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FASB Issues New Guidance on Lease Accounting

FASB issued its new lease accounting guidance in Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842).  The new ASU will require lessees to recognize the following for all leases with terms of more than 12 months at the commencement date: 

  • A lease liability, which is a lessee‘s obligation to make lease payments arising from a lease, measured on a discounted basis; and
  • A right-of-use asset, which is an asset that represents the lessee’s right to use, or control the use of, a specified asset for the lease term. 

Lessor accounting is largely unchanged. The new lease guidance also simplified the accounting for sale and leaseback transactions primarily because lessees must recognize lease assets and lease liabilities. Lessees will no longer be provided with a source of off-balance sheet financing. 

ASU 2016-02 will be effective for public entities for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2018, including interim periods within those fiscal years (i.e., January 1, 2019, for a calendar-year entity). Nonpublic business entities and not-for-profit organizations should apply the amendments for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019 (i.e., January 1, 2020, for a calendar-year entity), and interim periods within fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2020. Early application will be permitted for all entities. Details on transition and disclosure are included in the guidance.

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