By Mike Hammerslag
With the unique purview of our worldwide client base we’ve had the opportunity to see things better than most. And when it comes to the adoption of the new lease accounting standards, something has become quite clear; except for Canada it seems, IASB adopters are behind their FASB counterparts.
Although the leases project has lagged globally due to the revenue recognition project, FASB adopters had a little bit more of a head start. Adoption under FASB originally tasked firms with having comparative statements for 2017 and 2018.
However, those early lease calculations effectively could be avoided in their entirety under IASB, thus making the IASB leases project seem not as urgent.
With that in mind, here are some tips to help you catch up:
- Shorten the procurement cycle wherever or however possible.
- Make sure that the solution you select is structured to handle other languages and/or that their partners have.
- Ensure your solution can handle a truly global portfolio by allowing active schedules under both adoption methodologies.
- Confirm that someone, any third party perhaps, has evaluated the system and given a report on quality, accuracy, or appropriateness of the solution for the task.
- Make sure your solution partner has implementation experience and you are confident in their ability to deliver.
- Write your processes and procedures as soon as possible with an eye towards eliminating bottlenecks or situations that can leave room for interpretations that are too broad.
- Develop your new G/L accounts for reporting with an eye towards ensuring operational entities, sub-portfolios, and allocations can be addressed.
- Consider whether multi-currency related items matter and what will be the best way to address them in the reporting process.
- Determine whether the tool you are adopting is best for all reporting or whether reporting should be a combined effort of values in the G/L and values in the tool.
- Put all leases in the system whether they will be reported under the new standards or not.
- Conduct a business operations analysis to determine the location of those operating leases (that you never cared about until now), and where those operating leases likely would be housed (stored) in your business.
- Run a data gap analysis for terms, options, covenants, interest rates, indexes, etc.
- Determine whether equipment leasing processes must be re-evaluated with an eye towards re-centralization to effect adequate ongoing reporting after the adoption date.
With a sharp eye focused on these 3 areas, you can be confident that any perceived oversimplification of adoption and implementation can be put in the rearview mirror and a timely, effective adoption and reporting project can be completed successfully.
Now if only procurement could speed up their process!