounting processes. Whether you’re new to F&A or an experienced professional, sometimes you need a refresher on common finance and accounting terms and their definitions. BlackLine’s glossary provides descriptions for industry words and phrases, answers to frequently asked questions, and links to additional resources. It’s time to embrace modern accounting technology to save time, reduce risk, and create capacity to focus your time on what matters most. Transform your order-to-cash cycle and speed up your cash application process by instantly matching and accurately applying customer payments to customer invoices in your ERP.

Businesses amortize prepaid expenses according to the matching principal. This states that revenue and related expenses must be recorded in the same accounting period when the transaction occurs, regardless of when money actually changes hands. Each month, the business’s accounting department would make an adjusting journal entry for the amortized amount of \$1,000, representing the amount of one month’s premium payment in the general ledger. It would be entered as a credit in the asset account and as a debit to the insurance expense account. BlackLine is a high-growth, SaaS business that is transforming and modernizing the way finance and accounting departments operate.

• Centralize, streamline, and automate end-to-end intercompany operations with global billing, payment, and automated reconciliation capabilities that provide speed and accuracy.
• You want to borrow \$100,000 for five years when the interest rate is 5%.
• When discussing an intangible asset, the process of quantifying gradual losses in value is called amortization.
• Guide your business with agility by standardizing processes, automating routine work, and increasing visibility.
• It would be entered into the general ledger as a debit of \$12,000 to the current asset account and a credit for the same amount to the cash account.