SYNOPSIS

In July 2006, the International Accounting Standards Board and the Financial Accounting Standards Board (the “Boards”) added a leasing project to their agenda. In August 2010, the Boards jointly released an exposure draft proposing a “right-of-use” model for the recognition of lease-related assets and liabilities. In their deliberations, the Boards noted numerous studies focusing on lessee accounting, but very little research examining lessor-related topics. To address this gap in the literature, this paper identifies key reporting and disclosure issues associated with lessors, and suggests improvements that could be incorporated into lease accounting guidance.

This study is based on an analysis of the financial statement disclosures of 57 of the 100 largest equipment lessors in the U.S. market. Disclosure quality, residual values, and the balance sheet impact of the proposal are examined, and numerous suggestions are offered to enhance the usefulness of lessor financial statement disclosures for decision makers.

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