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Friday, May 13, 2016

FASB on Feb 25, 2016 and the IASB somewhat earlier, have published and implemented their new accounting standards for  leases. The FASB  standard is designated LEASES(ASC 842). I have had the opportunity just this month (May 2016 ) to review some of the articles available, coming off a very hectic tax season.

To the point, just about every lease that goes beyond a year now has to show itself on the balance sheet as both an asset and offsetting liability. The leases break down into three broad categories as operating leases, finance leases and sales type leases. Leveraged lease are no longer recognized as a separate category, but presumably will squeeze themselves into the finance lease category if any are newly done. There is no advantageous earnings treatment from the lessor reporting side, nor any advantageous balance sheet treatment from the lessee side. If one is done it would have to be on it's economic merits only. After tax analysis is still a viable tool and can be applied to any leveraged tax advantaged transaction not only leases, but including leveraged leases. There is no longer an up-fronting of income and hence no great EPS impact can be expected for lessors.

It is all too new for me to start making any generalizations other than to say all leases will be outed on the balance sheets of lessees and will carry the force of contractual debt in ratio and income measurements. Present value analysis can be done for the simpler payment streams using any tool such as EXCEL or a hand held HP Financial calculator. For more complex flows and for a permanent record or portfolio computations, a system such as PAMS-DCF will be required above and apart from the rate analysis aspects of such a tool. Over-all, I believe Present Value tools will be in more demand now than ever before, in spite of the loss of the need for accounting use of extended yield analysis methods. It should prove to be a net win for products such as PAMS-DCF. More will come as the accounting package is completed and some attempts are made to implement portfolio booking methods for leases on the lessee side. It is a new world, but hey, look what's happening to the political world.

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