November 17, 2015
ELFA releases white paper re “Changes in Lease Accounting”
Washington, DC-- The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association has released a new educational tool that addresses impending changes to the lease accounting standard. The white paper, “Changes in Lease Accounting: The Benefits of Equipment Lease Financing Remain,” is designed to help ELFA members understand what’s expected in the new accounting rules; educate their sales teams, vendor partners and end-users about the rules; and allay any potential customer fears about the forthcoming changes.
The Financial Accounting Standards Board is expected to release the new lease accounting standard in December 2015 or January 2016, with an implementation year of 2019 for public companies—private companies will be allowed another year before transitioning is required. Although the new standard will change how leases are accounted for on corporate balance sheets, ELFA’s new white paper emphasizes that most of the lease accounting changes are expected to be relatively neutral in their impact. Further, the paper reveals that the core benefits of leasing transactions will not go away under the new standard. In fact, lessees will continue to enjoy a myriad of benefits, including:
- An immediate source of lower-cost capital
- Flexible terms and structures
- Payment plans aligned with cash-flow needs
- Convenient and efficient execution
- Industry expertise and regulatory knowledge
- and more.
The “Changes in Lease Accounting” white paper encourages ELFA members to maintain a dialogue with their customers about the impending change and offers pointers for providing educated guidance to their sales teams, vendor partners and end-user customers. The reader-friendly white paper includes:
- A summary of the anticipated final guidelines , including a chart outlining key provisions of the expected final standard.
- Talking points for sales people and end-user customers on key provisions of the rules, including (1) Dealers/Vendor Partner Impact: Revenue Recognition and (2) End-User Customer Impact: Balance Sheet and P&L Impact.
- A chart outlining the benefits of leasing before and after implementation of the new standard, which demonstrates that the core benefits of leasing will remain intact.
- A “Lessee FAQ” featuring answers to questions that lessees may pose about the new rules.
“With a new lease accounting standard imminent, ELFA members are engaging their customers and other stakeholders regarding the new rules,” said ELFA President and CEO William G. Sutton, CAE. “We are pleased to offer this white paper to assist in that education process. We especially thank the members of our association’s Captive and Vendor Finance Business Council Steering Committee who helped develop the white paper. The good news is that there are many reasons to lease, and the primary reasons to lease will remain intact under the new rules, from maintaining cash flow, to preserving capital, to obtaining flexible financial solutions, to avoiding obsolescence. Under the new standard, ELFA members will continue to offer practical and profitable solutions to help their customers acquire productive assets to grow their businesses.”
Download the White Paper
The “Changes in Lease Accounting” white paper is available on the ELFA website: www.elfaonline.org/Issues/Accounting/EC/AcctgWhitePaperLeasingBenefits_final.pdf. For more information and resources on this topic, visit ELFA’s Lease Accounting Project webpage at www.elfaonline.org/Issues/Accounting/.