Original Cost Definition How It Works and Example Caculation

Original Cost Definition

In the field of corporate finance, the concept of original cost refers to the initial amount of money that was spent to acquire an asset or investment. It represents the actual price paid for the asset at the time of purchase.

When calculating the original cost of an asset, it is important to consider not only the purchase price but also any additional costs incurred during the acquisition process, such as taxes, fees, and transportation expenses. These additional costs are included in the original cost to provide a more accurate representation of the total investment made.

The concept of original cost is important because it serves as a basis for various financial analyses and decision-making processes. By knowing the original cost of an asset, financial managers can assess its value and determine its profitability. It helps in evaluating the return on investment and making informed decisions about whether to continue with a project or sell an asset.

Furthermore, the concept of original cost is closely related to the concept of depreciation. Depreciation is the gradual decrease in the value of an asset over time. By knowing the original cost, financial managers can calculate the depreciation expense and allocate it over the useful life of the asset. This helps in accurately reporting the financial results and complying with accounting standards.

How It Works

Original cost is a crucial factor in financial analysis as it helps determine the value of an asset or investment. By knowing the original cost, analysts can assess the financial performance and profitability of a company. It provides a baseline for comparison with the current value or market price of the asset.

For example, let’s say a company purchases a piece of machinery for $50,000. In addition to the purchase price, they also incur $5,000 in transportation costs and $2,000 in installation costs. The original cost of the machinery would be $57,000 ($50,000 + $5,000 + $2,000).

An Example Calculation and Its Application in Financial Analysis

Let’s consider an example to illustrate how the calculation of original cost works and its application in financial analysis:


Company XYZ purchases a piece of machinery for $100,000. The machinery has an estimated useful life of 10 years and no salvage value. To calculate the original cost, we need to consider the depreciation expense.

To calculate the annual depreciation expense, we divide the original cost by the useful life:

Original Cost Useful Life Annual Depreciation Expense
$100,000 10 years $10,000

Financial analysts use the original cost and accumulated depreciation to assess the value of an asset or investment. By comparing the original cost to its current market value or book value, analysts can determine if the asset is undervalued or overvalued.

Additionally, the original cost is used in financial ratios and metrics such as return on investment (ROI) and return on assets (ROA). These ratios provide insights into the profitability and efficiency of an investment or asset.