The wonders of accounting methodology: depreciation fund

    I love programming - it works wonders. But you know much more about programming than I do.

    However, miracles are found not only in programming, but even in such a musty and hardened field as accounting. Yes, yes, in herself, in bookkeeping, to which I have ambivalent feelings: sincere and warm sympathy (after all, this is my original profession) and no less old and passionate hatred (I know about bookkeeping that you never dreamed of )

    This time we focus on the positive. Let me tell you about one wonderful invention in the field of accounting methodology called “Depreciation Fund”.

    I suspect that you have not heard about the depreciation fund, and if you even heard something like that, you have no idea what it was used for. And you are not alone. It is unlikely that modern accountants have an idea about him - unless those dinosaurs whose work experience has exceeded thirty. Because the concept of a depreciation fund disappeared from accounting practice back in 1992, and even before its economic meaning was understood for the most part in the highest accounting and managerial echelons, that is, by no means by all ordinary accountants. Therefore, the removal of the depreciation fund from the Chart of Accounts did not cause a public outcry. I understand that this was not before: the social structure of a huge state was changing, the entire legislative base was subject to revision ...

    But the dad will not get ahead of himself in hell. Let's get started.

    These were the accounting entries for the accounting of fixed assets according to the Chart of Accounts from 1985: I

    ’m clear, the accounting entries will not say anything. Therefore, I will not dwell on them, but I will explain the essence of the matter.

    Previously, during the time of the planned economy, state-owned enterprises received fixed assets (that is, means of production, if you use economic terminology) from ministries. Ministries could allocate money for the purchase of fixed assets, but this did not change the essence of the matter.

    In the process, fixed assets gradually wore out and became unusable, then enterprises bought them back, as necessary.

    So, the depreciation fund made it possible to control the use of fixed assets, in the sense that it limited the purchase of fixed assets within the scope of the volume originally received from the ministry.

    In accordance with the correspondence of the accounts given above, the balances on the accounts involved meant the following:

    All that was taken into account (top lines), plus the amount by which fixed assets can be replenished (bottom line), was taken into account. Hence the “depreciation” in the name of the account: arithmetically this is just the amount of accrued depreciation, changing in this order:

    • increases by the amount of accrued depreciation,
    • decreases by the amount of fixed assets purchased.

    Do not drive in? I explain.

    State-owned enterprise had the right to purchase fixed assets in the amount of depreciation fund, not more.

    Suppose an enterprise received equipment worth 2 million rubles from the ministry. The depreciation fund is equal to zero; additional purchase of equipment is impossible.

    Time passed and depreciation of 300 thousand rubles was added to the equipment. Accordingly, the depreciation fund increased by 300 thousand rubles: by this value it became possible to purchase equipment.

    We bought that equipment for 200 thousand rubles. The depreciation fund decreased by 200 thousand rubles, respectively, it left 100 thousand rubles, for which it is still possible to additionally purchase equipment.

    And so on, as needed.

    As a result, the cost of equipment at such a state-owned enterprise could not exceed 2 million rubles. - the amount originally allocated by the ministry. There was a formal opportunity to purchase additional equipment (in the presence of free cash, of course), but such a purchase could not be made by accounting entries: correspondence of accounts did not provide for this. If there was a shortage of depreciation fund, not a single chief accountant would sign a payment, let alone receipt document. Speaking in accounting, fixed assets were purchased from the depreciation fund, and not otherwise. Therefore, the idea of ​​an illegal purchase of fixed assets in the directors' heads did not even arise, it was too dangerous. Clear business, and mowed, and chemical - but in more cunning and secretive ways.

    Pay attention to how beautifully the desired effect is achieved: not by a regulatory ban or by the need to submit a report to the tax authority, which they would not fail to do now - trivial accounting entries! A real miracle, in my opinion. It is for such methodological features that I love accounting.

    Now let's turn to the present.

    Does a modern director have the opportunity to purchase fixed assets as much as he wants? Oh yes, if there is an amount in the bank account of the enterprise. But does the director have the opportunity to transfer all the money at the disposal of the enterprise to Dandelion LLC? And this happens all the time. Are there any restrictions on the use of funds received from the founders? There are some legislative restrictions, but there are no methodological ones, and this is a determining factor. Having received money from the founders, the director has an unhindered opportunity to drive them offshore, and then bankrupt the company. (Please don’t upset me - don’t say that there is an authorized capital account for these purposes: this account only shows the amounts prescribed in the constituent documents, nothing more).

    Even within the framework of current capitalist logic, this is blatant arbitrariness. The founders invest in the development of the enterprise, which implies: fixed assets must be purchased for a certain amount, working capital for a certain amount, the remaining part of the authorized capital must be a wage fund and reserves in case of force majeure. The established proportions must be observed in the production process, that is, in the process of constant replacement of fixed and circulating assets. These proportions can be controlled through correspondence of accounts, because the need for control - whether from the ministries or from private investors - has not disappeared. Alas, accounting controls are deliberately destroyed to please the capitalist directorate.

    I’m not going to whitewash the records of the Soviet era - historically introduced eclecticism and nonsense were enough in it - however, amazing insights and finds, such as depreciation and other similar funds, also happened in Soviet accounting. Miracles, you cannot say otherwise.

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