The double declining balance depreciation method is one of the techniques used to depreciate an asset more quickly during the beginning of its life than the end. Unlike under the straight line method, the depreciation expense is not the same for every full period of depreciation. Rather, like its name, the amount of depreciation declines in each successive period.

See a table comparing the different depreciation amounts using the different methods.

Video Explanation

Purpose

To return the value of one period of double declining balance depreciation expense.

Syntax

=DDB(cost,salvage,life,period,[factor])

  • cost - Acquisition cost of the asset. Includes purchase price and costs associated with its acquisition such as freight and sales tax.
  • salvage - Amount that you expect to receive in exchange for the asset at the end of its useful life. Typically, this is zero. However, an example of a case where this not zero is the expected trade-in value of an automobile.
  • life - Length of time that the asset is expect to be in service given in number of periods.
  • period - The period for which you are calculating depreciation expense.
  • [factor] - OPTIONAL. Factor used to increase depreciation instead of the default value of 2. Use this to increase or decrease the rate of depreciation with a higher number making the earlier amounts larger. If you do not specify a factor, it is the same as entering a 2.
  • Note: Be sure that life and period are in the same units (months or years).

Formulas

DDB formula

Examples

Example 1

An automobile is purchased for $40,000 that is expected to last 3 years and be traded-in for $4,000.

ABC
1DataArgumentDescription
2$40,000costacquisition cost
3$4,000salvagemoney back at end of life
43lifenumber of periods for useful life
51periodwhich period the expense is for

FormulaDescriptionResult
=DDB(A2,A3,A4,A5)Depreciation expense for first period$26,667
=DDB(A2,A3,A4,2)Depreciation expense for second period$8,889
=DDB(A2,A3,A4,3)Depreciation expense for final period$444

Notice that the three results add up to 36,004 instead of 36,000. Although this difference would be immaterial to a financial statement user, it could cause problems for bookkeepers trying to balance the accounts.

Example 2

A laptop computer is purchased for €3,000 that is expected to last 36 months and is expected to be worth €150 at the end of the three years.

FormulaDescriptionResult
=DDB(3000,150,36,11)Depreciation expense for month 11€94

Note that months were used in the above table instead of years. The DDB function works with any type of time in input but it would typically be months or years.

 Live examples in Sheets 

Go to this spreadsheeet for the examples of the DDB function shown above that you can study and use anywhere you would like.