Wednesday, March 18, 2015

IASB: It's a wrap

At the IASB's March 17, 2015, meeting, the board unanimously agreed that it is done with the new lease accounting standard, and committed their work to the drafting process. They considered whether or not another exposure draft was necessary, and concluded it was not, because all the substantive changes from the 2013 exposure draft either a) have been previously exposed (the single lease model was proposed in the 2010 exposure draft), b) are changes to retain existing accounting (lessor accounting), or c) are simplifications or clarifications responding to feedback received (such as excluding "small assets").

One IASB member stated an intention to dissent from the new standard. Presumably the others are on board.

The FASB is at essentially the same position. Neither board has stated a timeline more specific than "later in 2015" for when the final standard will be fully drafted and voted on. Neither have they set an effective date, though generally discussion has suggested two full years to prepare, which would suggest a January 1, 2018, effective date.

The IASB has released a summary document, Leases: Practical implications of the new Leases Standard, which describes the most important characteristics of the upcoming standard, with a comparison between current accounting and the two different standards that the IASB and FASB will be releasing.

It's been a slow train coming. The project was announced in July 2006. Maybe it'll be done for its ninth birthday, maybe not.