DB function

This article describes the formula syntax and usage of the DB function (function: A prewritten formula that takes a value or values, performs an operation, and returns a value or values. Use functions to simplify and shorten formulas on a worksheet, especially those that perform lengthy or complex calculations.) in Microsoft Excel.


Returns the depreciation of an asset for a specified period using the fixed-declining balance method.


DB(cost, salvage, life, period, [month])

The DB function syntax has the following arguments (argument: A value that provides information to an action, an event, a method, a property, a function, or a procedure.):

  • Cost    Required. The initial cost of the asset.
  • Salvage    Required. The value at the end of the depreciation (sometimes called the salvage value of the asset).
  • Life    Required. The number of periods over which the asset is being depreciated (sometimes called the useful life of the asset).
  • Period    Required. The period for which you want to calculate the depreciation. Period must use the same units as life.
  • Month    Optional. The number of months in the first year. If month is omitted, it is assumed to be 12.


  • The fixed-declining balance method computes depreciation at a fixed rate. DB uses the following formulas to calculate depreciation for a period:

(cost - total depreciation from prior periods) * rate


rate = 1 - ((salvage / cost) ^ (1 / life)), rounded to three decimal places

  • Depreciation for the first and last periods is a special case. For the first period, DB uses this formula:

cost * rate * month / 12

  • For the last period, DB uses this formula:

((cost - total depreciation from prior periods) * rate * (12 - month)) / 12


The example may be easier to understand if you copy it to a blank worksheet.

ShowHow do I copy an example?

  1. Select the example in this article. If you are copying the example in Excel Online, copy and paste one cell at a time.
    Important: Do not select the row or column headers.

Selecting an example from Help

Selecting an example from Help

  1. Press CTRL+C.
  2. Create a blank workbook or worksheet.
  3. In the worksheet, select cell A1, and press CTRL+V. If you are working in Excel Online, repeat copying and pasting for each cell in the example.
    Important: For the example to work properly, you must paste it into cell A1 of the worksheet.
  4. To switch between viewing the results and viewing the formulas that return the results, press CTRL+` (grave accent), or on the Formulas tab, in the Formula Auditing group, click the Show Formulas button.

After you copy the example to a blank worksheet, you can adapt it to suit your needs.








Data Description
1,000,000 Initial cost
100,000 Salvage value
6 Lifetime in years
Formula Description (Result)
=DB(A2,A3,A4,1,7) Depreciation in first year, with only 7 months calculated (186,083.33)
=DB(A2,A3,A4,2,7) Depreciation in second year (259,639.42)
=DB(A2,A3,A4,3,7) Depreciation in third year (176,814.44)
=DB(A2,A3,A4,4,7) Depreciation in fourth year (120,410.64)
=DB(A2,A3,A4,5,7) Depreciation in fifth year (81,999.64)
=DB(A2,A3,A4,6,7) Depreciation in sixth year (55,841.76)
=DB(A2,A3,A4,7,7) Depreciation in seventh year, with only 5 months calculated (15,845.10)
Applies to:
Excel 2010, Excel Web App, SharePoint Online for enterprises, SharePoint Online for professionals and small businesses