FASB tweaks leasing standard

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The Financial Accounting Standards Board released a set of mostly minor revisions and technical corrections to the lease accounting standard.

The Codification Improvement to Topic 842, Leases, affects only narrow aspects of the previous guidance. FASB didn’t create a Transition Resource Group on the leasing standard, as it did with the revenue recognition and credit loss standards. But FASB and its staff have been helping stakeholders during the transition period until the standard takes effect in December for public companies responding to inquiries and eliciting feedback on potential implementation issues that could arise. The document addresses a number of those issues.

The lease accounting standard will put operating leases on the balance sheet of many companies for the first time ever, and there are some differences between FASB’s version of the standard for U.S. GAAP and the International Accounting Standards Board’s version for International Financial Reporting Standards.

The document lists a number of areas where improvements have now been made in the FASB standard, such as residual value guarantees, where a cross-reference has been corrected, and lessee reassessment of lease clarification. There the amendment clarifies that a rate implicit in the lease of zero should be used when applying the definition of the term “rate implicit in the lease” results in a rate that is less than zero.

Another amendment consolidates the requirements about lease classification reassessments into a single paragraph and describes how an entity should perform the lease classification reassessment, on the basis of the facts and circumstances, and the modified terms and conditions, if applicable, as of the date the reassessment is required.

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Accounting standards Financial reporting FASB