Course Outline
Join PRO

Do I buy a new machine or use an old one?

Harold Averkamp, CPA, MBA

One technique for deciding whether to buy a new machine or to use an old machine is to look at the future cash flows if you buy a new machine and the future cash flows if you use the old machine. The cash flows will include the cash inflows and the cash outflows for each option. Since these cash flows will occur at different times, you must “discount” the future cash flows to a present value. (This is necessary in order to recognize the time value of money.) The calculation with the highest positive net present value is the option to select. Predicting all of the future cash flows can be difficult especially if the new machine will offer more features that could result in more sales, etc.

Obviously, the further into the future you look, the more uncertain are the cash flows. This problem will be offset when the future cash flows are discounted to the present. The further into the future, the bigger the discounting. This means that the present value for distant amounts will be relatively minor in amount.

Even if it is difficult to predict the near future, you could do several calculations. Each calculation would contain different assumptions. You might find that the answer will be the same under each calculation or set of assumptions.

Of course deciding to buy a new machine or to use an old one might be so obvious that the present value calculations are not necessary. For example, if your old machine is becoming unsafe, or is becoming too noisy for residents, there’s little point to calculate the net present value.

Join PRO to Track Progress
Must-Watch Video

Advance Your Accounting and Bookkeeping Career

  • Perform better at your job
  • Get hired for a new position
  • Understand your small business
  • Pass your accounting class
Watch the Video

Join PRO or PRO Plus and Get Lifetime Access to Our Premium Materials

Read all 2,645 reviews



PRO Plus

Lifetime Access (One-Time Fee)
Word Scrambles
Bookkeeping Video Training
Financial Statements Video Training
Visual Tutorials
Quick Tests
Quick Tests with Coaching
Cheat Sheets
Business Forms
All PDF Files
Progress Tracking
Earn Badges and Points
Certificate - Debits and Credits
Certificate - Adjusting Entries
Certificate - Financial Statements
Certificate - Balance Sheet
Certificate - Income Statement
Certificate - Cash Flow Statement
Certificate - Working Capital
Certificate - Financial Ratios
Certificate - Bank Reconciliation
Certificate - Payroll Accounting

About the Author

Harold Averkamp

For the past 52 years, Harold Averkamp (CPA, MBA) has
worked as an accounting supervisor, manager, consultant, university instructor, and innovator in teaching accounting online. He is the sole author of all the materials on

Learn More About Harold

Certificates of

Certificates of Achievement

We now offer 10 Certificates of Achievement for Introductory Accounting and Bookkeeping:

  • Debits and Credits
  • Adjusting Entries
  • Financial Statements
  • Balance Sheet
  • Income Statement
  • Cash Flow Statement
  • Working Capital and Liquidity
  • Financial Ratios
  • Bank Reconciliation
  • Payroll Accounting
Badges and Points
  • Work towards and earn 30 badges
  • Earn points as you work towards completing our course
View PRO Plus Features
Course Outline
Take the Tour Join Pro Upgrade to Pro Plus