Data suggests organizations are moving quickly with the assistance of Big 4 experience and sophisticated technology solutions, but many are not where they need to be.
With the January 1, 2019, deadline looming for compliance with the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) lease accounting standards, only 15 percent of companies have completed their implementations to date, according to a KPMG survey. Another 45 percent indicate that they are in the process of implementing as they brace for some of the most significant changes to lease accounting to date, with an overwhelming majority of companies relying on assistance from Big 4 accounting firms, such as KPMG to comply.
“We have seen companies start their projects around the lease accounting standards as they complete their implementation projects for the revenue recognition standards, however, companies still have a lot of work to do in order to achieve compliance with the lease accounting standards,” according to Marybeth Shamrock, KPMG’s Advisory lead for Leasing.
Detailed findings of the survey can be found at https://advisory.kpmg.us/blog/articles/2018/02/companies-want-experienced-provider.html
Respondents to the KPMG survey included 150 finance and accounting professionals in financial services, manufacturing, retail, telecom, and media industries. Nearly half of those polled have at least 1,000 leases. A significant proportion (57.3 percent) have annual revenue of $500 million to $50 billion.
According to the FASB, the standard will require organizations that are lessees to recognize the assets and liabilities for the rights and obligations created by those leases on their balance sheets, increasing transparency and comparability among organizations that lease buildings, equipment, and other assets.
The KPMG survey also revealed that companies expect significant implementation costs, ranging from $250,000 to more than $500,000 – more than a quarter of respondent expect costs to exceed half-a-million dollars.
Companies See Value in Lease Accounting Technology Expertise
When it comes to leveraging technology to assist with implementation, 45 percent of respondents who are still in the assessment phase and 50 percent that have yet to begin, acknowledge that technology will be critical to streamlining implementation efforts and costs associated.
“The survey underscores companies’ desire to not only leverage technology to implement a system to comply with the leasing standard, but to lessen the burden on IT systems, processes, and people,” said Donald Coduto, a director in KPMG’s Accounting Advisory Services. “KPMG has vast experience in the implementation of these standards, and technology solutions like the KPMG Leasing Tool, to help companies reach implementation efficiently.”
Shamrock adds, “The new requirements call for a substantial change in the way companies account for all their leases—from office space to heavy equipment, trucks and airplanes—and will have implications throughout the organization, including tax, reporting, and technology.”
KPMG LLP is the independent U.S. member firm of KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”). KPMG International’s independent member firms have 197,000 professionals working in 154 countries. Learn more at www.kpmg.com/us.
Ann Marie Gorden