# payback period method

Most major capital expenditures have a long life span and continue to provide cash flows even after the payback period. Since the payback period focuses on short term profitability, a valuable project may be overlooked if the payback period is the only consideration. They discount the cash inflows of the project by the cost of capital, and then follow usual steps of calculating the payback period.

The payback period is the time required to earn back the amount invested in an asset from its net cash flows. It is a simple way to evaluate the risk associated with a proposed project.

They discount the cash inflows of the project by a chosen discount rate (cost of capital), and then follow usual steps of calculating the payback period. 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. Payback also ignores the cash flows beyond the payback period.

That time value of money deals with the idea of basic depreciation of money due to the passing of time. The present value of a particular amount of money is higher than its future value. In other words, it has been seen that the value of money decreases what time.

The discounted payback method is a decision rule that says a project should only be accepted if the discounted cash inflows are cover the cost of the initial investment within a certain period of time. For example, a company might say that it only invests in projects that pay back within 18 months. The payback period for a project would be calculated (after discounting the cash flows) and then compared to the threshold set by the company. Despite the loss, the payback period method still widely used by businesses.

Alaskan Lumber is considering the purchase of a band saw that costs $50,000 and which will generate $10,000 per year of net cash flow. Alaskan is also considering the purchase of a conveyor system for $36,000, which will reduce sawmill transport costs by $12,000 per year.

The method works well when evaluating projects with small projects and appropriately consistent cash flow. Also, it is a tool for small businesses, for which liquidity is more important than profitability. The payback period method of concessional is that it does not take into account the cash flows coming after the break-even. In addition, it only shows the time required to recover the initial cost of a project and there is some break-even analysis technique. For this reason, this method can fight with NPV and therefore may be wrong.

In order to account for the time value of money, the discounted payback period must be used to discount the cash inflows of the project at the proper interest rate. It is determined by counting the number of years it takes to recover the funds invested. For example, if it takes five years to recover the cost of an investment, the payback period is five years. Others like to use it as an additional point of reference in a capital budgeting decision framework. The payback period method is simply that it does not consider normal business scenarios.

The most serious disadvantage of the payback method is that it does not consider the value of money time. The cash flow has received during the initial years of a project gets more weight to compare to the cash flow received in later years.

But one project generates more cash flow in the initial years. In this example, the payback method does not provide a clear definition of which project to choose. There are several types of payback period which are used during the calculation of break-even in business. The net present value of NPV method is one of the common processes of calculating payback period which calculates the future earnings at present value.

## Understanding the Payback Period

Thus in case of payback period or calculating breakeven point in case of a business one must include the relevance of opportunity cost as well. The method does not take into account the time value of money, where cash generated in later periods is worth less than cash earned in the current period. A variation on the payback period formula, known as the discounted payback formula, eliminates this concern by incorporating the time value of money into the calculation. Other capital budgeting analysis methods that include the time value of money are the net present value method and the internal rate of return. Payback period is afinancialorcapital budgetingmethod that calculates the number of days required for an investment to producecash flowsequal to the original investment cost.

## Time Value of Money and the Dollar

- While the time value of money can be rectified by applying a weighted average cost of capital discount, it is generally agreed that this tool for investment decisions should not be used in isolation.

Of course, if the project will never make enough profit to cover the start up costs, it is not an investment to pursue. In the simplest sense, the project with the shortest payback period is most likely the best of possible investments (lowest risk at any rate). The payback period is the time it will take for a business to recoup an investment. Consider a company that is deciding on whether to buy a new machine. Management will need to know how long it will take to get their money back from the cash flow generated by that asset.

An investment with a shorter payback period is considered to be better, since the investor’s initial outlay is at risk for a shorter period of time. The calculation used to derive the payback period is called the payback method. The payback period is expressed in years and fractions of years. The payback period method considers the cash flow only as long as the initial investment not returned. Such a limited view of cash flow can force you to ignore a project.

## Capital Budgeting and the Payback Period

Discounted payback period is a capital budgeting procedure which is frequently used to calculate the profitability of a project. The net present value aspect of a discounted payback period does not exist in a payback period in which the gross inflow of future cash flow is not discounted.

While the time value of money can be rectified by applying a weighted average cost of capital discount, it is generally agreed that this tool for investment decisions should not be used in isolation. Alternative measures of ” return ” preferred by economists are net present value and internal rate of return. An implicit assumption in the use of payback period is that returns to the investment continue after the payback period. Payback period does not specify any required comparison to other investments or even to not making an investment. Whilst the time value of money can be rectified by applying a weighted average cost of capital discount, it is generally agreed that this tool for investment decisions should not be used in isolation.

Alternative measures of “return” preferred by economists are net present value and internal rate of return. Alternative measures of “return” preferred by economists are net present value and internal rate of return.

Payback period is the time required to recover the cost of total investment meant into a business. Payback period is a basic concept which is used for taking decisions whether a particular project will be taken by the organization or not. Lower payback period denotes quick break even for the business and hence the profitability of the business can be seen quickly. So in the business environment, lower payback period indicates higher profitability from the particular project.

Payback period method does not take into account the time value of money. Some businesses modified this method by adding the time value of money to get the discounted payback period.

An implicit assumption in the use of the payback method is that returns to the investment continue after the payback period. The payback method does not specify any required comparison to other investments or even to not making an investment. The payback method should not be used as the sole criterion for approval of a capital investment.

## How to calculate the payback period

The calculation is simple, and payback periods are expressed in years. Keep in mind that the cash payback period principle does not work with all types of investments like stocks and bonds equally as well as it does with capital investments. The main reason for this is it doesn’t take into consideration the time value of money. Theoretically, longer cash sits in the investment, the less it is worth.

### What is the formula for payback period in Excel?

The payback period is calculated by dividing the amount of the investment by the annual cash flow.

If a payback method does not take into account the time value of money, the real net present value (NPV) of a given project is not being calculated. This is a significant strategic omission, particularly relevant in longer term initiatives. As a result, all corporate financial assessments should discount payback to weigh in the opportunity costs of capital being locked up in the project. The time value of money is an important consideration for a business. This period is usually expressed in terms of years and is calculated by dividing the total capital investment required for the business divided by projected annual cash flow.

In other words, it’s the amount of time it takes an investment to earn enough money to pay for itself or breakeven. This time-based measurement is particularly important to management for analyzing risk. The majority of business projects (or even entire business plans for an organization) will require capital. When investing capital into a project, it will take a certain amount of time before the profits from the endeavor offset the capital requirements.