Grant Accounting: What is a Carrying Amount?

Carrying amount refers to the value at which an asset or liability is recognized on an entity’s balance sheet, based on its original cost, adjusted for depreciation, amortization, impairment losses, and any changes in fair value.

The carrying amount of an asset reflects its current book value on the balance sheet, and is calculated by subtracting any accumulated depreciation, depletion, or amortization from the original cost of the asset.

For example, if a company purchases a piece of equipment for $10,000 and expects it to have a useful life of five years, it would record the equipment on its balance sheet with a carrying amount of $8,000 after two years of use, assuming straight-line depreciation is used. This is because the company would have recorded $2,000 of depreciation expense over two years, and the remaining $8,000 represents the carrying amount or book value of the equipment.

Similarly, the carrying amount of a liability represents the amount owed to creditors or other parties at a given point in time, taking into account any changes in the liability’s value due to interest accrual or other factors.

Carrying amount is important because it provides a snapshot of the current value of an asset or liability and helps investors and analysts understand the financial health and performance of an entity. However, it’s important to note that the carrying amount of an asset or liability may not always reflect its market or fair value, and entities may need to adjust the carrying amount of certain assets or liabilities to reflect changes in market conditions or other factors.

Caroline Grimm

Caroline Grimm is an accounting educator and a small business enthusiast. She holds Masters and Bachelor degrees in Business Administration. She is the author of 13 books and the creator of Accounting How To YouTube channel and blog. For more information visit:

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