Insight on Lease Accounting Classification Testing

1 min read
April 16, 2019
CoStar Real Estate Manager Blog

Insight on Lease Accounting Classification Testing

After the lease versus buy analysis has been conducted, the decision to lease is typically made for excellent financial reasons, which may include:

•    Avoiding significant down payments, which are not usually required by lessors

•    Better leveraging of buying power

•    More flexibility when it comes to continually updating equipment

Lease classification testing

Today, companies need to consider how this decision will coordinate with ASC 842.  Under the lease test of FASB 13 and ASC 840, leases were kept off the balance sheet by avoiding classification as a finance lease. 

Leases are required to be classified into two categories: operating leases or finance leases. Under the new standards, most leases will be classified as finance leases, with exceptions for short-term leases and low-value leases. As required by the new FASB lease accounting standards, the next step is the classification of the lease and that classification will be retained throughout the life of the lease unless there is a change such as a contract modification, or a change in whether a purchase option is implemented.

As the company prepares to implement there may be many questions. Traditionally, accounting advisors may be called upon to answer some of these questions, but there may be another closer source that just might be overlooked: your lease accounting software.

How can lease accounting software help with classification testing?

The right lease accounting software can provide the platform to test various leasing scenarios without every disturbing your live data. What if the decision is made to change the terms of the lease agreement? Will it change the bottom line? What will be the best possible conditions for equipment buyouts and renewals? In addition, some specific term lengths may be enforced by lenders adding to the cost if the lease term if it extends beyond the length of time you need the equipment. Lease software should show how various decisions will impact your business operations. Powerful information customized to your exact specification can prevent mistakes and support better business decisions. With CoStar as a member of the lease accounting team, companies will not only meet the biggest change in the history of lease accounting but also realize cost savings and improve the balance sheet.