Pros and cons of capital budgeting

Pros and cons of capital budgeting

Pros and cons of capital budgeting

When companies are considering large-scale undertakings–such as building new facilities or investing in expensive new equipment–they usually cannot just invest in their Working capital To pay for it.

Do they have money or need To raise funds To pay for expenses, most organizations use a process called capital budgeting to determine whether the investment is worthwhile.

What is a capital budget?

Capital budgeting is the process by which an organization evaluates several different high-cost opportunities to see which will bring the most value to shareholders.

For example, a company considering building a new manufacturing plant will perform capital budgeting work to weigh the cost of the project, the timetable, the possible impact of the project on cash flow, and the expected return. On the other hand (that is, how much cash it should bring) .

Based on this information, the organization can prioritize projects accordingly and choose which projects to advance and which to put aside.

What are the five methods of capital budgeting?

Not every capital account is the same.

For example, you cannot make a comparison between buying a new fleet of industrial equipment and investing in a first-class training program for the entire team.

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To make it easier to determine which projects are worthy of priority, many organizations use a combination of these five capital budgeting methods.

1. Net Present Value (NPV)

NPV represents the difference between cash inflows and outflows in a certain period of time. When the NPV of a project is positive, it means that the income from the project will exceed the income you need to pay to complete the project. Generally speaking, projects with negative NPV should be avoided at all costs.

2. Internal rate of return (IRR)

IRR refers to how much an investment is expected to grow in a year. This number is determined using the same formula as NPV, except that the NPV value is zero. This method helps to compare the expected annual returns of different projects over a 12-month period.

3. Profit indicators

The profitability index is a simple equation where you divide the present value of expected future cash flows by the relevant capital expenditure. For example, if the future cash flow is US$500,000 and your project cost is US$300,000, its profitability index rating is 1.67. According to experience, when the profitability index of a project exceeds 1, it may be a worthwhile investment.

4. Accounting rate of return (ARR)

ARR is another method of capital budgeting accounting that compares the project’s expected average income with the funds the organization invests to achieve all of this. Unlike other capital budgeting methods, ARR does not consider cash flow or the time value of money. Nonetheless, this metric can still help determine how much income you can generate in multiple projects.

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5. Payback period

The payback period indicator tells you how long it will take for the capital project to break even. Like ARR, the payback period does not consider the time value of money. For example, if a company is considering investing US$6 million in a new project, the annual income of the project should be US$2 million, and the payback period will be three years. At the same time, they are also considering another $6 million project, which is expected to bring in returns of $1 million per year. In this case, the company may decide to proceed with the first project because they can start making money faster.

Pros and cons of capital budgeting

Let’s face it: capital projects are a daunting task. Make the right decision and great things will happen. If you make a mistake, disaster may be lurking around the corner.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of capital budgeting to help you determine whether it makes sense for your business.


  • Help you compare different types of projects based on the same indicators to make the best decision based on the data
  • Provide you with a variety of different technologies for making smart investments
  • Enables you to provide more value to stakeholders by increasing your chances of making the best decisions


  • Can give you a false sense of security because you are dealing with assumptions; if the project is delayed or exceeds the budget, what use is your calculation?
  • When you make a decision, its impact can be important; a wrong decision can severely harm your organization
  • Finding a competent and skilled accountant to perform these calculations can be a daunting task and an expensive job
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Is the capital budget right for you?

In the final analysis, capital budgeting can be a particularly useful mechanism for deciding which capital projects to proceed and which capital projects to suspend. In other words, your capital budget calculation is theoretical and not static.

Although you should of course use your capital budget to help determine your next move, you should also be wary of seeing these numbers as good news. If we learned one thing last year, the world can change quickly overnight, and anything can happen at any time.

By conducting due diligence and calculating the numbers before moving on to the next capital project, you can increase the company’s chances of taking the right action. After all, this is the best result you and any stakeholders can expect.

This is prioritizing the most profitable capital project!

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