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What Is Amortization? Definition and Examples for Business

An amortization table provides you with the principal and interest of each payment. If the asset has no residual value, simply divide the initial value by the lifespan. In the first month, $75 of the $664.03 monthly payment goes to interest. The best way to understand amortization is by reviewing an amortization table.

  • Amortization means a debt is being paid off by a series of payments.
  • Record amortization expenses on the income statement under a line item called “depreciation and amortization.” Debit the amortization expense to increase the asset account and reduce revenue.
  • Download our free work sheet to apply amortization to intangible assets like patents and copyrights.
  • Whether you’re applying for a mortgage or any other type of financing, it’s a good idea to make sure you understand the model under which these loans are paid off.
  • The word amortization simply refers to the amount of principal and interest paid each month over the course of your loan term.

Some loans have interest-only payments for a period of time before transitioning to fully amortizing payments for the remainder of the term. For example, if a loan had a 30-year term, the first 10 years might only require the client to make interest payments. After that, principal and interest payments would be made for the remaining 20 years or until the loan was paid off. Amortization does not relate to some intangible assets, such as goodwill.

Amortization also refers to the repayment of a loan principal over the loan period. In this case, amortization means dividing the loan amount into payments until it is paid off. You record each payment as an expense, not the amortization meaning with example entire cost of the loan at once. The ending loan balance is the difference between the beginning loan balance and the principal portion. This represents the new debt balance owed based on the payment made for the new period.

An Example of Amortization

While the company does pay the traditional costs of renting a studio and producing a show, costs are amortized over 100 or so episodes. It helps the firm show a higher value of assets and more income on firm’s financial statements. So let us say the firm hired a lawyer, who charged the company with a cost of $ 10,000 and successfully defended the patent. In such a case, the amount spent by the lawyer, which is $ 10,000, is added to the patent’s value and amortized over the remaining useful life of the patent. In this manner, the total value of the patent is expensed by the amortization method during the patent’s useful life. So the Company ABC will amortize an expense of $ 1,000 each year and deduct that value from the value of the patent on its balance sheet every year.

amortization meaning with example

For example, vehicles, buildings, and equipment are tangible assets that you can depreciate. When an asset brings in money for more than one year, you want to write off the cost over a longer time period. Use amortization to match an asset’s expense to the amount of revenue it generates each year. Amortization Expensemeans, for any period, all amortization expenses of the Company, calculated in accordance with GAAP. An amortization schedule shows how the borrower’s payments are broken down over the life of the loan.

For example, after exactly 30 years , you’ll pay off a 30-year mortgage. Amortization tables help you understand how a loan works, and they can help you predict your outstanding balance or interest cost at any point in the future. In the example above, the loan is paid on a monthly basis over ten years. In accounting, amortization refers to the assignment of a balance sheet item as either revenue or expense. If you pay $1,000 of the principal every year, $1,000 of the loan has amortized each year. You should record $1,000 each year in your books as an amortization expense.

It allows them to reap the lessons of their earlier games and publish new sequels on game engines that have already been amortized. INVESTMENT BANKING RESOURCESLearn the foundation of Investment banking, financial modeling, valuations and more. There can be cases where the useful life of the patent owned for 15 years does not count up to 15 years.

The only way your payment changes on a fixed-rate loan is if you have a change in your taxes or homeowner’s insurance. With an ARM, principal and interest amounts change at the end of the loan’s fixed-rate period. Each time the principal and interest adjust, the loan is re-amortized to be paid off at the end of the term. Amortization is the way loan payments are applied to certain types of loans. Typically, the monthly payment remains the same, and it’s divided among interest costs , reducing your loan balance (also known as “paying off the loan principal”), and other expenses like property taxes.

Definition of Amortization

Amortization can refer to the process of paying off debt over time in regular installments of interest and principal sufficient to repay the loan in full by its maturity date. A higher percentage of the flat monthly payment goes toward interest early in the loan, but with each subsequent payment, a greater percentage of it goes toward the loan’s principal. It’s possible to pay off principal while in the interest-only portion of the loan in order to avoid the payment change being such a shock when the loan amortizes over the remainder of the term. If you have a balloon payment to pay off the full balance at the end of the term, paying down the principal can help you lessen the amount you have to pay off or refinance. Looking at amortization is helpful if you want to understand how borrowing works.

amortization meaning with example

Calculating amortization for accounting purposes is generally straightforward, although it can be tricky to determine which intangible assets to amortize and then calculate their correct amortizable value. For tax purposes, amortization can result in significant differences between a company’s book income and its taxable income. Accordingly, the carrying amount may differ from the market value of assets.

Amortization is a term people commonly use in finance and accounting. However, the term has several different meanings depending on the context of its use. Residual value is the amount the asset will be worth after you’re done using it. Most accounting and spreadsheet software have functions that can calculate amortization automatically. This has a been a guide to the top difference between Depreciation vs Amortization.

Amortization schedules are used by lenders, such as financial institutions, to present a loan repayment schedule based on a specific maturity date. Janet Berry-Johnson is a CPA with 10 years of experience in public accounting and writes about income taxes and small business accounting. Amortization Expensemeans the amortization expense for the applicable period , according to GAAP. Amortization Expensemeans the amortization expense of Borrowers for the applicable period (to the extent included in the computation of Net Income ), according to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.

Some amortization tables show additional details about a loan, including fees such as closing costs and cumulative interest , but if you don’t see these details, ask your lender. To see the full schedule or create your own table, use aloan amortization calculator. Amortization is the process of spreading out a loan into a series of fixed payments.


Amortization applies to intangible assets with an identifiable useful life—the denominator in the amortization formula. The useful life, for book amortization purposes, is the asset’s economic life or its contractual/legal life , whichever is shorter. Depreciation is used to spread the cost of long-term assets out over their lifespans.

Like amortization, you can write off an expense over a longer time period to reduce your taxable income. However, there is a key difference in amortization vs. depreciation. A loan is amortized by determining the monthly payment due over the term of the loan. A fully amortized loan allows you to budget more easily because you know how your monthly loan payment is divided up. Assuming you choose a fixed-rate mortgage, you’ll always know what your mortgage payment will be over the life of the loan. With a fixed-rate mortgage, your interest rate always stays the same.

These startup costs may include legal and consulting fees as well as marketing expenses and are an example of an area where there’s a significant difference between book amortization and tax amortization. Say a company purchases an intangible asset, such as a patent for a new type of solar panel. Amortization impacts a company’s income statement and balance sheet. It also has a unique set of rules for tax purposes and can significantly impact a company’s tax liability.

A financial problem may result later from the absence of any deduction in the normal income taxes for depreciation. Income-tax expenses can be equalized, however, by treating taxes not paid in the early years as a deferred tax liability. The main difference between amortization and depreciation is that the prior is used in the case of intangible assets, and the other one is used in the case of tangible assets. This is especially true when comparing depreciation to the amortization of a loan. For example, a company benefits from the use of a long-term asset over a number of years. Thus, it writes off the expense incrementally over the useful life of that asset.

Amortization Definition

For book purposes, companies generally calculate amortization using the straight-line method. This method spreads the cost of the intangible asset evenly over all the accounting periods that will benefit from it. Amortization is the accounting process used to spread the cost of intangible assets over the periods expected to benefit from their use. Regardless of whether you are referring to the amortization of a loan or of an intangible asset, it refers to the periodic lowering of the book value over a set period of time. Having a great accountant or loan officer with a solid understanding of the specific needs of the company or individual he or she works for makes the process of amortization a simple one.

Intangibles are amortized over time to tie the cost of the asset to the revenues it generates, in accordance with the matching principle of generally accepted accounting principles . With the information laid out in an amortization table, it’s easy to evaluate different loan options. You can compare lenders, choose between a 15- or 30-year loan, or decide whether to refinance an existing loan. You can even calculate how much you’d save bypaying off debt early.

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