Payback Period

Since some business projects don’t last an entire year and others are ongoing, you can supplement this equation for any income period. For example, you could use monthly, semi annual, or even two-year cash inflow periods. The cash inflows should be consistent with the length of the investment. Payback period is a quick and easy way to assess investment opportunities and risk, but instead of a break-even analysis’s units, payback period is expressed in years. The shorter the payback period, the more attractive the investment would be, because this means it would take less time to break even.

What you don’t know is how much of a total return it will give you over those three years. Imagine that your company wants to buy a $3,000 computer that will help one of your employees deliver a service to your customers in less time.

Advantages Of Payback Period Pp And Discounted Payback Period Dpp:

Payback period does not take into account the time value of money which is a serious drawback since it can lead to wrong decisions. A variation of payback method that attempts to address this drawback is called discounted payback period method. Managers who are concerned about cash flow want to know how long it will take to recover the initial investment. Managers may also require a payback period equal to or less than some specified time period. For example, Julie Jackson, the owner of Jackson’s Quality Copies, may require a payback period of no more than five years, regardless of the NPV or IRR.

The investor is recovering this capital cost somewhere between year 3 and year 4. The fraction is actually– is 120 divided by this interval.

Payback Period

A major disadvantage is that after the payback period, all the cash flows are completely ignored. It also ignores the timing of the cash flows within the payback period. The payback period formula does not account for the output of the entire system, only a specific operation.

Are Higher Payback Periods Ok?

PB examples such as the one above typically show cumulative cash flow increasing continuously. In real-world cash flow results, however, “cumulative” cash flow can decrease or increase from period to period. When “cumulative” cash flow is positive in one period, but “negative” again in the next, there can be more than one break-even point in time. Obviously, the longer it takes an investment to recoup its original cost, the more risky the investment. In most cases, a longer Payback Period also means a less lucrative investment as well.

Payback Period

Every year, your money will depreciate by a certain percentage, called the discount rate. Management uses the cash payback period equation to see how quickly they will get the company’s money back from an investment—the quicker the better. In Jim’s example, he has the option of purchasing equipment that will be paid back 40 weeks or 100 weeks. It’s obvious that he should choose the 40-week investment because after he earns his money back from the buffer, he can reinvest it in the sand blaster. As you can see, using this payback period calculator you a percentage as an answer.


The TVM is a concept that assigns a value to this opportunity cost. The discounted payback period is the number of years after which the cumulative discounted cash inflows cover the initial investment.

Payback period in capital budgeting refers to the period of time required for the return on an investment to “repay” the sum of the original investment. It is worth noting that PBP calculation uses cash flows, not the net income.

Example Payback Period Calculation

For example, if a payback period is stated as 5 years, it means it will take 5 years for the investment to pay the entire initial investment back. So, management can use this calculation to decide what investments or projects are worth pursuing, and if they can afford to wait for a return on the expended funds. Additional working capital of R7,000 would be needed immediately, all of which would be recovered at the end of five years. The company requires a minimum pretax return of 17% on all investment projects. They represent a long-term investment, with a long-term payback period and an annual income per vehicle that is extremely sensitive to the cost of overheads. There is no minimum rate of return but, at present, the majority of schemes have a payback period of up to five years. For B2C businesses, a payback period of less than 1 month is GREAT, 6 months is GOOD, and 12 months is OK.

Let us understand the steps for finding the payback period with the help of an example. If a period is shorter, it means that the management can get their cash back sooner and can easily invest it into something else. If a period is longer, the cash remains tied up in investments with no ability to reinvest the earnings somewhere else. All non-cash expenses are ignore while computing payback period. In the example with the even cash flows,supposed there is provision for depreciation but still depreciation is a non cash expense,how would it be. Free AccessProject Progress ProFinish time-critical projects on time with the power of statistical process control tracking. The Excel-based system makes project control charting easy, even for those with little or no background in statistics.

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Most capital budgeting formulas, such as net present value , internal rate of return , and discounted cash flow, consider the TVM. So if you pay an investor tomorrow, it must include an opportunity cost.

Lifespan Of An Asset

Investors will see a swift return, with a payback period of between a year and 18 months. Please note that the payback period is 3.55, and it is not going to consider any payments or project performance months after these– year 4. So whatever happened in the project is not going to be reflected in the payback period. It is predicted that the machine will generate $120,000 in net cash flow every year. Payback period as a tool of analysis is easy to apply and easy to understand, yet effective in measuring investment risk. Discounted cash flow is a valuation method used to estimate the attractiveness of an investment opportunity. We prefer investment A to investment B if payback period for investment A is lower than payback period for investment B.

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Annual labor and material savings are predicted to be $250,000. The payback period method is particularly helpful to a company that is small and doesn’t have a large amount of investments in play. The payback period of an investment is best applied as a screening calculation between options. It gives the investor a first pass at deciding whether a particular investment is worth examining in greater detail or can provide a relative ranking of alternatives in terms of payback options. The table indicates that the real payback period is located somewhere between Year 4 and Year 5.

This concept states that money would be worth more today than the same amount in the future, due to depreciation and earning potential. As explained, payback period can be calculated for discounted cash flow as well. Payback period is the time in which the initial outlay of an investment is expected to be recovered through the cash inflows generated by the investment.

Payback Period Example

These can provide a company with a more detailed assessment of an investment. Your company may also use multiple formulas for a thorough look at the risks and benefits of an investment. And accuracy, this method is far superior to a simple payback period; because in a simple payback period, there is no consideration for the time value of money and cost of capital. By the end of Year 3 the cumulative cash flow is still negative at £-200,000. However, during Year 4 the cumulative cash flow reaches the payback point at which the original investment has been recouped.

Understanding The Payback Period

The budget includes a calculation to show the estimated, with the assumption that the project produces the expected cash flows each year. The payback period is the number of years it takes for a company to recover its investment in a project. This calculation takes into account the cash flows generated by the project and the cost of the investment. The payback period is a key measure of a project’s profitability and is used to determine whether a project is worth pursuing. The payback period is one of the simplest capital budgeting techniques. It calculates the number of years a project takes in recovering the initial investment based on the future expected cash inflows. Most of the time, longer payback periods are riskier and more uncertain compared to shorter ones.


Remember that the initial investment is actually an expense, so it should be considered negative in this step. Unlike the regular payback period, the discounted payback period metric takes this depreciation of your money into consideration. The value obtained with the use of the discounted payback period calculator will be closer to reality, although undoubtedly more pessimistic. In this article, we will explain the difference between the regular payback period and the discounted payback period. You will also learn the payback period formula and analyze a step-by-step example of calculations. The payback period and the breakeven point are similar, but there are some differences between the two.

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