Accounting rate of return, also known as the Average rate of return, or ARR is a financial ratio used in capital budgeting. The ratio does not take into account the concept of time value of money. ARR calculates the return, generated from net income of the proposed capital investment. The ARR is a percentage return. Say, if ARR = 7%, then it means that the project is expected to earn seven cents out of each dollar invested (yearly). If the ARR is equal to or greater than the required rate of return, the project is acceptable. If it is less than the desired rate, it should be rejected. When comparing investments, the higher the ARR, the more attractive the investment. Over one-half of large firms calculate ARR when appraising projects.
This technique is based on profits rather than cash flow. It ignores cash flow from investment. Therefore, it can be affected by non-cash items such as bad debts and depreciation when calculating profits. The change of methods for depreciation can be manipulated and lead to higher profits.
This technique does not adjust for the risk to long term forecasts.
ARR doesn't take into account the time value of money.