AccountLease™ Articles, News

Practical Considerations for Lease Accounting

By Steve Austin, Firm Managing Partner of Swenson Advisors  | Originally posted on: www.journalofaccountancy.com

On the heels of a transformative and challenging revenue recognition standard, FASB’s new lease accounting standard presents a potential tsunami of changes to the financial statements of public and private companies.

In February 2016, FASB issued new lease accounting guidance in Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842). This new guidance was initiated as a joint project with the International Accounting Standards Board to simplify lease accounting and improve the quality and comparability of financial information for users. The IASB also issued guidance in IFRS 16 during January 2016.

This new guidance eliminates the historical concept of off-balance-sheet treatment for “operating leases” for lessees for the vast majority of lease contracts. Under ASU No. 2016-02 (Topic 842) and IFRS 16, at inception, a lessee is required to classify all leases with a term of more than one year as either finance or operating leases, with both classifications resulting in the recognition of a defined “right of-use” asset and a lease liability on the balance sheet.

These lease accounting changes are substantial and will require in many cases a significant investment of time and effort. These practical considerations can help entities as they implement the new standard:

  • A defined strategy and timeline will help an organization comply with the standard in time to meet the implementation deadline. Good project management and planning is paramount.
  • More time and effort will be required than most companies anticipate.
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AccountLease™ Articles, News

New FASB Lease Accounting Standards Impact US Businesses in China

By Steve Austin, Firm Managing Partner of Swenson Advisors  |  Originally posted on www.china-briefing.com

US-based businesses with subsidiaries in China need to prepare financial statements that are consistent with US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and the new Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) lease accounting standards.

While Chinese subsidiaries need to file financial statements consistent with China GAAP, often these financial statements need to be translated to US GAAP. Recent International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) standards have also changed the way leases are recorded in the financial statements in line with the new US GAAP standards.

The new lease accounting guidance

In February 2016, the FASB issued new lease accounting guidance [ASU No. 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842)]. This new guidance was initiated as a joint project with the IASB to simplify lease accounting and improve the quality of and comparability of financial information for users. The IASB also issued guidance in IFRS 16 during January 2016.

This new guidance eliminates the historical concept of off-balance sheet treatment for “operating leases” for lessees for the vast majority of lease contracts.

Under ASU No. 2016-02 (Topic 842) and IFRS 16, at inception, a lessee must classify all leases with a term of over one year as either finance or operating leases, with both classifications resulting in the recognition of a defined “right of-use” asset and a lease liability on the balance sheet.

However, recognition on the income statement will differ depending on the lease classification: finance leases recognize the amortization of the right-of-use asset separate from interest expense for the lease liability while operating leases recognize a single total lease expense.… Read More