discounted payback period, accounting rate of return, net present value, internal rate of return, modified rate of return and profitability index (Shapiro & Balbirer, 2003, pp.242). However, I find Net Present Value (NPV) as the most reliable capital budgeting technique. I will support my point by providing a thorough comparative analysis of NPV with the four most common techniques, accounting rate of return, payback period and internal rate of return. Each method is explained with the help of numerical examples found in the Appendix.
Net Present Value is a technique which takes into account the time value of money. NPV for a project is calculated by finding out the present value (PV) of all the future cash flows, which the investment in the project is expected to generate. The PV of future cash flows is found by discounting them at the expected rate of return or cost of capital. Then, sum of the PV of all cash flows is compared with the cost of investment (Hampton, 1998, pp. 328). The selection criterion of a project is that, if the PV of future cash flows is greater than the initial cost of investment, the project should be selected. In other words, NPV tells us the present worth of cash flows which would be generated by the project in future; hence, if the initial investment that we make today is less that the expected cash flows present value, it means we will cover our cost, only then it will be wise to select a project. The formula to calculate NPV is sum of present values of future cash flows minus initial investment cost. A rule says that any project which has NPV greater than $0 should be selected, however, in case of mutually exclusive projects; where you have to choose one out of all the alternatives, choose the one which shows a higher NPV. The following paragraphs will carry out an in-depth analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of using this technique, so that we can have a clearer idea about situations when it can highly aid investment