In accounting and finance, prorated means adjusted for a specific time period. For example, if an employee is due a salary of $80,000 per year, and they join the company on July 1, their prorated salary for that year would be $40,000.
How to Prorate a Number
Let’s look at an example. Susan is supposed to earn $30 per hour, paid to the nearest minute. She works 47 minutes. What is her prorated compensation?
To calculate the answer, follow the steps below:
Take her hourly rate of $30 and divide it by 60 to find her rate per minute.
Multiple her rate per minute by 47 to arrive at the answer:
While there are lots of situations that require prorating numbers, there are also many instances where numbers are not prorated. One of the most common is that of payment of stock dividends. Shareholders are paid a dividend based on the date of record when they became shareholders, not based on how long they have owned their shares. Everyone who is a shareholder as of the date of record receives the same dividend amount per share when they are paid.
Using Prorated in a Conversation
Here is an example of a conversation between an Analyst (A) and a Vice President (VP), talking about numbers in a financial model.
VP: Did you update the model to include the new office lease figures?
A: Yes, I increased the office rent number to reflect the higher rate starting in July.
VP: Did you prorate it?
A: Yes, I prorated it based on a move-in date of July 23.
VP: Okay great, thanks!
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