Wednesday, October 21, 2015

IASB: New leases standard implementation in 2019

At the IASB's October 20 meeting, the board had its final deliberations on the new lease accounting standard. The headline decision is that the board decided that the new standard would be required starting with fiscal years beginning on or after January 1, 2019. Earlier implementation is permitted if an entity also implements IFRS 15, Revenue from Contracts with Customers, on or before the date the leases standard is implemented. While the FASB will make its decision independently, it is highly likely they will choose the same implementation date.

Other items discussed:

a. A lessee, and a lessor with a finance lease, will account for a lease modification that extends the life as a continuation of a lease, rather than a new lease agreement. This means that the impact of the modification is recognized immediately, rather than at the end of the existing lease. The FASB has made the same change.
b. If a lease's rent is based on a floating interest rate, the lease's discount rate should change whenever the rents are updated due to an interest rate change. (In other words, the discount rate for calculating the obligation will track the rate used to calculate the payments, which means that the obligation and asset won't change.)
c. End of lease restoration obligations should be accounted for in accordance with IAS 37, Provisions, Contingent Liabilities, and Contingent Assets. (This is virtually the same as FAS 143, Asset Retirement Obligations.) The asset side of the transaction is added to the right-of-use asset for the lease; subsequent changes in the provision obligation result in adjustments to the right-of-use asset as well.
d. Short-term (12 months or less) and low-value asset leases that are not capitalized can remain uncapitalized in a business combination. The FASB has made the same determination for short-term leases, but does not have a low-value asset exemption from lease accounting.
e. Any leases that are considered within scope of IFRS 5, Non-current Assets Held for Sale and Discontinued Operations, do not require additional disclosures beyond those specified in IFRS 5. (In other words, they are not included in regular lease reporting.)

The IASB says they are finished with all deliberations on leases, and will have a final ballot on the proposed standard before the end of the year.

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