2.16. Write-offs and asset disposals

The average useable life of drones is shorter than that of ground vehicles or manned airplanes. Besides crashes and hard landings, the technological advancement can shorten the economic life span of an existing fleet.

Drones have the potential of being misused in dangerous ways and the company therefore needs to be careful in the selection of parties it sells any kind of used drone equipment to, damaged or not.

Write-offs of drones which were capitalized typically have P&L impact and come with the risk of delays in write-off requests or approvals. Timely processing of write-offs is necessary to create transparency about the actual costs of drone operations.


  1. Unusable or unused assets are carried in the balance sheet. Tax base lowering write-offs are not processed.
  2. Delayed write-offs lead to wrong cost projections and forward facing business decisions.
  3. Used or damaged drones sold to irresponsible 3rd parties are involved in accidents or attacks.
  4. Insurance premiums are paid for drones which are no longer used.

Audit Steps

  1. Validate that drone asset disposals follow a defined process with adequate segregation of duties.
  2. Verify the timeliness of write-offs for damaged or disappeared drones.
  3. Validate that the disposal process ensures that the company only deals with responsible parties which will use the equipment in a responsible manner.


drone audit program index