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By Joel C. Colbourn, CPA, MBA; Stephen G. Austin, CPA, MBA; and Jim LoPresti, MBA | Originally posted on www.journalofaccountancy.com
In early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic added another element of business disruption for organizations to manage while the effective dates to comply for FASB’s new lease accounting standards were quickly approaching.
Following a pandemic-related delay, the new standard takes effect for entities within the “all other entities” category for fiscal years starting after Dec. 15, 2021, and for interim periods within fiscal years beginning after Dec. 15, 2022. The ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic have affected organizations in ways we are yet to fully understand, and the impact on lease accounting processes continues to evolve in response to changes that have occurred in the business environment.
For public companies, FASB Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) Topic 842, Leases, took effect for fiscal years and interim periods within those fiscal years, beginning after Dec. 15, 2018. There is an exception for public not-for-profit entities, whose effective date is for fiscal years beginning after Dec. 15, 2019, including interim periods within those fiscal years.
Meanwhile, GASB delayed by one year the required implementation of GASB Statement No. 87, Leases, which is now applicable for fiscal years beginning after June 15, 2021.
COVID-19 arrived in early 2020 and spread rapidly and now has extended worldwide with the delta variant in 2021. By mid-March 2020, state and local governments began issuing restrictions shutting down many businesses other than health care and providers of “essential services.”… Read More
By Christine L. Klimek, Senior Manager, Communications | Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB)
Norwalk, CT—October 20, 2020— The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) today issued a proposed Accounting Standards Update (ASU) intended to improve three areas of the leases guidance. Stakeholders are encouraged to review and provide comments on the proposed changes by December 4, 2020.
“The proposed ASU represents our commitment to take timely action based on what we learn during our comprehensive post-implementation review (PIR) process of major standards,” noted FASB Chair Richard R. Jones. “In this case, it would address three areas brought to our attention by public company stakeholders from their experiences applying the leases standard.
Mr. Jones added, “We encourage all stakeholders to review and provide feedback on the proposed ASU and whether they think the proposed changes would improve the guidance for all companies and organizations implementing it.”
The amendments in the proposed ASU address the following areas:
- For lessors, it would amend lease classification requirements for leases in which the lease payments are predominantly variable by requiring lessors to classify and account for those leases as operating leases. In doing so, the risk of lessors recognizing losses at lease commencement for sales-type leases that are expected to be profitable would be mitigated and the resulting financial reporting is expected to more faithfully represent the economics underlying the lease.
- For lessees, it would provide the option to remeasure lease liabilities for changes in a reference index or a rate affecting future lease payments at the date that those changes take effect; that option would be available as an entity-wide accounting policy election.
Why is the new lease accounting standard necessary? Click the image below to learn more about Topic 842 and the new lease accounting standards. Brought to you by Steve Austin, Managing Partner at Swenson Advisors.
Anticipated business disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic prompted the FASB on April 8, 2020 to formally propose the following delays in the effective dates for implementing Topic 842, Leases:
- For private companies and private not-for-profit (NFP) entities to fiscal years starting after December 15, 2021.
- For NFP entities that have issued or are conduit bond obligors for securities that are traded listed or quoted on an exchange or an over-the-counter market and which have not yet issued financial statements to fiscal years starting after December 15, 2019.
Critical Lease Accounting Topics Affected by COVID-19:
- Short or long term lease concessions:
- Do you have enforceable rights in your contracts for lease concessions?
- Will there be changes that result in lease modifications and lease re-measurements?
- If there are concessions, how will that affect the materiality treatment on your financial statements?
- With interest rates dropping, a lessee’s Incremental Borrowing Rate (IBR) may be impacted when calculating right-of-use (ROU) assets and lease liabilities:
- How will this affect balance sheets when entering into new leases or re-measuring existing leases?
- With commercial real estate values and discount rates dropping, how will this affect the Fair Value and lease classification as either finance or operating leases are reassessed?
- Other considerations stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic downturn will be such things as the likelihood of exercising renewal options, terminations or purchase options.
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We are here to help you navigate through all of these economic changes and the complex decisions you need to make in order to comply with Topic 842.… Read More
By Stephen G. Austin, CPA; Joel Colbourn, CPA; Ane Ohm, CPA; and Don Mitchell | Originally posted on: www.journalofaccountancy.com
In addition to causing enormous disruption to health, safety, and the economy across the globe, the coronavirus pandemic has significantly altered the landscape for CPAs related to the lease accounting standard.
The changes include a potential effective date delay of FASB’s new lease accounting standard for certain entities, including private companies; a monumental increase in the number of lease modifications requested by lessees and granted by lessors; and the need for disclosures related to a company’s lease accounting decisions in the new environment.
Here’s a closer look at lease accounting amid the coronavirus pandemic.
FASB’s Delay Proposal
In recognition of the business disruptions caused by the new standard, FASB has voted to issue a proposal that would delay by one year the effective dates of its lease accounting standard for certain entities. If approved, the delay to FASB ASC Topic 842, Leases, would apply to private companies, not-for-profits, and not-for-profit entities that FASB calls public not-for-profits, which have issued or are conduit bond obligors for securities that are traded, listed, or quoted on an exchange or an over-the-counter market and that have not yet issued financial statements.
The soon-to-be-proposed delay for private companies and private not-for-profits would make the standard effective for private companies and private not-for-profits for fiscal years starting after Dec. 15, 2021. The effective date for public not-for-profits would be fiscal years starting after Dec. 15, 2019.
Shelter-in-place, stay-at-home, social distancing, self-quarantine, and other directives have caused significant disruptions to business operations, with many businesses and industries being effectively shut down.… Read More
Finalizing lease accounting policies, reviewing all contract materials to validate the lease portfolio, preparing supporting documentation, performing the required calculations, and recording the opening entry.
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By Stephen G. Austin, CPA; Joel Colbourn; Phillip Doolittle; and Doug Renner | Originally posted on: www.journalofaccountancy.com
Public companies’ required implementation of FASB’s new lease accounting standard in 2019 means that financial statement auditors need to be prepared to make new judgments.
Although the private company implementation date for the standard hasn’t yet arrived, auditors of both public companies and private companies that prepare financial statements in accordance with GAAP will eventually need to determine whether adequate work has been performed to ensure a reasonable opening entry upon implementation. As part of understanding the entity’s processes and controls, auditors also will have to assess whether their clients or companies (in the case of internal auditors) have adequate go-forward processes in place to ensure that upon execution of a contract, a determination is made as to whether that contract is, or contains, a lease.
The new standard (FASB ASC Topic 842, Leases) calls for recognition of lease liabilities and right-of-use assets for lease arrangements previously identified as operating leases and capital leases (which are now called finance leases). This means that on the first day of a new fiscal year, the entity will have to prepare accounting entries to record this recognition. The auditor needs to understand how the client determined the entry balances recorded through this opening entry.
Most companies will adopt the package of three practical expedients by which the leases identified and recorded in the prior year will carry forward as the foundation for the opening entry. This assumes the previous accounting was handled correctly — perhaps a precarious assumption.… Read More
By Bisnow.com| Originally posted on:
The Financial Accounting Standards Board has given U.S. private companies and nonprofits another year to start treating their operating leases as liabilities on their balance sheets. Now they have to do so beginning in their first fiscal year after Dec. 15, 2020, rather than after Dec. 15, 2019, as originally planned.
The change would add a significant number of liabilities to the books of companies with a lot of leased space, so companies with cash and an aversion to debt may opt to buy buildings, if possible. Other companies might turn to coworking or other short-term space. But the jury is out on whether that will happen.
In any case, the extension is good, accountants and leasing brokers said, but no reason to procrastinate on making the switch.
“In our three-plus years of working on this, it’s clear that most companies have drastically underrated the complexity of this process and the time and effort to complete the task,” said Cresa Managing Principal Don Mitchell, who is in the company’s San Diego office. “It can be daunting.”
“Applying the standards has posed a more difficult challenge than originally thought,” said CohnReznick Director Matthew Derba, who is in the company’s New York office. “I believe the deferral by FASB is a direct reflection of that.”