Accounting and Financial Reporting

Estimated Useful Lives of Capital Assets

Estimated Useful Lives of Capital Assets

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
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