showing in the Property and Debt list, over a time span of several
Not really. :>(
When I searched for "depreciation" in Quicken Help, a little digging found
"Depreciation can be complex to compute. Check your IRS Schedule C
publications or consult a tax professional for information about calculating
I've not used Quicken versions other than Deluxe for several years, so maybe
they have capabilities I don't know about. But trying to decipher the lists
of features in Help and on Quicken.com, I don't see anything that makes me
think that any version will actually calculate depreciation for you. MAYBE
QuickBooks will do it, but I've never used QB so I can't comment on that.
The idea of depreciation is quite simple, of course: No asset lasts
forever, but many last more than a single year, so the cost of such an asset
should not be charged in full to the expense of doing business in the year
it is acquired; the cost should be spread over multiple years as the asset
is used in the business.
Accountants have been wrestling with this simple idea for generations and
have developed some pretty good ways of allocating the cost over the periods
that benefit from that cost. But two major factions have interfered with
efforts to create a clear, consistent way to deal with this cost-allocation
Business managers have pressured accountants to change their calculations to
show more or less profits in a particular year to enhance reports to their
investors and others. And the US Congress has played fast and loose with
depreciation rules to raise more or less taxes without changing tax rates -
or to influence businesses to invest more or less in depreciable assets.
As a result of these pressures, there are myriad ways to calculate
depreciation, and many of them don't make theoretical sense at all. Intuit
is probably wise to keep Quicken out of the quagmire of trying to select
depreciation methods and calculate depreciation expense in a product that
sells for less than $100 per year.
Which brings us back to your question. No, Quicken cannot actually compute
depreciation for you. But if you can provide the number, you can enter it
as a non-cash entry. You will need to debit Depreciation Expense (by
whatever name you choose) and credit Accumulated Depreciation. Then, when
preparing a balance sheet or net worth report, deduct the accumulated amount
from the cost of the asset to show the remaining cost to be allocated over
For non-business assets, such as your home or personal auto, you might use a
method designed to estimate current market value, rather than to allocate
your cost basis over time. If the home you bought for $200,000 is now worth
only $160,000, you can adjust to current value by creating a valuation
account, similar to accumulated depreciation. In a better housing market,
that valuation account might even have a positive balance, showing that your
home is now worth $300,000. ;<) These valuation changes could be made
directly to the Home account, but that would obscure the cost of the house
plus improvements; a separate valuation account lets you see both cost and
current market value with only slight effort. (The other side of the
periodic valuation adjustment would be to an income or expense category for
the annual increase or decrease in value. I adjust my own home value
annually as of January 1 when I get the report from the local tax
Short answer: No, Quicken can't compute depreciation for you. But, if you
can calculate the number, you can use Quicken to record it annually and keep
track of the accumulation.
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