Payback Period Formula + Calculator

how to calculate payback period

The cash flow balance in year zero is negative as it marks the initial outlay of capital. Therefore, the cumulative cash flow balance in year 1 equals the negative balance from year 0 plus the present value of cash flows from year 1. The discounted payback period is calculated by adding the year to the absolute value of the period’s cumulative cash flow balance and dividing it by the following year’s present value of cash flows. Using the subtraction method, subtract each individual annual cash inflow from the initial cash outflow, until the payback period has been achieved.

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For example, let’s say you’re currently leasing space in a 25-year-old building for $10,000 a month, but you can purchase a newer building for $400,000, with payments of $4,000 a month. Without considering the time value of money, it is difficult or impossible to determine which project is worth considering. Projecting a break-even time in years means little if the after-tax cash flow estimates don’t materialize.

Payback Period Example

However, there are additional considerations that should be taken into account when performing the capital budgeting process. The profitability index, or PI, indicates the profitability and attractiveness of the investment in a project. The PI is the expressed ratio of the present value of discounted future cash flows to the initial invested capital. However, it adds a layer of complexity to the basic model by introducing the total sum of all cash outflows and recording all positive cash inflows. This payback period calculator is a tool that lets you estimate the number of years required to break even from an initial investment.

Discounted Payback Period Calculation Analysis

As the name suggests, it recognizes the TMV and discounts future cash flows to their present value for every period. The TVM provides more sophisticated and detailed investment information than the simple time frame of the return on investment which is disregarded by this tool. It’s important to remember that the present value of cash what is a sales margin flows is worth more than their future value. This is due to the fact that the future value is affected by factors such as inflation, eroding purchasing power, liquidity, and default risks. Despite its simplicity, the payback period is a practical and handy accounting metric that offers a number of advantages worth considering.

  1. Despite its simplicity, the payback period is a practical and handy accounting metric that offers a number of advantages worth considering.
  2. Others like to use it as an additional point of reference in a capital budgeting decision framework.
  3. Using the payback method before purchasing an expensive asset gives business owners the information they need to make the right decision for their business.
  4. The sooner the break-even point is met, the more likely additional profits are to follow (or at the very least, the risk of losing capital on the project is significantly reduced).
  5. In Excel, create a cell for the discounted rate and columns for the year, cash flows, the present value of the cash flows, and the cumulative cash flow balance.

In addition, the IRR assumes that the generated cash flows are reinvested at the generated rate. This can cause inaccuracies if the received cash flows can’t be reinvested at, let’s say, at 6% when the IRR is 14%. If the IRR of an investment is higher than the company’s or the investor’s required rate of return, this sends a strong signal that it is worth undertaking. Let’s assume that project A requires an initial capital investment of $500,000 and that every year there is an incremental $50,000 sales benefit.

how to calculate payback period

Maybe you’d like to purchase a new building, but you’re unsure if the savings will be worth the investment. It’s important to note that not all investments will create the same amount of increased cash flow each year. For instance, if an asset is purchased mid-year, during the first year, your cash flow would be half of what it would be in subsequent years. The payback period is the amount of time it would take for an investor to recover a project’s initial cost. Note that in both cases, the calculation is based on cash flows, not accounting net income (which is subject to non-cash adjustments). The discounted payback period determines the payback period using the time value of money.

The second project will take less time to pay back, and the company’s earnings potential is greater. Based solely on the payback period method, the second project is a better investment if the company wants to prioritize recapturing its capital investment as quickly as possible. Many managers and investors thus prefer to use NPV as a tool for making investment decisions. The NPV is the difference between the present value of cash coming in and the current value of cash going out over a period of time. It is an easy-to-use and understood investment appraisal technique, used in corporate finance, that provides the time period over which an investment will be returned. It has limited practicality in investment decision-making and shouldn’t be used in isolation.

The out put of using the payback tool is expressed in years or a fraction of years. It is a function of the initial invested capital and the average annual net cash flows generated by the investment. The payback period is an accounting metric in capital budgeting that refers to the amount of time it takes to recover the funds invested in a project or reach a break-even point. But there are a few important disadvantages that disqualify the payback period from being a primary factor in making investment decisions.

Start with a free account to explore 20+ always-free courses and hundreds of finance templates and cheat sheets. A longer payback time, on the other hand, suggests that the invested capital is going to be tied up for a long period. A below 1 ratio (PI can’t be a negative number) suggests that the investment doesn’t create enough or as much value in order to be considered. The DPP can be calculated in Excel or by using a discounted payback calculator.

In this article, we will explain the difference between the regular payback period and the discounted payback period. You will also learn the payback period formula and analyze a step-by-step example of calculations. The discounted payback period of 7.27 years is longer than the 5 years as calculated by the regular payback period because the time value of money is factored in. Below is a break down of subject weightings in the FMVA® financial analyst program. As you can see there is a heavy focus on financial modeling, finance, Excel, business valuation, budgeting/forecasting, PowerPoint presentations, accounting and business strategy.

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