SLN – Straight Line Depreciation Function in Google Sheets

Straight-line depreciation (SLN) is the most straightforward and most common method of depreciation. Most accounting departments choose this method due to its simplicity and because most fixed assets’ usefulness is consumed at an even rate. If you buy a car, even though the fair market value declines most sharply in the first year, you probably are not planning on selling it anyway. The vehicle still serves to get you from point A to point B in the same way in year five as it does in year one.

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

Videos

Thumbnail showing a depreciation schedule
Depreciation Schedule Video
Thumbnail showing depreciation in Google Sheets
Depreciation Functions Video

Purpose

To return the value of one period of straight-line depreciation expense.

Syntax

=SLN(cost,salvage,life)

  • cost – The acquisition cost of the asset. The cost includes the purchase price and costs associated with its acquisition such as freight and sales tax.
  • salvage – The amount 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 is not zero is an automobile’s expected trade-in value.
  • life – The length of time that the asset is expected to be in service stated in the number of periods.

Formula

SLN formula

Examples

Example 1

An automobile is purchased for $40,000 and is expected to last 36 months and be traded in for $4,000.

 ABC
1DataArgumentDescription
2$40,000costacquisition cost
3$4,000salvagemoney back at end of life
436lifenumber of periods for the useful life
FormulaDescriptionResult
=SLN(A2,A3,A4)Depreciation expense each period$1,000

Example 2

You purchase a laptop computer for €3,000 that is expected to last 24 months and have no value after two years.

FormulaDescriptionResult
=SLN(3000,0,36)Depreciation expense each period€83.33

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