Before understanding the concept and working of residual income along with the examples, it is necessary that we understand the concept of an investment center. Investment center is a division within a business much like a cost center or a profit center. The only difference is that the performance of the manager of the investment center is assessed based on return on investment (ROI) of the division or the Residual income (RI). The use of residual income is usually to assess the performance of a manager of the investment center.
Residual income is calculated as net income less a charge for the cost of capital. The charge is known as the equity charge and is calculated as the value of equity capital multiplied by the cost of equity or the required rate of return on equity. Given the opportunity cost of equity, a company can have positive net income but negative residual income.