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Mastering The New Accounting Lease Standard: What You Need To Know

Stay up to date on the new lease standard in accounting with our comprehensive guide. Get insights and learn how to stay compliant with the changes.

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The new accounting lease standard, ASC 842, has been a hot topic among finance and accounting professionals since its implementation in 2019. This standard significantly changes how companies account for leases, requiring greater transparency and accuracy in financial reporting. 

With the standard now in effect, companies are expected to comply with the new regulations, otherwise, they face potential penalties and legal repercussions. 

In this guide, we will provide an overview of the new lease standard, explain the key changes, and discuss the implications of the new standard for lessees and lessors. We will also provide best practices for implementing the new lease standard and discuss the impact of the new standard on financial statements and ratios. 

 

Are you ready to ensure your organization is compliant with the new accounting lease standard? Contact us to learn how to navigate the complex regulatory landscape and implement best practices for financial reporting. 

 

Overview Of The New Accounting Lease Standard 

ASC 842 (or IFRS 16 for international companies), requires lessees to recognize most leases on their balance sheet as a right-of-use asset and a lease liability. This is a significant change from the previous accounting standard, which allowed for off-balance sheet treatment for many operating leases.

The standard aims to increase transparency and comparability in financial reporting by providing users of financial statements with more relevant and useful information about a company's leasing activities.

 

Key Changes Introduced In The New Lease Standard 

ASC 842, also known as the new accounting lease standard, has introduced several major changes to how leases are accounted for that aim to increase transparency and comparability in financial reporting by providing users of financial statements with more relevant and useful information about a company's leasing activities. These changes include:

Change In The Definition Of Lease 

 A lease is now defined as an agreement between a lessee and a lessor that conveys the right to control the use of an identified asset for a period of time in exchange for consideration.

This means that any agreement that conveys the right to control the use of an identified asset for a period of time, regardless of the length of the lease, is now considered a lease under the new standard. 

This change in definition is significant as it broadens the scope of what is considered a lease, which may result in more leases being recognized on the balance sheet of lessees.

Lease Contract

Right-Of-Use Assets And Lease Liabilities 

Under the new lease standard, lessees are required to recognize a right-of-use asset and a lease liability for most leases on their balance sheet. The right-of-use asset represents the lessee's right to use the underlying asset during the lease term, while the lease liability represents the lessee's obligation to make lease payments to the lessor. 

The right-of-use asset is measured at the initial amount of the lease liability, plus any lease prepayments and any initial direct costs incurred by the lessee, minus any lease incentives received from the lessor.

The lease liability represents the lessee's obligation to make lease payments over the lease term. It is measured at the present value of lease payments, including any fixed or variable lease payments, and any lease incentives. 

The recognition of right-of-use assets and lease liabilities on the balance sheet provides a more accurate reflection of a lessee's financial position and obligations under lease agreements. It also enhances the comparability of financial statements among companies by reducing off-balance sheet accounting treatment.

 

Short-Term Leases 

Under the new lease standard, short-term leases are those that last for 12 months or less and are treated differently from long-term leases. The short-term lessees are not required to recognize a right-of-use asset or a lease liability but instead must recognize the lease payments as an expense on a straight-line basis over the lease term. 

The new standard also requires certain disclosures for short-term leases, including the aggregate amount of lease payments and the weighted average remaining lease term. 

Lease Term 

Lease term is the period of time over which a lease agreement is in effect, which determines the length of time for which the lessee has the right to use the leased asset. It also affects the amount of lease payments the lessee is obligated to make and the timing of those payments. 

In addition, the lease term can impact the recognition and measurement of the lease liability and right-of-use asset.

The new lease standard determines the lease term by considering the non-cancellable period of the lease, plus renewal and termination options that the lessee is reasonably certain to exercise. Lessees must reassess the lease term each reporting period and adjust the lease liability and right-of-use asset if there are significant changes.

By understanding the lease term and how it is determined, lessees can ensure that they are in compliance with the new lease standard and are properly accounting for their lease agreements.

 

Differences Between The Old And New Lease Standard 

The old lease standard and the new lease standard have some key differences. Under the old standard, lessees were only required to recognize finance leases on their balance sheets, while operating leases were disclosed only in the footnotes. 

The new lease standard requires lessees to recognize both finance and operating leases on their balance sheets, which means that they must record a right-of-use asset and a lease liability for all leases. 

The new standard has a broader definition of a lease and includes any agreement that conveys the right to control the use of an identified asset for a period of time in exchange for consideration.

The new standard also introduces new disclosure requirements for both lessees and lessors. Lessees must now disclose information about their leases, including the total assets and liabilities recognized for each lease, the total lease payments, and any variable lease payments. 

In the same vein, lessors must now disclose information about their leases, including the total assets and liabilities recognized for each lease, the total lease payments, and the total lease income. Are you looking for how to navigate the new lease standard with ease? Discover how Netgain can help streamline your lease accounting process today.

Implications Of The New Lease Standard For Lessees And Lessors 

The new lease standard brings significant changes to the accounting of leases for lessees and lessors including:

 

Accounting Treatment Of Leases 

The new lease standard requires lessees to recognize leases on their balance sheet as right-of-use assets and lease liabilities, which may impact their financial statements, their leverage ratios and debt covenants and as well increase administrative and operational costs for lessees. 

Additionally, the new standard also introduces changes to the accounting treatment of sale and leaseback transactions and may have tax implications for both lessees and lessors.

 

Recognition And Measurement Of Lease Liabilities And Assets 

The new lease standard requires lessees to recognize most leases on their balance sheet as right-of-use assets and lease liabilities, which will have a significant impact on their financial statements. 

Lessees must recognize the lease liability as the present value of future lease payments using the lessee’s incremental borrowing rate. 

The recognition and measurement of lease liabilities and assets may also impact a lessee's leverage ratios, such as debt-to-equity and debt-to-assets ratios. Additionally, the measurement of lease liabilities and assets may be affected by factors such as lease modifications, lease renewals, and changes in the lease term or lease payments.

Read: Free Lease Accounting Software that Actually Works For Any ERP

 

Disclosure Requirements 

Under the new lease standard, both lessees and lessors are required to provide more extensive disclosures related to their leasing activities. Lessees are required to provide information such as a general description of their leasing arrangements, the lease term, the amount of lease payments, and any significant assumptions or judgments made in determining lease assets and liabilities.

Lessors are required to disclose the nature and extent of their leasing activities, the significant leasing arrangements they have entered into, and any significant restrictions or covenants related to their leasing activities.

This information is intended to provide investors and other stakeholders with a better understanding of a company's lease obligations and the impact those obligations may have on its financial performance.

Implications Of The New Lease Standard For Lessees And Lessors

 

Best Practices For Implementing The New Lease Standard 

Here are some best practices for implementing the new lease standard:

1. Assess the impact of the new standard on your business 

This will help you understand the implications of the new standard on your financial statements and the impact it will have on your business operations.

2. Review existing leases 

By reviewing existing leases and identifying any changes that may be required to comply with the new standard, you can understand the impact of the new standard on your existing leases and prepare for any changes that may be necessary.

3. Update accounting systems 

This will ensure that your accounting systems are compliant and your financial statements are accurately reflecting the new lease standard.

4. Educate your staff

It is essential to provide ongoing training and education to ensure that all staff members understand the changes that have been made to the lease standard and how it will affect their day-to-day operations.

5. Monitor changes

Monitoring will ensure that your business is up to date with the new lease standard and will help to avoid any compliance issues.

By following these best practices, businesses can ensure that they are compliant with the new lease standard and can make the transition to the new standard as smooth as possible.

 

Impact Of The New Lease Standard On Financial Statements And Ratios 

The impact of the new lease standard on financial statements and ratios can be significant, particularly for lessees who are required to recognize most leases on their balance sheet as right-of-use assets and lease liabilities. 

This can affect financial statement ratios such as debt-to-equity, current ratio, and interest coverage ratio.

 

The inclusion of lease liabilities on the balance sheet can increase a company's reported debt, which can result in higher leverage ratios and lower debt covenants. In addition, the recognition of right-of-use assets can result in higher total assets and lower return on assets (ROA) ratios.

It is important for companies to consider the potential impact of the new lease standard on their financial statements and ratios and to communicate this impact to stakeholders, including investors, lenders, and analysts. 

Companies may also need to update their financial reporting policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the new standard. If you need help mastering the new accounting lease standard, get a demo today and unlock the full potential of your business.

 

Final Thoughts 

The new accounting lease standard has been a major shift in the way that leases are reported and accounted for. It has changed the way that leases are recognized, measured, and disclosed in financial statements. It has also changed the way that lessees and lessors must approach leasing decisions and has created new best practices for implementing the new lease standard.

Overall, the new lease standard has had a significant impact on financial statements and ratios, and companies must take the time to understand the implications of the new standard. 

With the right strategy, companies can successfully implement the new lease standard and stay compliant with the changes. With the help of this guide, companies can master the new accounting lease standard and ensure that their financials are accurate and up to date.

Are you tired of how complicated and time-consuming lease accounting can be? 

Unlock Your Business's Full Potential with Netgain's Lease Accounting Solutions!

 

FAQs 


What do I need to know about lease accounting?

Lease accounting refers to the process of recording leased assets and liabilities in a company's financial statements. The International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) have introduced new standards for lease accounting, requiring companies to record leases on their balance sheets as assets and liabilities. 

The new standards require companies to calculate the present value of future lease payments and record them as liabilities while also recording a right-of-use asset for the leased asset. The new lease accounting standards also require more detailed disclosures in financial statements. Companies may need professional advice to ensure compliance and may face significant financial and tax implications.

 

What is under the new accounting standard for leases?

The new accounting standard for leases requires lessees to recognize most leases on the balance sheet as a right-of-use asset and a lease liability. It also introduces a new definition of a lease, a new lease term, and new criteria for distinguishing between a lease and a service contract. 

Moreover, the new standard requires expanded disclosure requirements to provide users of financial statements with more information about an entity’s leasing activities.

 

Which element is most critical for success in implementing the new lease standard?

The most critical element for success in implementing the new lease standard is understanding the new requirements and how they will impact your company’s financial statements. It is important to understand the new definition of a lease, the new lease term, and the criteria for distinguishing between a lease and a service contract. 

Additionally, it is important to be aware of the expanded disclosure requirements and the implications of the new standard on your company’s financial statements and ratios.

 

What are the 5 most important things to know before signing a lease?

Before signing a lease, it is important to consider five key things. 

  1. Understand the total rent and fees you'll be responsible for. 
  2. Know the length of the lease term and any renewal or termination options. 
  3. Ask about the security deposit amount and any conditions for its return. 
  4. Clarify maintenance and repair responsibilities.
  5. Review any restrictions or rules outlined in the lease agreement, such as noise restrictions or pet policies, to ensure you can comply with them.

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