Discounted Payback Period

Payback Period

Therefore, the payback period for Investment A would take three years. Therefore, this might not give an accurate overall picture of what cash flows will actually be earned for the project.

Payback Period

Handbook, textbook, and live templates in one Excel-based app. Learn the best ways to calculate, report, and explain NPV, ROI, IRR, Working Capital, Gross Margin, EPS, and 150+ more cash flow metrics and business ratios. On a financial basis, Project B is preferable as it pays back quicker, but the firm may also consider non-financial factors or liquidity issues. If the firm’s cash flow is poor, it may select the project that pays back quicker, even if other factors suggest it is not the best in the long run. A distribution company plans to invest $100,000 in a new lorry, which will generate an additional $25,000 per annum in cash flow.

What Is An Acceptable Payback Period?

If the payback period calculated as above is less than the minimum acceptable then the decision should be to procure the new equipment. So it would take two years before opening the new store locations has reached its break-even point and the initial investment has been recovered.

Discounted payback period will usually be greater than regular payback period. Investments with higher cash flows toward the end of their lives will have greater discounting.

Payback Period Pbp

It calculates the number of years a project takes in recovering the initial investment based on the future expected cash inflows. Discounted Cash FlowDiscounted cash flow analysis is a method of analyzing the present value of a company, investment, or cash flow by adjusting future cash flows to the time value of money. You can use the payback period formula whenever you want to determine the value of an investment. You might use it to analyze a large group of projects or investments to predict which may be the most profitable. For example, corporate financial analysts often use the payback period formula in financial and capital budgeting. In comparison, businesses can use the payback period formula to determine if a new asset or technology upgrade is a cost-effective option. So again, as you can see here, the cumulative discounted cash flow– the sign of cumulative discounted cash flow changes from negative to positive between year 4 and 5.

  • Is a simple measure of risk, as it shows how quickly money can be returned from an investment.
  • A company might prefer to use other formulas, such as the net present value formula or the internal rate of return formula.
  • For high performing SaaS companies, a payback period of 5-7 months is typical.
  • The payback period disregards the time value of money and is determined by counting the number of years it takes to recover the funds invested.
  • The breakeven point is the amount that a company needs to earn and exceed to cover the initial cost of an investment.
  • Since the time frame of our example is not mentioned, we can assume that one month has 30 days.

The discounted payback period refers to the period of time over which an investment will “pay back” the initial outflow of cash while accounting for the time value of money. Because of this, we cannot believe two projects with the same PBP as equally good. In the next example, the firm uses a cumulative technique to calculate payback. One of the fundamental flaws in the method is you’re not taking into account the time value of money, translating future cash flows into today’s dollars. It’s like comparing “cantaloupes to cabbages, because dollars today have a different value than dollars down the road,” says Knight. The longer the projects go, the less likely they are to be accurate. A payback period is the time it takes for a customer to become profitable .


In its simplest form, the calculation process consists of dividing the cost of the initial investment by the annual cash flows. The payback method focuses solely upon the time required to pay back the initial investment; Payback Period it does not track the ultimate profitability of a project at all. This will allow a company or investor to determine when a project will break even and then begin to generate cash flows in excess of the initial cost.

Note that the payback method has two significant weaknesses. Second, it only considers the cash inflows until the investment cash outflows are recovered; cash inflows after the payback period are not part of the analysis. Both of these weaknesses require that managers use care when applying the payback method. Discount rate is sometimes described as an inverse interest rate.

For starters, they will have retained earnings to fall back on; and they should have a more predictable cash flow from a longer-serving customer base. Payback period is a forerunner of long-term profitability, so regularly tracking it will alert you to things going wrong, in time for you to put them right. And if you are readying your business for a new round of investment or a sale, a healthy payback period will be a key metric determining value. The payback period formula is often easy to use and understand, regardless of your technical background. However, because the formula is simple, it may not include information about the effects of inflation or the complexity of a specific investment. For example, an investment may have different cash flows each year, which isn’t reflected in the payback period formula.

Definition Of Payback Period Method

But, as we know, cash flow is not always even from period to period, especially when we are talking about the income from an investment. Harkat Tahar is a professional academic researcher with more than 6 years experience. He holds a bachelor and masters degree in business administration from Al Akhawayn University and has experience in teaching various courses that includes managerial finance and research methods. You don’t have to add more money to your marketing budget to convert more customers; you just have to be smarter with your cash. For example, if your company is using social media to convert customers, try implementing some smarter retargeting campaigns to optimize your marketing spend.

Payback Period

The payback period is the time it takes an investment to generate enough cash flow to pay back the full amount of the investment. In this calculator, you can estimate the payback period by entering the initial investment amount, the net cash flow per period, and the number of periods before investment recovery. To calculate the payback period, you need first to determine the cost of investment and the expected net cashflows. Based on each type of cashflows, the corresponding payback period formula should be selected and applied. The payback period formula differs based on the nature of the project cashflows. Concerning even cashflows, they are equal periodic payments. For instance, a company is selling a product A at $100, has a machine that operates at full capacity, and manufactures 1,000 unit each year.

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Alternative measures of “return” preferred by economists are net present value and internal rate of return. An implicit assumption in the use of is that returns to the investment continue after the payback period. Payback period does not specify any required comparison to other investments or even to not making an investment.

  • There are a variety of ways to calculate a return on investment —net present value, internal rate of return, breakeven— but the simplest is payback period.
  • We will first arrange the data in a table with year-wise cash flows and an additional column of cumulative cash flows, as shown below.
  • This means it will only take 3 years for Jimmy to recoup his money.
  • Therefore, this method does not consider how long it takes an investment to return its cost before making any profit.
  • An example of a payback period is the time it would take for a business to recover its investment in a new piece of machinery.

For more detailed cash flow analysis, WACC is usually used in place of discount rate because it is a more accurate measurement of the financial opportunity cost of investments. WACC can be used in place of discount rate for either of the calculations. One of the disadvantages of this type of analysis is that although it shows the length of time it takes for a return on investment, it doesn’t show the specific profitability. This can be a problem for investors choosing between two projects on the basis of the payback period alone. One project might be paid back faster, but – in the long run – that doesn’t necessarily make it more profitable than the second. Some investments take time to bring in potentially higher cash inflows, but they will be overlooked when using the payback method alone. The payback method should not be used as the sole criterion for approval of a capital investment.

For the purposes of calculating the payback period formula, you can assume that the net cash inflow is the same each year. The resulting number is expressed in years or fractions of years. Previously we mentioned that companies look for the shortest payback periods. This is so the money is not tied up for too long and management can reinvest it elsewhere, perhaps in additional equipment that will generate more profit. But what if the machine for Jimmy’s Jackets will no longer be profitable past 3 years?

Payback Period

This is because year 4 has a cumulative cashflow that exceed the initial investment. Hence, the number of years before fully recovering the investment cost is 3. Where the cost of investment refers to costs used to undertake the project and the annual net cashflow is the equal annual payment generated from the project excluding expenses. That’s why SaaS companies must take a step back and calculate all of the costs involved in bringing new customers onboard. Then, calculating how long they need to keep them to break even.

Rely on the recognized authority for your analysis projects. When failure is not an option, wise project managers rely on the power of statistical process control to uncover hidden schedule risks, build teamwork, and guarantee on-time delivery. 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. The blue line rising from the lower left to upper right is “cumulative” cash flow, appearing in straight-line segments between year endpoints. Second, the calculation and meaning of the cash flow metric Payback Period. It can’t be called the best formula for finding out the payback period.

Payback Period Formula For Even Cash Flow:

When calculating the payback period, we don’t take time value of money into account. According to payback period analysis, the purchase of machine X is desirable because its payback period is 2.5 years which is shorter than the maximum payback period of the company.

After using the payback period formula to make basic predictions, some companies may conduct more in-depth analyses by using alternative formulas. The finance team at Case Financial Investment Firm is comparing the payback periods for two potential investments and determine which one is better for the firm. Investment A costs $150,000 and has a return of $50,000 per year.