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Leases

Date recorded:

Disclosure for lessees

The Boards were presented with the proposed package of disclosures to be provided by lessees. The staff explained that the overarching principle on disclosures is to ensure that the information in the notes complements the information presented in the financial statements, so as to provide decision-useful information for users. The Boards were asked to consider the proposed disclosure package in terms of the grouping of disclosures based on the disclosure objective, amounts related to leases, and the assumptions and estimates.

 

Disclosure objective

The proposed disclosure objective broadly requires the disclosure of quantitative and qualitative information that identifies and explains the amounts recognised in the financial statements and enables users to evaluate the nature and extent of risks to which the leasing activities have exposed the entity. Some Board members were concerned that the term 'risks' is too vague in the context of leasing activities and that they were expecting disclosure around the uncertainty of future cash flows and the flexibility involved in the management of those risks.

Although the Boards agreed in principle with the proposed disclosure objective, it was not considered to be explicit enough and the staff was requested to revise and expand the objective to incorporate Board members' concerns raised during the meeting.

 

Amounts related to leases

The discussion of proposed disclosures pertaining to the amounts related to leasing activities centred around the general description of leasing activities and the proposed reconciliation between the opening and closing balances for the right-of-use assets and obligations to pay rentals.

One Board member was concerned that the level at which a description of leasing activities are required was too general and will result in boilerplate disclosures. It was suggested that that description should be broken down into certain classes of leases. When questioned how these classes would/should be determined, the Board member responded that it could possibly be linked to the disclosure objective. Another Board member suggested a grouping based on the nature of the underlying assets, for example, real estate, machinery, office equipment. Other Board members agreed that disaggregated information will be more useful to users.

On the requirement to present a reconciliation between the opening and closing balances of the right of use assets and lease obligations, one Board member was opposed to including a roll-forward in the leasing standard when the Financial Statement Presentation (FSP) Standard contain a general principle on when roll-forwards need to be presented. Another Board member remarked that requested the wording of the requirement to be aligned to the wording used in the FSP Standard. The staff commented that they are committed to follow the development of the FSP Standard very closely and ensure that there is alignment in the wording.

Other Board members questioned how leases accounted for using the simplified accounting model will be included in the roll-forward. The Boards concluded that they agree in principle with the proposed disclosures and that comments from individual Board members should be dealt with off-line.

 

Assumptions and estimates

The Boards mainly discussed whether a lessee should disclose the fair value of lease obligations and a sensitivity analysis to changes in market risks in the notes.

One Board member questioned where else the Boards have required a sensitivity analysis to changes in market risks for liabilities measured on a cost-basis. The Boards entered into a long discussion on whether it would be possible to determine compile a sensitivity analysis for changes in market risks and whether entities would be able to determine the fair value of lease obligations reliably. One Board member asked the staff to clarify that the changes in market risks are only required to assess the impact on future cash flows and not the impact on fair values. Staff confirmed that the intention was to show the sensitivity of future cash flows to changes in market risks. Following this clarification, Board members were more willing to support the proposed disclosure.

Several Board members raised concerns about the practicability to determine the fair value of lease obligations and reminded the Board that the reason why a fair value measurement model was not adopted for lease accounting was the difficulty in determining a reliable measurement. Other Board members responded that the disclosure of the fair values of other financial liabilities is already required in accordance with IFRS 7 and there is no specific reason why lease obligations should be treated differently.

One Board member reminded the Boards that a number of new standards will be published within the next 15 months and that, in each project, new disclosure requirements have been added. This Board member warned that the Boards will be losing their audience if the disclosure burden becomes onerous. Another Board member remarked that the Boards should guard against the perception that a vast volume of disclosures for leases have been added, whereas some of the disclosures are already required under the existing lease accounting models. The chairman responded that it is important to identify which disclosures are already required under existing guidance which requirements are new as a result of the new accounting model.

The Boards concluded the discussion by tentatively agreeing that the fair value of lease obligations should be disclosed and that the sensitivity of market risks should be limited to the impact on future cash flows.

 

Lessor accounting - Transition

The Boards were presented with the following four alternatives for transitional provisions for lessors:

  • A. Full retrospective application as if the new accounting requirements had always been applied;
  • B. Modified retrospective application where the new accounting requirements are only applied to arrangements outstanding at the effective date and those entered into after the effective date;
  • C. Simplified retrospective application which is applied to all outstanding leases at the effective date, but simplified so that lease receivable is measured using the interest rate implicit in the lease at the effective date; or
  • D. Prospective application to new leases entered into after the effective date.

None of the Board members supported alternatives A or D. The FASB supported alternative B as they considered using the interest rate implicit at the effective date may result in the misrepresentation of revenue. The majority of the IASB members initially supported alternative C (which is consistent with the approach proposed for lessees), however after further consideration, some Board members agreed with the FASB view on the implicit interest rate and indicated that they wanted to switch their vote to alternative B. The staff reminded the Boards that alternative B is not consistent with the approached adopted for lessees.

After a short deliberation, the Boards asked the staff whether alternative C could be applied with the implicit interest rate at the date the lease was entered into. Staff confirmed that this could be done. The Boards tentatively agreed to this alternative subject to using the original interest rate implicit in the lease.

The Boards then considered how leased assets capitalised under existing finance leases should be reinstated on the lessor's statement of financial position. It was noted that under US GAAP an option to remeasure at fair value does not exist and therefore the reinstated asset would be recognised at depreciated cost. The IASB agreed with the reinstatement at depreciated cost adjusted for impairment and revaluation in accordance with IAS 16.

 

Measurement at initial recognition

At the October 2009 meeting, the Board tentatively decided that lease assets and liabilities arise when the lease contract is signed (inception of the lease) and that the net contract position between the signing and delivering should be measured on a cost basis. The Boards were then asked to consider whether initial measurement of the assets and liabilities should be determined at the inception date or at the commencement date.

Without any discussion, the Boards tentatively agreed that an entity should recognise the gross value of assets and liabilities at the commencement of the lease term, and that those assets and liabilities should be measured at the inception of the lease and that the discount rate to be used will be fixed at lease inception.

 

Lessor accounting - Residual value guarantees

The Boards considered how residual value guarantees (RVG) held by lessors should be accounted for. The majority of Board members were supportive of the staff's proposal to account for amounts to be paid by a lessee under an RVG consistent with the accounting for contingent rentals. As a result any change in the receivable arising from a change in the amounts payable under an RVG would be treated as an adjustment to the lessor's receivable and performance obligation.

One Board member questioned why a lessor needs to recognise an increase in the performance obligation when the amount to be paid by a lessee increases. The Board member was of the opinion that such an adjustment should be recognised as a gain. The staff responded by clarifying that the accounting by the lessee has been mirrored by the lessor's accounting.

It was further pointed out that the definitions of residual value under IFRSs and US GAAP are different, and the impact on the accounting treatment has not yet been explored in the context of lessor accounting. The Boards agreed to explore the differences further and consider aligning the definitions.

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