Factors to Consider for Capital Expenditure Decisions

Capital expenditure decisions are very important and complex. They are long-term in nature and require a large fund outlay. These expenditures include purchasing new machinery, constructing new plants and upgrading the information technology. Firms depend on capital investments to increase their long-term growth. They cannot undertake all the capital investments due to capital limitations. Therefore, the management has to evaluate these projects to determine the most profitable ones. The management considers financial and nonfinancial factors.

The Expected Returns

Returns are the expected increase in profits and other benefits. Firms undertake investments to increase their long-term financial profitability. These profits are realized due to an increase in sales or a reduction in the operating costs. When a firm is evaluating different projects, it should prioritize projects with higher returns. The firm should also consider the trend of earnings because this is a long-term investment. It should undertake projects that guarantee sustainable profits.

Availability of Funds

The cost of an investment is a financial aspect. Firms should consider the availability of funds when making capital expenditure decisions. Long-term investments require a lot of money to meet costs. These costs include the purchase cost of equipment, increase in working capital and future costs, such as repair and maintenance costs. Before a firm undertakes a project, it should consider whether it has sufficient funds to properly implement and maintain the project.

Availability and Skills of the Personnel

This is a nonfinancial factor. When a firm is considering the purchase of equipment, it should consider the available personnel. The firm should consider whether they have enough personnel to operate the machinery. They should also determine whether they have the required technical knowledge to utilize the machinery. These factors will determine the successful implementation of the project, which will affect the profitability of the firm.

Government Regulation

It is important for a firm to consider the relevant laws and requirements imposed by the government. It should establish the licenses it needs and the payments required before undertaking a project. A firm that wants to set up a new facility in a particular location needs to adhere to the requirements. If the law prohibits development of such a facility, it should look for an alternative location or abandon the project.