However, like all financial metrics, it shouldn’t be used in isolation. It’s important to consider other financial metrics and factors specific to the investment before making a decision. Get instant access to lessons taught by experienced private equity pros and bulge bracket investment bankers including financial statement modeling, DCF, M&A, LBO, Comps and Excel Modeling. It enables firms to compare projects based on their payback cutoff to decide which is most worth it.

## What Is the Formula for Payback Period in Excel?

Where CF is the Cash Flow for the respective nth year, and r is the opportunity cost of capital. Where,i is the discount rate; andn is the period to which the cash inflow relates. This is especially useful because companies and investors frequently have to choose between multiple projects or investments.

## Level 1 CFA® Exam: Payback Period Formula (PP)

Thus, you should compare your year-end cash flow after making an investment. The decision criteria can vary depending on the organization’s goals, but it often involves comparing the calculated discounted payback period to a predetermined payback period or target set by the company. So, the discounted payback period would take 1.98 years to cover the initial cost of $8,000. When deciding on which project to undertake, a company or investor wants to know when their investment will pay off, i.e., when the project’s cash flows cover the project’s costs. Without considering the time value of money, it is difficult or impossible to determine which project is worth considering.

## Payback Period Explained, With the Formula and How to Calculate It

For example, three projects can have the same payback period with varying break-even points due to the varying flows of cash each project generates. As the equation above shows, the payback period calculation is a simple one. It does not account for https://www.business-accounting.net/ the time value of money, the effects of inflation, or the complexity of investments that may have unequal cash flow over time. Getting repaid or recovering the initial cost of a project or investment should be achieved as quickly as it allows.

## Discounted Payback Period Formula – With Examples

Discounted Payback period is the tool that uses present value of cash inflow to measure the time require to recover the initial investment. The concept is the same as the payback period except for the cash flow used in the calculation is the present value. It is the method that eliminates the weakness of the traditional payback period. We can see from the table above that the cumulative cash flows become positive during the last period. We, therefore, know that the discounted payback period is somewhere between the third and the fourth period.

## Discounted Payback Period: What It Is, and How To Calculate It

- The trouble with piling all of the calculations into a formula is that you can’t easily see what numbers go where or what numbers are user inputs or hard-coded.
- It is the period of time that a project takes to generate cash flows when the cumulative present value of the cash flows equals the initial investment cost.
- If the cash flows are uneven, then the longer method of discounting each cash flow would be used.
- The discounted payback period is calculatedby discounting the net cash flows of each and every period and cumulating thediscounted cash flows until the amount of the initial investment is met.
- The discounted payback period formula is the same as that simple payback period method (explained in a different post) apart from one thing.

The easiest method to audit and understand is to have all the data in one table and then break out the calculations line by line. Next, the second column (Cumulative Cash Flows) tracks the net gain/(loss) to date by adding the current year’s cash flow amount to the net cash flow balance from the prior year. But since the payback period metric rarely comes out to be a precise, whole number, the more practical formula is as follows.

We’ll now move to a modeling exercise, which you can access by filling out the form below. Amanda Bellucco-Chatham is an editor, writer, and fact-checker with years of experience researching personal finance topics. Specialties include general financial planning, career development, lending, retirement, tax preparation, and credit.

The time value of money is the concept that a dollar today is worth more than a dollar in the future, because money can earn interest or returns if invested. The payback period is the time it takes an investment to break even (generate enough cash flows to cover the initial cost). Certain businesses have a payback cutoff which is essential to consider when proceeding with investment projects. Second, we must subtract the discounted cash flows from the initial cost figure in order to obtain the discounted payback period. Once we’ve calculated the discounted cash flows for each period of the project, we can subtract them from the initial cost figure until we arrive at zero.

The lower the payback period, the more quickly an investment will pay for itself. Add an auxiliary column to the table (column I) where you will sum up the accumulated cash flow at each time interval. The two calculated values – the Year number and the fractional amount – can be added together to arrive at the estimated payback period. Management then looks at a variety of metrics in order to obtain complete information.

The roles and responsibilities of a company shareholder is the number of years it takes to pay back the initial investment after discounting cash flows. In Excel, create a cell for the discounted rate and columns for the year, cash flows, the present value of the cash flows, and the cumulative cash flow balance. Input the known values (year, cash flows, and discount rate) in their respective cells. Use Excel’s present value formula to calculate the present value of cash flows.

The major advantage of the PB lies in its simplicity; however, the DPBP calculation is a bit more complex to compute because of the discounted cash flows. Those without financial background may experience difficulties in comprehending it. In a way, the Discounted Payback Period is consistent with the Net Present Value calculation in relying on a discount rate to evaluate a project. In reality, if a project returns a negative Net Present Value, it is highly unlikely for it to have a discounted payback time. Unlike the NPV, DPBP is not a yes/no tool for accepting a project; rather, it is a tool to rank projects and to measure the payback time.

A technology firm decides to invest $2 million in the development of a new software product. The firm expects cash inflows of $700,000 per year for the next four years from the sale of this software. The firm uses a discount rate of 5% to account for the time value of money. The discounted payback period would be calculated using the same method as shown in the above examples. To calculate the discounted payback period, we need to determine how long these discounted cash flows can cumulatively equal or exceed the initial investment of $4,000.

It is primarily used to calculate the projected return from a proposed capital investment opportunity. At the end of Year 4, the cumulative discounted cash flows exceed the initial investment. The discounted payback method tells companies about the time period in which the initial investment in a project is expected to be recovered by the discounted value of total cash inflow.