FOR MORE THAN 10 YEARS
, the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (FASB) agenda was dominated by a handful of major projects addressing issues related to revenue recognition, leasing and credit impairment. These projects are now essentially finished. The revenue standard (ASC 606) was effective for public companies last year, the leases standard (ASC 842) is now live and companies are preparing to adopt the standard for credit losses (ASC 326) next year. While these standards and the related implementation efforts captured the headlines and attention of most people following accounting developments, the FASB was also working on other topics. These efforts were more targeted than the major projects, but they also have the potential to impact financial reporting for a broad spectrum of companies.
Not counting the big three projects, there were 29 standards or interpretations as of March 31 with current or fast-approaching effective dates. Think about that for a moment: Twenty-nine is a pretty daunting number. Fortunately, many of the standards have a very narrow impact—the FASB’s elimination of the deferred tax implications of statutory reserves of U.S. steamship companies is a good example of this sort of narrow change—and many of the changes do not impact the ELFA membership to any meaningful degree. Still, there are others changes that will or could impact companies in the equipment leasing and finance industry.
The accounting pronouncements listed in the following table are the most relevant to the ELFA membership and have been limited to the most significant standards that have an effective date for public or private companies in 2019 or 2020. Each company is in a different position, however, and scanning the complete list of standards, which is available at www.fasb.org or www.grantthornton.com/library/articles/audit/2019/comment-letters/effective-date-schedule.aspx, is highly recommended.
This table is only a snapshot of the changes that are now being or will have to be implemented in the near term. Some of the accounting standards or interpretations will impact annual compliance efforts (e.g., ASU 2017-04), while others may have implications on the accounting for specific transactions (e.g., 2017-05). Depending on the specifics of your operations, one or more of these changes may have a significant impact upon your accounting and reporting.