Capital Outlay Meaning
Capital Outlay also known as the capital expenditure refers to the sum of money spent by the company for the purpose of making an investment in purchase of the capital assets such as plant, machinery, property, equipment or for extending the life of its existing assets with the motive of increasing the production capacity of the company.
Types of Capital Outlay
There are two types of capital outlay by the company which includes:
#1 – Purchase of New Assets
When the company spends the money in order to purchase the new assets that appear in the balance sheet of the company such as machinery, plant, land, buildings, equipment, etc then it will be treated as the capital outlay of the company. The money is spent by the company for purchasing the new assets as it would enable the increase in the future growth of the company.
#2 – Extending the Life of Its Existing Assets
When the company invests the money in the existing assets of its business which leads to an increase in the life of the assets and the production capacity, then such expenses will be counted under the capital outlay of the company.
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Example of Capital Outlay
Let’s discuss an example of capital outlay.
There is company A Ltd which is manufacturing and selling the automobile parts in the market. As per the analysis, it is found by the management of the company that the demand for the products of the company is increasing and in order to fulfill further demand, it needs new machinery. Along with the purchase of the new machinery, there is some existing machinery of the company which if repaired will increase the production capacity of the company. So the company purchased new machinery worth $ 500,000 and invested $100,000 for extending the life of its existing assets. Whether the expenditures will be considered as capital outlay or not?
It refers to the sum of money spent by the company for the purpose of making an investment in the purchase of capital assets such as plant, machinery, property, equipment or for extending the life of its existing assets with the motive of increasing the production capacity of the company.
In the above case, both the expenditure of the capital i.e., expenditure on the purchase of new machinery worth $ 500,000 and the expenditure on the existing assets worth $100,000 for extending their life will be considered as the cash outlay as both help in increasing the production capacity of the company.
Advantages of Capital Outlay
The various different advantages related to capital outlay are as follows:
- Capital outlay helps in capacity building of an organization, therefore, giving it a strategic advantage over its competitors in the long run working of the company.
- Capital outlay can help in achieving economies of scale and in a reduction of the cost of production by producing more and commanding better prices in the market hence increasing overall profitability.
- Capital expenditure helps the company in attracting good talent that can work in the organization making it more robust and dynamic furthering the process of providing better products and services.
- It enables to open up new avenues in terms of products, people and places expanding its overall reach further into the markets and into the economy.
Limitations of Capital Outlay
The various limitations related to capital outlay are as follows:
- If it is not planned carefully it can turn out to be a disaster, therefore, every aspect should be understood and taken into consideration before making such decisions.
- Sometimes outsourcing can be a much viable option instead of investing the own money i.e. rather than producing itself such function and responsibility can be given to someone else so that the burden is shared from management’s standpoint. So, this should also be considered as an option before making any such decisions.
- An increase in capital outlay may end up creating complex bureaucratic structures in an organization that may make it rigid and inflexible in communication and works culture.
- Sometimes market conditions or overall climate may adversely impact the expansion plans so proper research and care are a must before taking any decision as it may prove to be a fatal decision.
The various different important points related to the capital outlay are as follows:
- They are not considered and treated as the immediate expenses of the company rather it will be expensed gradually over the useful life of the assets in which the capital expenditure is made i.e., every year assets will be depreciated in the books of accounts of the company.
- Generally, the capital outlays are planned by the companies using the capital budgeting processes as with the help of capital budgeting, the company would look at all the potential investments available and then out of all the available options it will choose the one which will give the maximum benefit to it. also, in the case of the single investment option company would get to know that whether it is beneficial for the company to invest the amount or not.
- There are ways in which capital outlay can be done by the company which includes purchasing new assets and extending the life of existing assets.
Thus the Capital Outlay is the outlay of the company’s cash either for the purpose of purchasing the new assets in the company or for extending the life of the existing assets with the aim of increasing the company’s production capacity. It helps in capacity building of an organization, therefore, giving it a strategic advantage over its competitors in the long run and opens up new avenues in terms of products, people and places expanding its overall reach further into the markets and into the economy. However, if the capital outlay is not planned carefully then it can turn out to be a disaster, therefore, every aspect should be understood and taken into consideration before making such decisions.
This has been a guide to what is capital outlay and its meaning. Here we discuss two types of capital outlay along with examples, advantages & limitations. You can learn more about accounting from the following article –