Dell Technologies



By James Pruitt, Senior Staff Writer

What is Depreciation, and How Can I Benefit from it?

Any new item in a business’s repertoire likely depreciates over time. Owners may write off this decline in value during tax season. Also, services and other intangibles may qualify as tax deductions.

For example, vehicles, equipment, and buildings inevitably require maintenance, as well as accounting for any loss of value. These assets may endure wear and tear during the early stages of your business. Guess what? Both the maintenance costs and the loss of value may qualify business owners for a tax write-off.

Oil changes, paint jobs, and worn-out parts can reduce your tax liability. Similarly, loss in inherent value can relieve proprietors come tax season.

Methods for Calculating Depreciation

The straight-line method is the most common way to calculate depreciating resources. This method simply divides the initial cost of an asset by its years of useful life. This asset may be a vehicle, a piece of equipment, or a piece of real property.

Other methods of calculation may fit different circumstances. Variables such as “useful life” and “value” may not always calculate simply, based on the nature of the asset.

Many calculation methods other than straight-line depreciation can reduce a veteran entrepreneur’s tax burden.

  • Sum-of-Year’s-Digits (SYD) Depreciation

The Sum-of-Year’s method accounts for the salvage value of an asset. This method is complex, and business owners should apply this method to their taxes only very cautiously.

  • Units of Production Method

This method accounts for the wear-and-tear of a piece of equipment. Essentially, this accounting practice considers the productivity of a piece of equipment. The depreciation of the equipment depends on the quantity of resulting product.

  • Declining Balance Depreciation

Consider the cliché that a car loses much of its value after leaving the dealer’s lot. This method allows users to subtract most of an asset’s value during the first few years of use. After this period, often the depreciation of an asset flattens. However, the largest tax breaks for depreciation may come early on.

  • Double Declining Balance Depreciation

This method is a hybrid. Generally, this method combines straight-line depreciation with declining balance depreciation. Usually, business owners use this method for equipment with a short useful life.

  • Straight-Line Depreciation

The straight-line method is by far the most common method for calculating depreciation. Most small business owners use this method. This method of depreciation even reduces to a simple formula: (asset cost – salvage value) / useful life in years = annual depreciation.

Which Method to Use?

The straight-line method provides the best calculation method for the majority of small businessowners. However, the relevant variables themselves may not always seem readily apparent. How do we calculate, for example, “asset cost,” “salvage value,” or “useful life in years?”

Consider a small business that manufactures t-shirts. Imagine an embroidering machine. Perhaps the “units of production method” may provide a more useful method come tax season to gain that useful write-off. Lacking sophisticated expertise in gauging the declining value of this piece of equipment, a small business owner could legitimately resort to calculating the deterioration of the machine by the number of t-shirts produced.

Bottom Line

The straight-line method provides by far the most common method of calculating depreciation. However, straight-line depreciation is not always practical.  Variables such as “asset cost,” “salvage value,” and useful life in years” may themselves present difficulties. These values may depend on the type of equipment and the nature of the business. The owner’s discretion inevitably provides the best fit for the optimal tax and accounting methods.

VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association hopes that this article on Depreciation has been valuable.   We work hard to bring you important, positive, helpful, and timely information and are the “go to” online venue for Veteran and Military Business Owners.  VAMBOA is a non-profit trade association.   We do not charge members any dues or fees and members can also use our seal on their collateral and website.   If you are not yet a member, you can register here:

We also invite you to check us out on social media too.



Don’t forget that VAMBOA members receive significant discounts on technology needs.   Check them out here:

Ways Delegating Can Grow Your Business

Share this Article:
Share Article on Facebook Share Article on Linked In Share Article on Twitter

DelegatingBy Debbie Gregory.

LinkedIN Debbie Gregory VAMBOA VAMBOA Facebook VAMBOA Twitter

Delegation doesn’t come naturally for many small business owners. It’s often difficult to shift gears when you’ve been used to wearing multiple hats to get your business off the ground. But don’t underestimate the benefits of delegating. It is nice to share the workload and it enables you to move forward and be more creative.

First, you need to learn to recognize the difference between giving orders and delegating. A key to the delegation process involves documenting what you want to accomplish and then transferring the knowledge needed to your team members to get it done.

Effective delegation provides you the opportunity to focus on fueling those areas of your business that will drive longer term profits and growth. It also provides you more breathing room to brainstorm ideas enabling and providing you valuable time to think of new ways to take your business to the next level.

You also need to be able to create and implement repeatable systems. Systems should be created to provide repeatable results; rinse and repeat is the key. Also implement step-by-step workflows for time-consuming tasks that can be handed off to your employees, removing you from the process.

It is paramount that you have an understanding of each position within your company and listen to your employees with their ideas and concerns. Even though you may have an overview of the position, your employees know the minutia of it, and they may have ideas of how to increase efficiency.

No one is good at everything so be cognizant of the fact that there will be aspects of running your company that you’re not particularly good at nor enjoy doing. You need to either hire employees to do those tasks or outsource them.

It is important to know what you should be doing when it comes to delegation and it’s equally important to know what you should avoid doing.

Micromanagers aren’t very good at delegating and interacting with their team. They take on all the business responsibilities, watching over what the team does, redoing work, and stopping the flow. Letting go of perfection and trusting that your team members will take the ball and run with it will result in company growth. It is challenging to let go but it is important.

It is natural to feel anxious about trusting a capable employee, partner or outsourced service to take over the tasks you’ve done to make your company thrive. Trusting your team with specific tasks can free up your time to focus on what’s important- growing your company.

Veteran and Military Business Owners Association, VAMBOA.

Best States and Cities For Small Businesses

Share this Article:
Share Article on Facebook Share Article on Linked In Share Article on Twitter

An online services company that connects businesses with local professionals surveyed 7,500 small business owners nationwide to determine where the best places to start, operate and grow a business for entrepreneurs are. The survey included all industries from A to Z. Ninety four percent of these small businesses had five employees or less.

The business owners’ major priorities to focus on in determining the best places for their businesses included:

•Greater support and focus on small business over large corporations. It is small businesses that are the engine that drive the nation’s economy. Seventy percent of small business entrepreneurs feel that local governments are more interested in attracting and supporting new, large corporations than making the support of small businesses a priority.
•Access to affordable healthcare. This is a policy issue that impacts their ability to be viable and stay in business.
•Rising housing and transportation costs. These costs make it more difficult than ever for small businesses to work where they live and travel to customers. This will impact training for new technologies.

In the survey, participants addressed eight key factors, including the level of support of local governments provide small businesses and the difficulties in beginning a new business for entrepreneurs in various locations. All fifty states were given a grade from A+ to a failing F.

The five states that scored an A+ were:

• South Dakota
• Tennessee
• Alaska
• Michigan
• Utah

California, which is the home of more Veteran Small Businesses than any other state earned a “D” rating, along with Wyoming, Kentucky and New Mexico. The only two states that failed and earned an “F” were Hawaii and Illinois.

Below are some of the ratings from this survey of 7,500 small business entrepreneurs:

State Rating:
South Dakota: A+
Tennessee: A+
Alaska: A+
Michigan: A+
Utah: A+
Georgia: A
Texas: A
South Carolina: A
North Dakota: A-
Maine: A-
Arizona: A-
Alabama: A-
North Carolina: A-
Minnesota: A-
Massachusetts: A-
Arkansas: A-
Idaho: A-
Montana: A-
Indiana: A-
Maryland: B+
Nebraska: B+
Ohio: B
New Hampshire: B
Mississippi: B
Virginia: B
Louisiana: B
Delaware: B-
Iowa: C+
Florida: C+
Colorado: C+
Washington: C+
Kansas: C
Oklahoma: C
Oregon: C
Wisconsin: C
Pennsylvania: C
Nevada: C
Connecticut: C-
Vermont: C-
Missouri: C-
West Virginia: C-
New York: D+
New Jersey: D+
California: D
Wyoming: D
Kentucky: D
New Mexico: D
Rhode Island: D
Hawaii: F
Illinois: F

The Cities that received an A ranking include the following:
Fort Worth, Texas: A+
San Antonio, Texas: A+
Columbus, Ohio: A+
Colorado Springs, Colorado: A+
Jacksonville, Florida: A+
Nashville, Tennessee: A+
Charleston, South Carolina: A
Manchester, New Hampshire: A
Raleigh, North Carolina: A
Charlotte, North Carolina: A-
Salt Lake City, Utah: A-
Minneapolis, Minnesota: A-
Boston, Massachusetts: A-
Atlanta, Georgia: A-
New Orleans, Louisiana: A-

HUBZoneBy Debbie Gregory.

Every small business owner wants to optimize their use of U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) resources and offerings. But some of the SBA’s programs can be difficult to understand, making them harder to utilize. One of the most used and hardest to understand SBA offerings is the Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZones) program. Because of this, the SBA has introduced an additional online training module to help small business owners to better understand the HUBZone program and status protests.

The program, fashioned in response to the HUBZone Empowerment Act, was generated by Congress in 1998. HUBZones assist small companies in underserved communities gain access to federal contract opportunities. This is accomplished through promoting job growth, capital investment and economic development in economically depressed areas, in rural and urban communities and on Indian reservations.

The new training module “Understanding HUBZone Protests” explains what a HUBZone status protest is. It  clarifies how they are initiated, who can file a protest, how the SBA responds to status protests and how a HUBZone status protest determination can be appealed. This training module is the third in a series of mini-primers, intended to help business owners better understand the program through short, focused learning exercises.

The new HUBZone training module can be accessed through the SBA’s Government Contracting Classroom and the agency’s Online Learning Center, where many other courses are offered. This course, along with other training modules offered by the SBA, includes a downloadable workbook that supports the users grasp on content of the course.

The training and information options offered by the SBA are offered to help small businesses gain access to and benefit from the more than $400 billion in federal contracts that are awarded each year.

Small businesses bring competition and innovation to federal contract markets.  The SBA helps firms benefit from those markets.  Frequent the and websites for smarter and more accessible ways to access SBA programs.

The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is a non-profit business trade association that promotes and assists Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and responsible for job generation. That is why VAMBOA provides its members with Business Coaching, Contracting Opportunities, a Blog that provides information, Networking contacts and other resources. Membership is FREE to Veterans. Join Now!