Saturday, September 11, 2010

New Proposed ASU on Leases

Back in March 2009 the FASB and the IASB issued a discussion paper, Leases: Preliminary Views. After considering the responses to this discussion paper, the two Boards have issued a Proposed Accounting Standards Update Leases (Topic 840). This proposed ASU was issued August 17, 2010. The comment period ends December 15, 2010.

The main proposal in the proposed ASU is that lessees and lessors should apply a right-of-use model in accounting for all leases (including leases of right-of-use assets in a sublease) other than leases of biological and intangible assets, leases to explore for or use natural resources and leases of some investment properties. This means that:

(a) a lessee would recognize an asset representing its right to use the leased (‘underlying’) asset for the lease term (the ‘right-of-use’ asset) and a liability to make lease payments.

(b) a lessor would recognize an asset representing its right to receive lease payments and, depending on its exposure to risks or benefits associated with the underlying asset, would either recognize a lease liability while continuing to recognize the underlying asset (a performance obligation approach); or derecognize the rights in the underlying asset that it transfers to the lessee and continue to recognize a residual asset representing its rights to the underlying asset at the end of the lease term (a derecognition approach).

Assets and liabilities recognized by lessees and lessors would be measured on a basis that:

(a) assumes the longest possible lease term that is more likely than not to occur, taking into account the effect of any options to extend or terminate the lease.

(b) uses an expected outcome technique to reflect the lease payments, including contingent rentals and expected payments under term option penalties and residual value guarantees, specified by the lease.

(c) is updated when changes in facts or circumstances indicate that there would be a significant change in those assets or liabilities since the previous reporting period.

For contracts that combine service and lease components, the right to receive lease payments and the liability to make lease payments would exclude payments arising from distinct service components and for the draft IFRS, non-distinct service components for lessors that apply the derecognition approach.

For leases of 12 months or less, lessees and lessors would be able to apply simplified requirements.

The exposure draft also contains proposed disclosures based on stated objectives. This includes disclosures about the amounts recognized in the financial statements arising from leases and the amount, timing and uncertainty of cash flows arising from those contracts.

ASUs are available on the FASB website, under Standards.,br/>
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