Property Depreciation

Is it possible in QD 2010 to depreciate the value of an automobile showing in the Property and Debt list, over a time span of several years?

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I have entered balance adjustments in the asset account of my car
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Best regards
Han
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?Hi, Richard.
"RichardF" wrote in message

showing in the Property and Debt list, over a time span of several years?
Not really. :>(
When I searched for "depreciation" in Quicken Help, a little digging found this line: "Depreciation can be complex to compute. Check your IRS Schedule C publications or consult a tax professional for information about calculating depreciation."
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 process.
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 future periods.
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 appraiser.)
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.
RC
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R. C. White, CPA
San Marcos, TX
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"R. C. White" wrote:
(much good text, omitted - then)

__________
Thank you, sir, for your detailed reply.
It looks as if I'm on my own here.
RF
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