An Overview of the New Accounting Model for Leases

Category : Finance

Read the latest whitepaper on Whitepapers Online titled,"An Overview of the New Accounting Model for Leases" The concept of leases is considered a vital source of financing for a number of entities around the globe. For the process of leasing to streamline,implementation of the leases standard is a significant effort. It affects multiple functional areas of an organization, including accounting, tax, financial reporting, financial planning and analysis, investor relations, treasury. To say, the current accounting model for leases, does not require lessees to recognize assets and liabilities arising from operating leases. Due to this concerns have been raised by financial statement users about the current lease accounting model. The current model does not reflect the true economic substance of an operating lease transaction. The reason being, a large financing resource is appeared to be missing from the balance sheet. To keep matters in place, a new lease accounting model has been made for better management of finances.

Types of Leases

A lease is a contract, or part of a contract, that conveys the right to control the use of identified property, plant, or equipment for a period of time in exchange for consideration. Leases are particularly divided into two, which include:

Financial Lease:

Financial leasing is a contract involving payment over a longer period. It is a long-term lease and the lessee is liable to pay much more than the cost of the property or equipment to the lessor in the form of lease charges. It is an irrevocable procedure. In this type of leasing the lessee has to bear all costs and the lessor does not render any service. This type of lease recognizes the interest expense on the lease liability and amortization of the right-of-use asset.

Operating Lease:

In an operating lease, the lessee uses the asset for a specific period. The lessor bears the risk of obsolescence and incidental risks. There is an option to either party to terminate the lease after giving notice. In this type of leasing
  • lessor bears all expenses
  • lessor will not be able to realize the full cost of the asset
  • specialized services are provided by the lessor

Outline of the Updated Lease Accounting Model

The new lease accounting model codified as Topic 842 functions on the core principle that a lessee should recognize the assets and liabilities that arise from lease arrangements. Which means, a lessee should recognize on the balance sheet a liability to make lease payments and a right-of-use asset representing its right to use the underlying asset for the lease term. Under the new standard, there continues to be a differentiation between finance leases. The lease standard requires several steps including the following:
  • identifying relevant legal contracts
  • evaluating whether an arrangement is or contains a lease
  • applying the new leases standard to arrangements within its scope

Steps to Implement the New Accounting Model

Considering the number of leases that companies have, adopting Topic 842 requires extra efforts. As companies are also implementing many major accounting standards, the resources that exists are getting strained. To avoid the situation to worsen further, there is a procedure to implement the new accounting model for companies to track their finance in order. The list of step include:
  • Preparing an inventory of leases
  • Reviewing the reporting systems used for leases
  • Evaluating the disclosure requirements
  • Involving various departments of the firm

Key Takeaways from "An Overview of the New Accounting Model for Leases"

  • The new accounting model does represent a significant change for lessees
  • Companies should take up the new model of accounting for the processes to streamline
  • Topic 842 requires an extensive amount of qualitative and quantitative disclosures
Download this whitepaper to understand the changes made in the accounting model and the ways to implement the new model of accounting.

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