Home / Glossary / CAPItalized Software Development Costs
March 19, 2024

CAPItalized Software Development Costs

March 19, 2024
Read 3 min

Capitalized Software Development Costs refer to costs incurred by a company during the development of software applications or systems that meet specific criteria for capitalization. These costs are classified as assets on the company’s balance sheet and are amortized over their estimated useful lives.


Software development projects involve various costs, ranging from salaries of developers to expenses incurred in purchasing necessary equipment and software licenses. As part of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has established specific criteria to determine whether these costs can be capitalized or should be expensed as incurred.

Capitalized software development costs are those that meet the criteria outlined in FASB ASC 350-40, also known as the Internal-Use Software standard. According to this standard, costs can be capitalized if they are directly attributable to the development or acquisition of software that will be used solely to meet the entity’s internal needs or to provide goods or services to external customers. Furthermore, the software being developed must reach the technological feasibility stage, which means that it has passed the planning and design stages and is ready for coding and testing.


Capitalizing software development costs has several advantages for businesses. Firstly, by capitalizing these costs, a company can spread the expenses over the useful life of the software, reducing the immediate impact on profitability. This helps in managing the financial performance of the company and ensures a fair representation of their long-term investments.

Secondly, capitalizing software development costs provides better visibility into the value of the company’s software assets. By accounting for these costs as assets, the company can demonstrate the value it has created through its software development efforts. This is especially important for technology-driven companies where software and intellectual property form a significant portion of their value proposition.


Capitalized software development costs are commonly seen in industries where software plays a critical role, such as finance, healthcare, and information technology. In the financial sector, companies invest heavily in developing software for trading platforms, risk management systems, and customer relationship management (CRM) tools. These software applications enable them to analyze data, make informed decisions, and provide better customer service.

In the healthcare industry, software development costs are often capitalized for the creation of Electronic Health Records (EHR) systems, telemedicine platforms, and medical billing software. These applications improve patient care, streamline operations, and enhance efficiency within healthcare organizations.

In the information technology sector, software development costs are capitalized for various applications, including custom software development, project management tools, and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. These applications enable businesses to streamline their processes, improve productivity, and gain a competitive edge.


Capitalized software development costs play a crucial role in accurately representing the value of software assets on a company’s balance sheet. By capitalizing these costs, businesses can spread the financial impact over the useful life of the software, providing greater financial stability and visibility. This accounting treatment is particularly beneficial for industries heavily reliant on software, such as finance, healthcare, and information technology. As technology continues to evolve, businesses must carefully consider the capitalization of software development costs to accurately reflect the value they create through their software investments.

Recent Articles

Visit Blog

How cloud call centers help Financial Firms?

Revolutionizing Fintech: Unleashing Success Through Seamless UX/UI Design

Trading Systems: Exploring the Differences

Back to top