Capitalize

Definition of 'Capitalize'


An accounting method used to delay the recognition of expenses by recording the expense as long-term assets.

In general, capitalizing expenses is beneficial as companies acquiring new assets with a long-term lifespan can spread out the cost over a specified period of time. Companies take expenses that they incur today and deduct them over the long term without an immediate negative affect against revenues.

Investopedia explains 'Capitalize'


If a company capitalizes regular operating expenses, it is doing so inappropriately, most likely to artificially boost its operating cash flow and look like a more profitable company. Because a company can't hide its expenses forever, such a practice will fail in the long run.

It is important not to confuse capitalize with capitalization.


Filed Under:

comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Harvest Strategy

    A strategy in which investment in a particular line of business is reduced or eliminated because the revenue brought in by additional investment would not warrant the expense. A harvest strategy is employed when a line of business is considered to be a cash cow, meaning that the brand is mature and is unlikely to grow if more investment is added.
  2. Stop-Limit Order

    An order placed with a broker that combines the features of stop order with those of a limit order. A stop-limit order will be executed at a specified price (or better) after a given stop price has been reached. Once the stop price is reached, the stop-limit order becomes a limit order to buy (or sell) at the limit price or better.
  3. Pareto Principle

    A principle, named after economist Vilfredo Pareto, that specifies an unequal relationship between inputs and outputs. The principle states that, for many phenomena, 20% of invested input is responsible for 80% of the results obtained. Put another way, 80% of consequences stem from 20% of the causes.
  4. Pareto Principle

    A principle, named after economist Vilfredo Pareto, that specifies an unequal relationship between inputs and outputs. The principle states that, for many phenomena, 20% of invested input is responsible for 80% of the results obtained. Put another way, 80% of consequences stem from 20% of the causes.
  5. Budget Deficit

    A status of financial health in which expenditures exceed revenue. The term "budget deficit" is most commonly used to refer to government spending rather than business or individual spending. When referring to accrued federal government deficits, the term "national debt” is used.
  6. Floating Exchange Rate

    A country's exchange rate regime where its currency is set by the foreign-exchange market through supply and demand for that particular currency relative to other currencies. Thus, floating exchange rates change freely and are determined by trading in the forex market.
Trading Center