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Presentations and Disclosures for Lease Accounting

In February 2016, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB” or “the Board”) issued its highly-anticipated leasing standard in ASU 2016-02 (“ASC 842” or “the new standard”) for both lessees and lessors. Under its core principle, a lessee will recognize right-of-use (“ROU”) assets and related lease liabilities on the balance sheet for all arrangements with terms longer than 12 months. The pattern of expense recognition in the income statement will depend on a lease’s classification. 

During deliberations for the standard, many users indicated that the existing disclosure requirements did not provide enough information to understand an entity’s leasing activities. As a result, the new standard also introduces an overall disclosure objective together with significantly enhanced presentation and disclosure requirements for leases.

Disclosure Objective

FASB Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) 842-20-50-1 and 842-30-50-1 provide that “the objective of the disclosure requirements is to enable users of financial statements to assess the amount, timing, and uncertainty of cash flows arising from leases.”  The standard further indicates that “a lessee [lessor] shall consider the level of detail necessary to satisfy the disclosure objective and how much emphasis to place on each of the various requirements.  A lessee [lessor] shall aggregate or disaggregate disclosures so that useful information is not obscured by either the inclusion of a large amount of insignificant detail or by aggregating items that have different characteristics.” [1]

With that objective in mind, significant judgment will be required to determine the level of disclosures necessary for an entity.  However, as a guiding principle, the basis for conclusions indicates “if leasing is a significant part of an entity’s business activities, the disclosures would be more comprehensive than for an entity whose leasing activities are less significant….”[2]  For example, although the new standard does not provide specific quantitative or qualitative disaggregation requirements such as those required under ASC 606, for entities for which leasing is a significant portion of their business, such disaggregation might be appropriate.

Entities must make appropriate disclosures for each annual reporting period for which a statement of comprehensive income (statement of activities) is presented and in each year-end statement of financial position.  Entities are not required to repeat disclosures if the information is already presented in the financial statements as required by other accounting standards.

Although many of the disclosures required by ASC 842 only affect an entity’s annual financial statements, the new standard requires that lessors provide a table disclosing lease income for each interim and annual reporting period [3]. Additionally, in the year of adoption, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requires public companies to include all required annual disclosures in any interim financial statements that are prepared until the next annual financial statements are filed – even if the disclosure requirements are only applicable for annual periods.

Presentation

Lessee

A lessee is required to present ROU assets resulting from finance leases separately from ROU assets resulting from operating leases and separately from other assets, either on the face of the balance sheet or in the footnotes. Similarly, lease liabilities for finance leases are required to be presented separately from lease liabilities from operating leases and from other liabilities. In addition, ROU assets are presented as noncurrent in the lessee’s balance sheet, consistent with how other amortizing assets such as PP&E are presented. However, the related lease liabilities are subject to current and long-term presentation requirements in a classified balance sheet, consistent with the way other financial liabilities are presented.

If the lessee chooses to report ROU assets and liabilities within other line items on the balance sheet rather than in separate captions, the lessee is prohibited from reporting finance lease ROU assets or finance lease liabilities in the same caption as operating lease ROU assets and operating lease liabilities.  Additionally, disclosure of which line items in the statement of financial position include the ROU assets and lease liabilities would be required. 

For finance leases, a lessee should present the interest expense on the lease liability and amortization of the ROU asset in a manner consistent with how the lessee reports other interest expense and depreciation or amortization expense in the income statement. For operating leases, the lessee must present both components together as lease expense within income from continuing operations, consistent with the presentation of other operating expenses. Lease expense should be classified within cost of sales; selling, general, and administrative expense; or another expense line item depending on the nature of the lease.

The new standard does not provide specific guidance on the presentation of variable lease payments (for either finance or operating leases).  Paragraph BC271 in the basis of conclusions for ASU 2016-02 indicates that amount recognized in the income statement should be presented within income from continuing operations. We believe that presentation as either lease expense or interest expense may be appropriate, depending on the nature of the lease.  In making this determination, lessees should assess whether the payments are more akin to lease payments or interest.

The cash flow classification of payments related to finance leases should be consistent with the classification of payments associated with other financial liabilities. Payments of principal should be presented as financing activities, while payments of interest would typically result in operating cash flow presentation. Payments related to operating leases, leases to which the lessee has applied the practical expedient for short term leases, and any variable lease payments for either operating or finance leases should all be classified as operating cash outflows (unless the payment represents a cost of bringing another asset to the condition and location necessary for its intended use, in which case it should be classified within investing activities). Additionally, the establishment of ROU assets and lease liabilities at inception of a lease (or that change because of lease modifications or reassessment events) should be disclosed as noncash investing and financing activities.

Lessor

A lessor is required to present lease assets (i.e., net investment in leases) resulting from sales-type and direct financing leases separately from other assets in the balance sheet. Lease assets are financial assets that are subject to current and long-term presentation requirements in a classified balance sheet.

For operating leases, the assets underlying the leases and related depreciation are presented in accordance with other accounting guidance (e.g., ASC 360). Assets subject to lease under operating leases should be presented separately from owned assets that are held and used by the lessor as they are subject to different risks. Any rent receivable, deferred rent revenue (i.e., that results from requirement to recognize rents on a straight-line basis), or prepaid initial direct costs would be subject to current and long-term presentation requirements.

Income arising from leases should be presented separately in the income statement or in the footnotes. If presented in the footnotes, a lessor must also disclose which line items include lease income. Revenue and cost of goods sold related to profit or loss on leases recognized at the commencement date should be presented on a gross basis if the lessor uses leases as an alternative means of realizing value from goods that it would otherwise sell. If the lessor uses leasing as a means of providing finance, profit or loss should be presented on a net basis (i.e., as a single line item).

The new standard does not provide specific guidance on the presentation of variable lease payments received for direct financing or sales type leases.  We believe that presentation as either lease income or interest income may be appropriate, depending on the nature of the lease. In making this determination, Lessors should assess whether the payments are more akin to lease payments or interest.

Lessors must classify all cash receipts from leases as operating activities in the statement of cash flows.

Disclosure Requirements

As noted previously, the objective of the disclosure requirements in the new leasing standard is to enable users of financial statements to assess the amount, timing, and uncertainty of cash flows arising from leases. To help entities achieve this objective, the leasing standard prescribes quantitative and qualitative disclosures that are required for all entities.[4]

Lessees – Annual Disclosures

Statement of Financial Position

  • Present, or disclose in the notes, separately from each other and from other assets and liabilities:
    • Finance lease right-of-use assets
    • Operating lease right-of use assets
    • Finance lease liabilities
    • Operating lease liabilities
  • Classify right-of-use assets and lease liabilities as current or noncurrent consistent with the way similar nonfinancial assets and financial liabilities are classified
  • Disclose which line items in the statement of financial position include the right-of-use assets and lease liabilities
  • Lessee is prohibited from presenting:
    • Finance lease right-of-use assets in the same line item as operating lease right-of-use assets
    • Finance lease liabilities in the same line item as operating lease liabilities

Statement of Comprehensive Income

  • For finance leases, present interest expense on the lease liability and amortization of the right-of-use asset in a manner consistent with how the entity presents other interest expense and depreciation and amortization of similar assets, respectively.
  • For operating leases, lease expense should be included in income from continuing operations

Statement of Cash Flows

  • Classify repayments of the principal portion of the lease liability arising from finance leases within financing activities
  • Classify interest on the lease liability arising from finance leases in accordance with requirements relating to interest paid in ASC 230 on cash flows
  • Classify payments arising from operating leases within operating activities, except to the extent that those payments represent costs to bring another asset to the condition and location necessary for its intended use, which should be classified within investing activities
  • Classify variable lease payments and short-term lease payments not included in the lease liability within operating activities

Qualitative Information

  • Information about the nature of its leases, including
    • A general description of the leases
    • The basis and terms and conditions on which variable lease payments are determined
    • The existence and terms and conditions of options to extend or terminate the lease. A lessee should provide narrative disclosure about the options that are recognized as part of its right-of-use assets and lease liabilities and those that are not.
    • The existence and terms and conditions of residual value guarantees provided by the lessee.
    • The restrictions or covenants imposed by leases, for example, those relating to dividends or incurring additional financial obligations
    • Identify the information relating to subleases included in the above disclosures.
  • Information about leases that have not yet commenced but that create significant rights and obligations for the lessee, including the nature of any involvement with the construction or design of the underlying asset.
  • Disclose lease transactions between related parties

Significant Judgments

  • Information about significant assumptions and judgments made, including:
    • The determination of whether a contract contains a lease
    • The allocation of consideration in a contract between lease and nonlease components
    • The determination of the discount rate for the lease

Quantitative Disclosures

  • For each period presented, disclose amounts related to a lessee’s total lease cost (including both amounts recognized in income and capitalized) and the cash flows arising from lease transactions
    • Finance lease cost segregated between:
      • Amortization of right-of use assets
      • Interest on lease liabilities
    • Operating lease cost
    • Short-term lease cost
      • Excluding expenses relating to leases with a lease term of one month or less
    • Variable lease cost
    • Sublease income, disclosed on a gross basis, separate from finance or operating lease expense
    • Net gain or loss recognized from sale and leaseback transactions
    • Amounts segregated between those for finance and operating leases for:
      • Cash paid for amounts included in the measurement of lease liabilities segregated between operating and financing cash flows
      • Supplemental noncash information lease liabilities arising from obtaining right-of-use assets
      • Weighted-average remaining lease term
      • Weighted-average discount rate
  • Disclose maturity analysis of undiscounted lease liabilities (i.e., 5-year table) separately for finance leases and operating leases
    • Provide reconciliation of undiscounted cash flows to the finance lease liabilities and operating lease liabilities recognized in the statement of financial position

Policy Elections and Practical Expedients

  • Disclose policy election for short-term leases, if elected
    • If the short-term lease expense does not reasonably reflect the lessee’s short-term lease commitments, disclose that fact and the amount of short-term lease commitments.
  • Disclose practical expedient for not separating lease components from non-lease components, if elected
    • Class or classes of underlying assets to which the election applies

Lessors – Annual Disclosures

Statement of Financial Position

Sales-Type and Direct Financing Leases

  • Present lease assets separately from other assets in the statement of financial position
  • Classify lease assets as current or noncurrent consistent with the way similar assets are classified

Operating Leases

  • Present the underlying assets subject to an operating lease in accordance with other accounting standards

Statement of Comprehensive Income

Sales-Type and Direct Financing Leases

  • Present, or disclose in the notes, income arising from leases.
  • Disclose which line items in the statement of comprehensive income include lease income
  • Present profit or loss on the lease recognized at the commencement date in a manner that best reflects the lessor’s business model, for example:
    • Present revenue and cost of goods sold relating to leasing activities in separate line items if lessor uses leases as an alternative means of realizing value from goods it would otherwise sell
    • Present profit or loss in a single line item if lessor uses lease for purposes of providing finance

Statement of Cash Flows

  • Classify cash receipts from leases within operating activities [5]

Qualitative Information

  • Information about the nature of its leases, including
    • A general description of the leases
    • The basis and terms and conditions on which variable lease payments are determined
    • The existence and terms and conditions of options to extend or terminate the lease.
    • The existence and terms and conditions of options for a lessee to purchase the underlying asset.
  • Disclose lease transactions between related parties
  • Information about how lessor manages risk associated with the residual value of its leased assets
    • Risk management strategy for residual assets
    • Carrying amount of residual assets covered by residual value guarantees
    • Any other means by which the lessor reduces its residual asset risk, for example:
      • Buyback agreements
      • Variable lease payments for use more than specified limits

Significant Judgments

  • Information about significant assumptions and judgments made, including:
    • The determination of whether a contract contains a lease
    • The allocation of consideration in a contract between lease and nonlease components (unless a lessor elects the practical expedient in paragraph 842-10-15-42A and all nonlease components in the contract qualify for that practical expedient)
    • The determination of the amount the lessor expects to derive from the underlying asset following the end of the lease term

Quantitative Disclosures

  • For each period [6] presented, disclose in tabular format:
    • Sales-type leases and direct financing leases
      • Profit or loss recognized at the commencement date
      • Interest income (either in aggregate or separated by components of the net investment in the lease)
      • Lease income relating to variable lease payments not included in the measurement of the lease receivable
    • Operating leases
      • Lease income relating to lease payments, including variable lease payments
  • Disclose the components of the lessor’s aggregate net investment in sales-type and direct financing leases:
    • Carrying amount of lease receivables
    • Unguaranteed residual assets
    • Deferred selling profit on direct financing leases
  • Sales-Type and Direct Financing Leases
    • Explain significant changes in the balance of unguaranteed residual assets and deferred selling profit on direct financing leases
    • Disclose maturity analysis (i.e., 5-year table) of undiscounted lease receivables
      • Provide reconciliation of undiscounted cash flows to the lease receivables recognized in the statement of financial position (or disclosed separately in the notes)
  • Operating Leases
    • Disclose maturity analysis (i.e., 5-year table) of lease payments to be received
    • Provide disclosures required by ASC 360 on property, plant, and equipment separately for underlying assets under operating leases from owned assets

Policy Elections and Practical Expedients

  • An entity that elects the practical expedient to not separate nonlease components from associated lease components (including an entity that accounts for the combined component entirely in ASC 606 on revenue from contracts with customers) shall disclose the following by class of underlying asset:
    • Accounting policy election and the class or classes of underlying assets for which it has elected to apply the practical expedient
    • The nature of
      • The lease components and nonlease components combined because of applying the practical expedient
      • The nonlease components, if any, that are accounted for separately from the combined component because they do not qualify for the practical expedient
    • The accounting standard the entity uses to account for the combined component (i.e., ASC 842 or ASC 606)

Sale and Leaseback

If a seller-lessee enters into a sale and leaseback transaction, it must provide the disclosures required for lessees. Similarly, a buyer-lessor must provide the disclosures for lessors. Additionally, a seller-lessee must disclose the main terms and conditions of the sale and leaseback transaction and must disclose any gains or losses arising from the transaction separately from gains or losses on disposal of other assets.

Leveraged Leases

Although ASC 842 removed leveraged lease accounting, leases that met the definition of a leveraged lease under ASC 840 that commenced before the effective date of ASC 842 are grandfathered in.  As such, entities that continue to have leveraged leases must continue to provide disclosures as required by ASC 842-50, which carries forward existing guidance from ASC 840.

Other Disclosure Considerations

Transition

The leasing standard requires an entity to provide the general disclosures required by ASC 250 Accounting Changes and Error Corrections.  Entities are also required to provide an explanation to users of financial statements about which practical expedients were used in transition.

SAB 74 Disclosures

In periods prior to adoption of the leasing standard, entities are required to make disclosures under the SEC’s Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 74 (codified in SAB Topic 11.M), Disclosure of The Impact That Recently Issued Accounting Standards Will Have on The Financial Statements of The Registrant When Adopted in A Future Period (“SAB 74”).  SAB 74 requires that when a recently issued accounting standard has not yet been adopted, a registrant disclose the potential effects of the future adoption in its interim and annual SEC filings. SAB 74 disclosures should be both qualitative and quantitative. According to Center for Audit Quality Alert 2017-03, SAB Topic 11.M – A Focus on Disclosures for New Accounting Standards, the SEC staff expects that SAB 74 disclosures will become more robust and quantitative as the new accounting standard’s effective date approaches. As such, the following types of SAB 74 disclosures are expected in a registrant’s financial statements in the periods before new accounting standards are effective:

  • A comparison of accounting policies. Registrants should compare their current accounting policies to the expected accounting policies under the new accounting standard(s).
  • Status of implementation. The status of the process should be disclosed, including significant implementation matters not yet addressed or if the process is lagging.
  • Consideration of the effect of new footnote disclosure requirements in addition to the effect on the balance sheet and income statement. A new accounting standard may not be expected to materially affect the primary financial statements; however, it may require new significant disclosures that require significant judgments.
  • Disclosure of the quantitative impact of the new accounting standard if it can be reasonably estimated.
  • Disclosure that the expected financial statement impact of the new accounting standard cannot be reasonably estimated.
  • Qualitative disclosures. When the expected financial statement impact is not yet known by a registrant, a qualitative description of the effect of the new accounting standard on the registrant’s accounting policies should be disclosed.

Selected Financial Data – 5 Year Table

Some SEC registrants have questioned whether they must recast all periods reflected in the 5-year Summary of Selected Financial Data in accordance with the new leasing standard? In short, the answer is “no”. Registrants are only required to adjust the periods in the financial data table that correspond to the periods adjusted in the registrant’s financial statements.  For example, an entity that elects to adopt the new standard as of the effective date (i.e., without restating prior comparative periods), the four prior years in the selected financial data table would not be adjusted.  Companies will be required to provide the disclosures required by Instruction 2 to S-K Item 301 regarding comparability of the data presented.

The team at The MFA Companies is here to help. If you have questions about how the new lease accounting standard affects your business or how to implement it, contact us today.

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Related Articles
Understanding the New Leasing Standard: Definition of a Lease
What You Need to Know About Lease Accounting
FASB Issues Clarifications to Leases Standard
Whitepaper: FASB’s New Leasing Standard

[1] ASC 842-20-50-2 and ASC 842-30-50-2
[2] ASU 2016-02 Background Information and Basis for Conclusions, paragraph BC 276
[3] ASC 842-30-50-5
[4] Unlike other recent standards, ASC 842 does not distinguish between public entities and all other entities. The disclosure principal and related requirements apply to all entities.
[5] In December 2018, the FASB issued an exposure draft entitled Leases (842): Codification Improvements for Lessors. If finalized, the exposure draft would allow lessors within the scope of ASC 942, Financial Services – Depository and Lending, to continue to report principal payments received under leases as investing activities.
[6] The disclosures regarding lease income as discussed in ASC 842-30-50-5 are required for each annual and interim (e.g., quarterly) reporting period.

Michael Piessens

Michael Piessens

CPA, CMA, CFM
Partner

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