lessee vs lessor

A Deep Dive into ASC 842: Lessee vs Lessor

In this article, we explore lessee vs lessor intricacies of ASC 842. At Black Owl Systems, we constantly stay updated with the latest industry standards to ensure that our clients receive the best advice and services. ASC 842 is no exception. We hope to provide clarity and a foundational understanding for businesses navigating this nuanced of the accounting landscape.

Background: The Genesis of ASC 842 (Lessee vs Lessor)

The introduction of ASC 842 was not arbitrary. Its inception was motivated by a deep need to usher in transparency into financial practices, especially in the realm of leasing. The primary objective was to furnish valuable insights to financial statement users.

Historically, certain questionable financial incidents were masked using intricate lease-related off-balance sheet financing. ASC 842 emerged as a beacon, illuminating these shadowy practices and ensuring both lessors and lessees adhere to transparent accounting methods.

One of the pivotal shifts ASC 842 instituted was the treatment of operating leases. Rather than allowing these to quietly pass through the income statement, they now have a pronounced presence on the balance sheet. Additionally, ASC 842 mandates comprehensive disclosures, making it harder for companies to obscure liabilities and payments.

Lessor’s Perspective: Understanding ASC 842

While the overarching theme of ASC 842 impacts both lessors and lessees, the modifications for lessors have been relatively more subtle.

  • Lease Recognition – ASC 842 highlights three primary lease types for lessors: Sales-type leases, Direct financing leases, and Operating leases.
  • Initial Measurement Metrics – the initial measurement for lessors is relatively straightforward. The underlying asset continues to be measured as mandated by pertinent topics.
  • Ensuing Measurements – as for subsequent evaluations, lessors should again refer to the pertinent topics, such as impairment tests for the underlying asset.
  • Crucial Disclosures – lessors must furnish both qualitative and quantitative insights about their leases. The depth of these disclosures remains the lessor’s discretion but is bounded by ASC 842’s stipulations. Necessary disclosures encompass the lease details, significant judgments made, and any relevant financial statement amounts.

Navigating ASC 842 as a Lessee

The ramifications of ASC 842 for lessees have been profound, demanding a more holistic reassessment of contracts to ascertain lease presence.

  • Lease Recognition – upon the commencement of a lease, lessees should recognize both an asset and a concurrent liability, categorically the right-of-use asset and the lease liability.
  • Initial Measurement Principles – the lease liability is deduced from the present value of impending lease payments, using the lease’s specific discount rate. Concurrently, the right-of-use asset is calibrated based on the lease liability, adjusted for certain direct costs and lease payments.
  • Subsequent Evaluations – the subsequent assessments for lease liabilities and right-of-use assets are systematic. The former is based on outstanding payments, while the latter includes various adjustments, like unamortized costs.
  • Detailed Disclosures – similar to lessors, lessees are obligated to provide detailed disclosures, encompassing lease descriptions, variable lease conditions, and any other pertinent information like how the used discount rate was deduced.

Embracing Modern Solutions: The Role of Technology in ASC 842 Compliance

With the nuanced requirements of ASC 842, manual adherence can be an uphill task, even more so as lease volumes rise. This challenge underscores the importance of leveraging cutting-edge technology solutions.

Automated lease accounting software, equipped with AI capabilities, can drastically reduce the complexities surrounding ASC 842 compliance. Such software simplifies adherence, ensuring businesses remain compliant without unwarranted hassles.

At Black Owl, we believe in the power of technology to alleviate challenges and drive efficiencies. Should you need assistance or insights into ASC 842 or any other industry standards, do not hesitate to reach out to us. We’re here to help guide you through the labyrinth of evolving financial landscapes.

Greg Kautz
Greg Kautz

Greg Kautz, CPA, CMA

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