The Boards discussed the scope of the Leases project. The staff suggested two possible approaches: a 'narrow' approach and a 'broad' scope. The narrow scope would accept the scope in the current set of standards - FAS 13 Accounting for Leases and IAS 17 Leases, plus EITF 01-8 and IFRIC 4, both called Determining whether an Arrangement Contains a Lease.
Board members expressed support and frustration in equal measures. Some thought that the scope was crucial and needed to be examined rigorously now. These Board members saw that putting off significant questions until later was sub-optimal. The scope should be thoroughly considered at the outset. If it is not, constituents would criticise the Board for not doing so.
Others wanted the leasing model fixed and then tested against a wider scope subsequently. One FASB member objected that the project seemed to be addressing the wrong kinds of transactions and should have as a priority the lease of intangible assets.
Other Board members noted that the staff's preferred approach (narrow scope) was pragmatic, especially given that the project would address both lessor and lessee accounting.
One FASB member thought that leasing crossed over so many other contentious issues, including revenue recognition, that to do a narrow-scope project would be a waste of time and resources.
With the exception of one FASB member, the Boards agreed to a narrow scope approach to the Leases project. They appeared to support the idea that once a model was developed it should be tested against other types of arrangements to determine whether it would be suitable for those arrangements.