SYD – Sum of the Years Digits Depreciation Function

The sum of the years’ digits (SYD) depreciation method depreciates an asset more quickly during the beginning of its life. Unlike the straight-line method, depreciation expense is different for every depreciation period. Depreciation is greater in the early periods and declines in each successive period.

See a table comparing the different depreciation methods.



To return the value of one period of the sum of the years’ digits depreciation expense.

Similar Functions

SLN – Straight-line depreciation

DB – Declining balance depreciation

DDB – Double declining balance depreciation



  • cost – The acquisition cost of the asset.
  • salvage – The amount you expect to receive in exchange for the asset at the end of its useful life. Typically, this is zero.
  • life – The number of periods you expect the asset to be in service. This unit can be months or years.
  • period – The period for which you are calculating depreciation expense. This must be in the same time unit as life (months or years).


SYD formula


Example 1

You purchase an automobile for 36,000, expect it to last three years, and trade it in for 3,000.

2$36,000costacquisition cost
3$3,000salvagemoney back at the end of life
43lifenumber of periods for the useful life
51periodwhich period the expense is for
=SYD(A2,A3,A4,A5)Depreciation expense for the first period$16,500
=SYD(A2,A3,A4,2)Depreciation expense for the second period$11,000
=SYD(A2,A3,A4,3)Depreciation expense for the final period$5,500

Example 2

Next, let’s say you purchase a laptop computer for €3,000. You expect it to last 36 months and be worth €150 at the end of the two years.

=SYD(3000,150,36,11)Depreciation expense for month 11€111

Live Example in Sheets

In addition to these examples, go to this spreadsheet for a live version of the SYD function.