Generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) require, in most cases, that capital assets be depreciated. Depreciation is the systematic and rational allocation of the historical cost of a capital asset over its useful life. The estimated useful life assigned to a capital asset will directly affect the amount of depreciation expense reported each period in an accrual-based operating statement. Therefore, it is important to the quality of financial reporting that governments establish reasonable estimates of the useful lives of all of their depreciable capital assets.
- Publication date: January 2019