Payback Period Learn How to Use & Calculate the Payback Period

payback period formula

Payback period doesn’t take into consideration the time value of money and therefore may not present the true picture when it comes to evaluating cash flows of a project. This issue is addressed by using DPP, which uses discounted cash flows. Looking at the example investment project in the diagram above, the key columns to examine are the annual «cash flow» and «cumulative cash flow» columns. The decision rule using the payback period is to minimize the time taken for the return on investment. According to payback period analysis, the purchase of machine X is desirable because its payback period is 2.5 years which is shorter than the maximum payback period of the company. The payback period disregards the time value of money and is determined by counting the number of years it takes to recover the funds invested.

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  • The implications of this are that firms may choose investments with shorter payback periods at the expense of profitability.
  • An implicit assumption in the use of payback period is that returns to the investment continue after the payback period.
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  • Most major capital expenditures have a long life span and continue to provide cash flows even after the payback period.

In other words, it is the number of years the project remains unprofitable.

Introduction to Investment Appraisal (Revision Presentation)

Under payback method, an investment project is accepted or rejected on the basis of payback period. Payback period means the period of time that a project requires to recover the money invested in it. Getting repaid or recovering the initial cost of a project or investment should be achieved as quickly as it allows. However, not all projects and investments have the same time horizon, so the shortest possible payback period needs to be nested within the larger context of that time horizon. For example, the payback period on a home improvement project can be decades while the payback period on a construction project may be five years or less. Many managers and investors thus prefer to use NPV as a tool for making investment decisions.

payback period formula

Depreciation is a non-cash expense and therefore has been ignored while calculating the payback period of the project. On this basis, it is difficult to say whether the hospital should buy the new machine. Most managers would see a payback period of less than 3 years as good.

Using the Payback Period

Payback period is the amount of time it takes to break even on an investment. The appropriate timeframe for an investment will vary depending on the type of project or investment and the expectations of those undertaking it. Investors may use payback in conjunction with return on investment (ROI) to determine whether or not to invest or enter a trade. Corporations and business managers also use the payback period to evaluate the relative favorability of potential projects in conjunction with tools like IRR or NPV.

  • In other words, it is the number of years the project remains unprofitable.
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  • Using the averaging method, the initial amount of the investment is divided by annualized cash flows an investment is projected to generate.
  • Simply put, it is the length of time an investment reaches a breakeven point.

This will help give them some parameters to work with when making investment decisions. If the calculated payback period is less than the desired period, this may be a safer investment. •   Equity firms may calculate the payback Affordable Startup Bookkeeping and Accounting Pricing period for potential investment in startups and other companies to ensure capital recoupment and understand risk-reward ratios. Machine X would cost $25,000 and would have a useful life of 10 years with zero salvage value.

Using the Payback Method

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  • Each company will internally have its own set of standards for the timing criteria related to accepting (or declining) a project, but the industry that the company operates within also plays a critical role.
  • One of the most important concepts every corporate financial analyst must learn is how to value different investments or operational projects to determine the most profitable project or investment to undertake.
  • This formula can only be used to calculate the soonest payback period; that is, the first period after which the investment has paid for itself.
  • In closing, as shown in the completed output sheet, the break-even point occurs between Year 4 and Year 5.