7.1. Capital expenditure and asset tracking

Drones alone are useless and they are only useful as part of a system that includes many other parts like controllers, antennas, takeoff and landing infrastructure and, last not least, the payloads the drones carry.

Capitalization rules vary but one common challenge is to determine what belongs together and what should be capitalized individually. This applies to drones, where many necessary single components might be below capitalization thresholds, but combined they are above. The same applies to related approval requirements.


  1. Total investment in drone-related assets is difficult to track due to the inconsistent application of capitalization rules.
  2. Lack of grouping support makes it difficult to list drone-related assets from different asset classes together for an overall analysis of drone operations.

Audit Steps

  1. Review and test the approval process for the acquisition of drones.
  2. Review and test the capitalization practice for drones and the depreciation rates used.
  3. Review and test the write-off process for crashed or outdated drones and all related equipment.


drone audit program index