U.S. and international accounting rule makers have proposed an overhaul of lease accounting that could bring some $1.2 trillion of leased assets onto company balance sheets. In a joint statement, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and the US Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) indicated these changes will result in a consistent approach to lease accounting for both Lessees and Lessors, intended to improve the transparency of lease accounting and also decrease its current complexity. Simon Lee, national technical director, KPMG, said the proposals will affect most companies.
Given these changes are imminent (expected implementation by 2018) it will behoove companies to be proactive in reviewing the strategies in which they have previously financed their capital equipment. Plus, as the economy continues to strengthen and new capital equipment expenditures are considered, management should be aware of all structuring options available to them---including fundamental motivations relating to both cash flow preservation and tax depreciation.
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