Let's illustrate the difference with an example. A company has only one depreciable asset that was acquired three years ago at a cost of $120,000. The asset is expected to have a useful life of 10 years and no salvage value. The company uses straight-line depreciation on its monthly financial statements. In the asset's 36th month of service, the monthly income statement will report depreciation expense of $1,000. On the balance sheet dated as of the last day of the 36th month, accumulated depreciation will be reported as $36,000. In the 37th month, the income statement will report $1,000 of depreciation expense. At the end of the 37th month, the balance sheet will report accumulated depreciation of $37,000.
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