The time value of money implies that money you already have is worth more than future money. It has the potential to start a business, invest for future returns, buy assets at a discount and resell them, or save to generate interest. This is because inflation lowers the amount of money you can buy with your future income. But it's hard to tell what would be the worth of money in the future based on what it's worth now. In this situation, the idea of "net present value" becomes very important.

The idea of "net present value" needs to be broken down. You can figure out the NPV of investment by adding up the current values of all the cash flows, both in and out. This means that it is the sum of all future money coming in minus all future money going out.

*Did you know? Due to inflation and lost compound interest, a project's future cash flow will differ from its current cash flow, so NPV must be updated accordingly.*

**What is the Net Present Value? **

As the name suggests, it is the value of all expected future cash flows after considering all expected cash inflows and outflows at a specific discount rate. Most of the time, the net present value (NPV) format is used to show it in accounting. By figuring out the net current value, a company can determine how much an investment is worth, considering both the cash it already has and the money it expects to make. Net present value (NPV) is a way to figure out a project's possible return on investment.

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**What Makes FCF Effective?**

With the help of net present value analysis, you can determine the value of a possible investment, project, or another set of cash flows. Free Cash Flow considers an investment's income, expenses, and capital costs. This makes it a complete indicator (FCF). It feels not only the amount and timing of all cash flows but also how important each one is when figuring out the present value of an investment. Comparing the two situations, it is better to have money coming in before money goes out.

**Net Present Value Formula**

Net present value (NPV) is the amount of money you get when you subtract the present value of cash inflows from the present value of cash outflows over time. The Net present value formula determines the total present value of a project's cash flows, including the return on the initial investment.

**Calculating NPV of the cash inflow**

NPV = ∑ (P / (1+ i) t) – C

where,

- C – Initial cost
- T – Time
- P - Cash inflow
- i – Discount rate

**Calculating the NPV of cash outflow **

Before you start figuring out the Net Present Value, you need to know the Present Value of the cash outflow.

NPV = PV – Cash outflow PV = FV / (1+ I)n

- PV – Present value
- FV – Future value
- r – interest rate
- n – number of periods

NPV = PV – Cash outflow PV = FV / (1+i)t

Simply,

NPV= Expected cash flows− Invested cash

**Examples of NPV calculation**

Explore some examples of NPV to learn more about it.

- Let's say a project needs an initial expenditure of ₹4,000, and it's anticipated to create ₹1500 per year in cash flow for three years. The expected annual rate of return for this venture is 10%. Find the net present value of the project.

Solution:

Initial invested money = ₹4,000

ROI = 10%

Net Present Value Formula: NPV = ∑ (P / (1+i)t) – C

Year 1: PV = FV/(1+ r)n

= 1500/( 1+0.11)

= ₹1363.63

Year 2: PV = FV/(1+r)n

= 1500/( 1+0.12)

= ₹1485.14

Year 3: PV = FV/(1+r)n

= 1500/( 1+0.13)

= ₹1498.5

Sum up all cash inflows= ₹1363.63+ ₹1485.14 +₹1498.5

= ₹4347.27

NPV value = ₹4347.27-₹4000

= ₹347.27

- What is the net present value of buying a box of fruits for ₹30,000 a year from now if the rate of return is 5%? The price of the box will increase to ₹55,000.

Solution: Since the current cost of a container is ₹30,000

Year later = ₹55,000

Rate of return = 5% = 0.05

If we apply the formula for net present value,

PV = 55000/(1+ 0.05)1

PV = ₹52380.95

Present Value (NPV) = (₹52380.95) - (₹30,000) = ₹22380.95

So, the net present value is ₹22380.95.

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**NPV Decision Rule**

The following net present value (NPV) indicators clarify the investment's worth or not.

- NPV>0: Its net present value (NPV) is greater than zero since its cash inflows are worth more than its cash outflows. Expenses are covered and then some by the investment's return. It's a wise financial move because of this.
- NPV=0: The net present value is zero when cash inflows are equal to cash outflows. Profit from the investment is equal to the initial capital outlay. So, cash withdrawals and cash inflows are the same things.
- NPV<0: The net present value is negative because the cash inflows are smaller than the cash withdrawals. The investment return falls short of the initial capital outlay. That's why it's not a good financial move to make.

Based on the NPV indicators, the following choices can be made: If the standalone project's net present value is equal to or greater than zero, the project should be approved; otherwise, the decision should be left open. The best action is to choose the higher NPV option when two or more projects compete.

**Pros of Net Present Value Technique**

The advantages of using the NPV method are given below:

**Time value of money**

The profitability of a project may be evaluated using the net present value technique. The present worth of a sum of money is considered. A lower present value might be expected from future cash flows. Consequently, the longer the time horizon of the cash flows, the lower the value. This is a crucial factor that the NPV approach properly takes into account.

**Calculation of NPV**

The net present value calculation includes all cash inflows and outflows throughout the relevant time frame and risk factors. Therefore, NPV is an all-encompassing tool since it considers every facet of the venture.

**Value of investment**

The Net Present Value method estimates how much a project will make profit. Using the technique, you can determine whether an investment made money or lost money.

**Cons of the Net Present Value Approach**

The disadvantages of using the NPV method are given below:

**Discounting rate**

For Net present value to be useful, you need to know the rate of return. If the rate of return is too high, the net present value (NPV) will be negative, and if the rate of return is too low, the NPV will be positive. Both of these factors can lead to poor decisions.

**Inconsistent project comparisons**

NPV can't be used to compare projects that take place over different periods. NPV cannot be used to compare projects with various time commitments or risks because many organisations have a budget and occasionally have two project possibilities.

**Misconceptions**

The NPV method is also based on many assumptions about cash coming in and going out. When the project finally starts, there may be a lot of costs. It's also possible that the amount of money coming in won't match what was expected. Most modern software for making business decisions has a Net Present Value calculator. Even though it has some problems, the NPV method is often used to plan for capital investments.

**What is a Good NPV? **

In theory, if the NPV is positive, the investment is good. After all, the discount rate used in calculating net present value already accounts for things like the investor's cost of capital, opportunity cost, and risk aversion. Therefore, in theory, even a positive net present value (NPV) of ₹1 would be considered "excellent" and suggest that the project is worthwhile. Many planners will set a higher bar for NPV to offer themselves a more significant margin of safety, given the inherent uncertainty in the estimations employed in the computation.

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**Conclusion**

The Net Present Value (NPV) is one of the most widely used discounted cash flow formulas you'll encounter. It's a tool that lets you calculate the present value of future cash flows and whether a project makes good financial sense when estimating its value. And while it might seem tricky to get your head around at first, it's not too difficult to work with it once you have a handle on the basics.

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