Introduction to Journalizing Asset Disposal Financial Accounting

How to Record the Disposal of Assets

Depending on how you part with an asset, you can record no proceeds or claim it as either a gain or a loss. Gains and losses reflect the difference between a fixed asset’s accumulated depreciation and the amount you received for the asset if you sold it for money. You can then use the gain and loss amounts, minus the asset’s current value, to calculate the net disposal proceeds.

This is a significant idea since capital resources are crucial for the accomplishment of a business. The overall idea of the disposal of assets is to invert the resource’s perceived expense and the relating aggregated devaluation. Therefore, if you sold the combo card for, say, $700,000, your basis would be the $500,000 you paid for the Joe Jackson, and How to Record the Disposal of Assets your reported gain would be $200,000. Involuntary conversion of assets can involve an asset exchange for monetary or non-monetary assets. Unless the asset is already fully depreciated, there will always be a loss on asset disposal due to unforeseen circumstances. So now that we have our accumulated depreciation, we can compute the asset’s carrying value.


For example, let’s say that Butch owns a piece of equipment which he acquired for $1,200. Jerry estimates that he’ll be able to sell it for $200 at the end of its useful life. In this case, we have to close out the Machinery and Accumulated Depreciation – Machinery accounts. When running a business, you’ll be accumulating properties that add value to your business by contributing to revenue generation. In the Navigate window, select the general ledger entry line, and then choose the Show action. Select the depreciation book that you want to view entries for, and then choose the Ledger Entries action. Choose the icon, enter Fixed Assets, and then choose the related link.

How to Record the Disposal of Assets

To overcome this problem, each gain is deducted from the net income and each loss is added to the net income in the operating activities section of the SCF. An asset is disposed of when it is no longer needed by a business.

Gain on Sale

Both account balances above must be set to zero to reflect the fact that the company no longer owns the truck. The options for accounting for the disposal of assets are noted below. The proceeds received on the asset sale are compared to the asset’s book value to determine if a gain or loss on disposal has been realized. If the proceeds are less than book value, a loss on disposal has been realized. The proceeds from the sale will increase cash or other asset account.

What happens when an intangible asset is fully amortized?

If an intangible asset has a finite useful life, then amortize it over that useful life. The amount to be amortized is its recorded cost, less any residual value. However, intangible assets are usually not considered to have any residual value, so the full amount of the asset is typically amortized.

Operational assets are assets that are not sold to customers, but are instead used by a business to generate revenue. Revenue is the money a business earns from selling its products and services. When a business purchases an asset, it must record its cost, which is any amount paid to get the asset operational and ready for its intended use.

Example 1: Total asset depreciation

If a fixed asset is sold at a price lower than its carrying amount at the date of disposal, a loss is recognized equal to the excess of carrying amount over the sale proceeds. Some businesses own or lease property, for example land, buildings, machinery and so on.

  • We must first determine the percentage of fair market value that each asset represents.
  • Write off your asset if it no longer has any use or value, i.e. you cannot sell it.
  • If the asset is sold for cash, the cash or bank account is debited and the disposal of fixed assets account is credited with the amount actually received on the sale of the asset.
  • Use Data Selections to indicate what accounts you want to affect by the disposal.
  • The goal of recording your gains, losses or full depreciation is to show all monetary values related to the sale or disposal of your asset.

Clarify all fees and contract details before signing a contract or finalizing your purchase. Each individual’s unique needs should be considered when deciding on chosen products. At the end of the 3rd year of the asset, Jerry decides to sell it as he’ll be upgrading his equipment. He decides to use the straight-line method to record the depreciation of the asset. Of course, the sale of an asset means that the business will be receiving some form of compensation .

Proceeds Received and Loss/Gain at Disposal

Now let’s assume we keep the fixed asset until the end of its useful life, at which time it’s fully depreciated. Update the Accumulated Depreciation account up to the date of disposal by recording a partial year depreciation expense. Debit Depreciation expense and credit Accumulated Depreciation for the partial-year depreciation. Since the cash proceeds ($1.5 million) are less than the carrying amount (i.e. $2.6 million), the disposal has resulted in a loss of $1.1 million ($2.6 million – $1.5 million). A company may need to de-recognize a fixed asset either upon sale of the asset to another party or when the asset is no longer operational and is disposed of. Like all expense accounts, this debit balance should be transferred to the debit of profit and loss account at the end of the year. Remove the original value of the asset and it’s accumulated deprecation from your balance sheet, and transfer the value to your profit and loss using a Journal.

How to Record the Disposal of Assets

When an asset set for disposal is sold, depreciation expense must be computed up to the sale date to adjust the asset to its current book value. Proper documentation of assets disposals also helps in keeping accounting records clean and updated. If the owner receives less for the asset than this book value, a loss is recognized for the difference, which decreases reported net income. If more is received than book value, the excess is recorded as a gain so that net income increases. First, to establish account balances that are appropriate at the date of sale, depreciation is recorded for the period of use during the current year. In this way, the expense is matched with any revenues earned in the current period. If you sell or dispose of part of a fixed asset, you must split up the asset before you can record the disposal transaction.

Gain on Disposal of a Fixed Asset

At the end of the third year, the machinery is fully depreciated, and the asset must be disposed of. There are four accounts affected when writing off a fixed asset at disposal. When you write something off the books, accounts with normal debit balances are credited and accounts with normal credit balances are debited.

How to Record the Disposal of Assets

In such cases, the business has to de-recognize the asset from its books as it can no longer benefit from the asset. A business can also lose possession of an asset due to natural disasters such as storms or typhoons. For example, a business may lose possession of an asset due to theft.