Payback period is the time required to recover the initial cost of an investment. It is the number of years it would take to get back the initial investment made for a project. For example, two projects are viewed as equally attractive if they a major disadvantage of the payback period method is that it have the same payback regardless of when the payback occurs. For the sake of simplicity, let’s assume the cost of capital is 10% (as your one and only investor can turn 10% on this money elsewhere and it is their required rate of return).

• Many analysts prefer using cash flows in evaluating investment proposals because the ultimate sacrifices and benefits of any capital decision eventually are reflected in cash flows.
• The modified payback period algorithm may be applied then.
• Ignores Time Value of Money The method ignores the time value of money.
• The NPV formula is a way of calculating the Net Present Value of a series of cash flows based on a specified discount rate.
• You just need to first find out the cumulative cash inflow and then apply the following formula to find the payback period.

YearProject A Net Cash FlowProject B Net Cash Flow0(\$150,000)(\$150,000)150,00050,000250,00050,000350,00050, , ,000The cash payback period for both the project is three years. Project B is superior to Project A because of the additional cash flows that occur after the cash payback period. However, these cash flows are ignored under cash payback method, causing both investments to appear equally desirable. The accrual accounting rate of return method divides an accrual accounting-based income of a project over an accrual accounting-based investment into it. Its weaknesses are that it doesn’t account for cash flows or the time value of money. Payback period, as a tool of analysis, is often used because it is easy to apply and easy to understand for most individuals, regardless of academic training or field of endeavor. When used carefully or to compare similar investments, it can be quite useful.

## Fin Chapter 9 Net Present Value And Other Investment

However, the payback method ignores the project’s rate of return. The payback method is so simple that it does not consider normal business scenarios. Usually, capital investments are not just one-time investments. Rather such projects need further investments in the following years as well. The payback method considers the cash flows only till the time the initial investment is recovered. It fails to consider the cash flows that come in subsequent years. Such a limited view of the cash flows might force you to overlook a project that could generate lucrative cash flows in their later years.

The TVM is the idea that the value of cash today will be worth more than in the future because of the present day’s earning potential. The payback period refers to the amount of time it takes to recover the cost of an investment. Moreover, it’s how long it takes for the cash flow of income from the investment to equal its initial cost. It absolutely ignores the cash flows which occur beyond the payback period. It only takes into consideration the amount of cash inflows which are required to recover the cash outflows. This can lead to choosing a project which provides very high returns in the first few years and very less in the later years. Assume a project has normal cash flows (i.e., the initial cash flow is negative, and all other cash flows are positive).

Since the payback period focuses on short term profitability, a valuable project may be overlooked if the payback period is the only consideration. Investments are usually long term and continue to generate income even long after they have paid back their initial start-up capital.

The payback period method will help by showing management the right investments to focus on to keep liquidity in the business for further growth. Neglects project’s return on investment – some companies require their capital investments to earn them a return that is well over a certain rate of return.

Business investments, in general, are far from simple endeavors, even at the best of times. There are so many different factors that need to be evaluated and accounted for, that such a simple form of measurement is not going to be enough for most projects. For a business to truly understand what a potential project can do for them they must have more information than just how fast the initial investment can be paid back. Short-term cash flow is only a small part of the equation and should not be the only goal of a project.

## Disadvantage Of Discounted Payback Method

The acceptance benchmark of a project when using the payback period statistic is when the maximum allowable payback period is equal to or less than the calculated payback period. If it is more than the maximum allowable payback period, then the project should be rejected.

You base your decision on how quickly an investment is going to pay itself back, and that is done through forecasted cash flow. If you have three different projects that will cost you the exact same amount, the decision can be as easy as the project that will return the initial investment the fastest. For managers that are struggling to make an investment decision, this can be a great way to do it. This is among the most significant advantages of the payback period.

For example, a \$1000 investment made at the start of year 1 which returned \$500 at the end of year 1 and year 2 respectively would have a two-year payback period. Another disadvantage of the payback method involves bookkeeping which cash flow the company considers in the calculation. When the company performs the payback-method calculation, it considers only cash flow that occurs until the project reaches its payback point.

Thus, one project may be more valuable than another based on future cash flows, but the payback method does not capture this. When investing capital into a project, it will take a certain amount of time before the profits from the endeavor offset the capital requirements.

All else being equal, shorter payback periods are preferable to longer payback periods. As a stand-alone tool to compare an investment to “doing nothing,” payback period has no explicit criteria for decision-making . First, the time value of money is not considered when you calculate the payback period. In other online bookkeeping words, no matter for which year you receive a cash flow, it is given the same weight as the first year. This flaw overstates the time to recover the initial investment. By definition, the Payback Period for a capital budgeting project is the length of time it takes for the initial investment to be recouped.

## A Major Disadvantage Of The Payback Period Is That It

There are various advantages and disadvantages of payback period which we will discuss and critically evaluate the technique. The cash payback method is widely used to evaluate capital investment proposals in new projects. The sooner the cash is recovered, the sooner it becomes available to invest again in other projects.

However, if your business is looking for a more long-term approach to project investment, the payback period method has some major shortcomings. It isn’t always going to be about how fast you can get your money back. In the world of business, it is utterly essential that assets = liabilities + equity you have the liquid capital to be able to run day-to-day operations and to make investments in the future of the company. A business can quickly get themselves into trouble if they have too much of their money tied up in investments with no way of quickly getting at it.

If the payback period is really very high, it means that there are very bleak chances of recovering the costs in time. B. All else equal, a project’s NPV increases as the cost of capital declines. A water-based PVT S-CHP system was designed and yearly simulations were conducted to anticipate the transient behavior of the S-CHP system and to evaluate the system’s energy performance. They claimed that if the PVT system was implemented, 3010tCO2/year can be mitigated from the current CO2, where the payback time can reach 10.4 years.

## Executive Summary: The Internal Rate Of Return

There is no clear-cut rule regarding a minimum SPP to accept the project. It is a handy method when screening many proposals and particularly when predicted cash flows in later years are highly uncertain. The main weaknesses of the payback method are its neglect of the time value of money and of the cash flows after the payback period. If a payback method does not take into account the time value of money, the real net present value of a given project is not being calculated. This is a significant strategic omission, particularly relevant in longer term initiatives.

The modified payback is calculated as the moment in which the cumulative positive cash flow exceeds the total cash outflow. Payback period is often used as an analysis tool because it is easy to apply and easy to understand for most individuals, regardless of academic training or field of endeavor. As a stand-alone tool to compare an investment to “doing nothing,” payback period has no explicit criteria for decision-making . Assume that the proposed investment in a plant asset with an 8 year life is \$200,000. Investment requires no working capital and will have no residual value.

When used carefully to compare similar investments, it can be quite useful. As a stand-alone tool to compare an investment, the payback method has no explicit criteria for decision-making except, perhaps, that the payback period should be less than infinity. The payback method is a method of evaluating a project by measuring the time it will take to recover the initial investment.

Alternative measures of “return” preferred by economists are net present value and internal rate of return. The cumulative net cash flow at the end of fourth year equals the amount of the investment \$400,000. If the amount of the proposed investment had been \$450,000, the cash payback period would occur during the fifth year. Accounting income is not the same as cash flows, because the accounting income includes accruals and deferrals. Many analysts prefer using cash flows in evaluating investment proposals because the ultimate sacrifices and benefits of any capital decision eventually are reflected in cash flows. Very simply, the capital investment uses cash, and must therefore return cash in the future in order to be successful.

Of course, if the project will never make enough profit to cover the start up costs, it is not an investment to pursue. In the simplest sense, the project with the shortest payback period is most likely the best of possible investments . Discounted payback period is an upgraded capital budgeting method in comparison to simple payback period method. It helps to determine the time period required by a project to break even.

Payback period method is suitable for projects of small investments. It not worth spending much time and effort in sophisticated economic analysis in such projects. One can use the Discounted Payback Period that can do away with this disadvantage. Not every business is going to want to invest in the short-term to get their money back as quickly as they can. Investment is also a long-term game, and the payback period method is going to show managers how a particular project will likely pay off over time.

Calculate the discounted payback period of the investment if the discount rate is 11%. In an Energy Conservation Option usually the annual money saving is only due to energy savings and hence it is the product of the energy saved and the price of energy.

This is a particularly good rule to follow when a company is deciding between one or more projects or investments. The reason being, the longer the money is tied up, the less opportunity there is to invest it elsewhere. This method takes into account the entire economic life of an investment and income therefrom. Since the payback period is easy to calculate and need fewer inputs, managers are quickly able to calculate the payback period of the projects. This helps the managers to make quick decisions, something that is very important for companies with limited resources.

The payback approach may offer advantages in cases where a company has certain time requirements in terms of how long a project will take to pay for itself. Because of its focus on cost returns, companies can use the payback approach as an initial screening tool when comparing two or more project options. The project with a shortest payback period has less risk than with the project with longer payback period. The payback period is often used when liquidity is an important criteria to choose a project. Time is a commodity with cost from a financial point of view. For example, a project that costs \$100,000 and pays back within 6 years is not as valuable as a project that costs \$100,000 which pays back in 5years.

If you were a manager that had 20 different proposals to look and analyze, it is going to be difficult to figure out which ones to focus on. This can be even more so if you have to choose more than one investment.

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