accounting rate of return arr advantages and disadvantages

Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of the accounting rate of return (ARR) is crucial for individuals and businesses alike. ARR, also known as the Average Accounting Return, is a financial metric used to assess the profitability and viability of an investment. By analyzing the ARR, investors can make informed decisions about whether a potential project or investment is worth pursuing. In this article, we will delve into the advantages and disadvantages of ARR, providing a comprehensive overview of this important financial tool.

1. Easy to Calculate1. Ignores Time Value of Money
2. Provides a Simple Measure of Profitability2. Ignores Cash Flows
3. Helps Compare Investment Opportunities3. Relies on Accounting Figures
4. Considers Average Profitability Over Time4. Ignores Non-Accounting Factors


1. Easy to Calculate:

One of the key advantages of ARR is its simplicity. ARR calculation is relatively straightforward and can be easily computed using accounting figures. This makes it accessible to individuals with limited financial expertise, allowing them to quickly assess potential investments without the need for complex financial modeling.

2. Provides a Simple Measure of Profitability:

ARR provides a clear measure of the profitability of an investment. By comparing the average annual profit generated by an investment with the initial cost, investors can determine the return on their investment over a specific period. This allows for an easy comparison between different investment opportunities and assists in making informed decisions.

3. Helps Compare Investment Opportunities:

Using ARR, investors can efficiently compare multiple investment opportunities and identify the most viable one. By calculating the ARR for each potential investment, individuals can evaluate and compare the profitability of different projects, enabling them to allocate their resources to the most promising ventures.

4. Considers Average Profitability Over Time:

Unlike other financial metrics that focus on specific time periods, ARR considers the average profitability over the entire life of an investment. This allows investors to gain a better understanding of the stability and consistency of the returns generated by the investment. By evaluating the average profitability, investors can make more accurate and robust investment decisions.


1. Ignores Time Value of Money:

One significant disadvantage of ARR is its failure to consider the time value of money. ARR directly calculates the return on investment as an average annual profit, but it doesn’t account for the fact that money earned in the future is generally less valuable than money earned in the present. This omission can lead to misleading results when evaluating long-term investments or those with differing cash flows over time.

2. Ignores Cash Flows:

ARR relies solely on accounting figures and doesn’t take into account the timing and magnitude of cash flows. It fails to consider important factors such as cash inflows and outflows, which are crucial for understanding the liquidity and financial health of an investment. As a result, ARR may not provide an accurate representation of the investment’s true profitability.

3. Relies on Accounting Figures:

ARR solely relies on accounting figures, such as net profit and initial investment, to calculate the return. While accounting figures are essential, they may not capture the full financial reality of a project. Factors like taxes, depreciation, and other non-accounting variables are not considered in the ARR calculation, potentially leading to misleading results.

4. Ignores Non-Accounting Factors:

ARR does not consider non-accounting factors that may influence the success or failure of an investment. Factors like market conditions, competition, technological advancements, and other external influences are not taken into account when calculating ARR. Ignoring these significant variables may lead to incomplete decision-making and inadequate evaluation of investment opportunities.

The Benefits of Knowing the Accounting Rate of Return Advantages and Disadvantages:

By understanding the advantages and disadvantages of the accounting rate of return (ARR), individuals and businesses can make more informed and effective financial decisions. Knowledge of ARR allows investors to evaluate the profitability and viability of potential projects, compare investment opportunities, and identify the most promising ventures. However, it is crucial to acknowledge the limitations of ARR, such as its failure to consider the time value of money, cash flows, non-accounting factors, and the reliance on accounting figures. A comprehensive understanding of these advantages and disadvantages enables individuals to navigate the financial landscape with greater confidence and make more accurate investment decisions.

In conclusion, the accounting rate of return (ARR) provides a simple and accessible metric for assessing the profitability of investments. While it offers advantages such as ease of calculation, simple measure of profitability, and comparability of investment opportunities, it also has limitations including the exclusion of the time value of money, cash flows, non-accounting factors, and reliance on accounting figures. Through a complete understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of ARR, individuals and businesses can leverage this financial tool to make better-informed investment decisions. It is essential to consider ARR alongside other financial metrics and factors to gain a comprehensive evaluation of investment opportunities.