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ASC 842 and Statement of Shareholders' Equity

Understanding Your Statement of Shareholders' Equity under the ASC 842 Standard.

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ASC 842: Impact on the Statement of Shareholders' Equity

ASC 842, also known as the lease accounting standard, was issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) to improve the transparency and comparability of lease obligations on the financial statements of lessees. This standard requires organizations to recognize lease assets and lease liabilities on the balance sheet, significantly impacting how companies report their leasing activities. One particular area of the financial statements that might not be directly impacted but is essential to understand in this context is the Statement of Shareholders' Equity. This article will guide you through what is required to comply with ASC 842 and discuss its indirect impact on the Statement of Shareholders' Equity.

Key Requirements for ASC 842 Compliance

1. Lease Identification: Companies must identify contracts that qualify as leases under ASC 842. This involves determining whether a contract conveys the right to control the use of an identified asset for a period in exchange for consideration.

2. Recognition and Measurement: Lessees are required to recognize a right-of-use (ROU) asset and a lease liability at the lease commencement date. The lease liability is measured based on the present value of lease payments, while the ROU asset is typically measured based on the lease liability, adjusted for prepaid or accrued lease payments, lease incentives, and initial direct costs.

3. Classification of Leases: Leases must be classified as either finance leases or operating leases. This classification affects the pattern of expense recognition in the income statement, where finance leases recognize interest on the lease liability separately from amortization of the ROU asset, while operating leases recognize a single lease cost.

4. Disclosure Requirements: ASC 842 requires extensive qualitative and quantitative disclosures, including information about lease terms, significant judgments made in applying ASC 842, and the amount, timing, and uncertainty of cash flows arising from leases.

5. Transition and Comparative Reporting: For public companies, the standard was effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2018, and interim periods within those fiscal years. Private companies had an additional year to comply. Entities could choose between a modified retrospective approach and a cumulative effect adjustment at the adoption date.

Impact on the Statement of Shareholders' Equity

While ASC 842 primarily affects the balance sheet and income statement, it can indirectly influence the Statement of Shareholders' Equity through the following channels:
  • Retained Earnings Adjustment: The cumulative effect of initially applying ASC 842 may lead to an adjustment in retained earnings at the adoption date, especially if the entity chooses the cumulative effect adjustment approach. This adjustment reflects the retrospective application of the new standard to leases previously classified under ASC 840 without restating comparative periods.
  • Net Income Impact: Changes in lease expense recognition and interest expense for finance leases under ASC 842 can alter the net income, which in turn affects the retained earnings component of shareholders' equity. For example, the front-loaded expense pattern for finance leases could lead to lower net income in the early years of a lease compared to operating lease accounting under ASC 840.
  • Comprehensive Income: Certain lease-related transactions, such as foreign currency remeasurements of lease liabilities for leases denominated in a foreign currency, may impact other comprehensive income (OCI) and, consequently, accumulated OCI, a component of shareholders' equity.
Compliance with ASC 842 requires significant effort from companies to review and adjust their lease accounting practices. While the direct impact of ASC 842 is on the balance sheet and income statement, it's crucial for stakeholders to understand its indirect implications on the Statement of Shareholders' Equity, primarily through adjustments to retained earnings and comprehensive income. By ensuring accurate lease classification, recognition, measurement, and disclosure, companies can not only comply with ASC 842 but also enhance the transparency and comparability of their financial statements, providing a more accurate picture of their financial health and obligations.

Get the Best Lease Accounting Software Solution from iLeasePro

At iLeasePro, we understand every aspect of leasing, including lease accounting financial reporting. That means we know what lease features are involved, how calculations need to be performed and recorded, and how you can best use your leases and lease data as a business asset.

We also know the ASC 842 standard inside out, and as such we know how lease accounting software has to work to be compliant with that standard.

We’ve provided lease accounting software for small businesses, and for larger companies as well. Our lease accounting software pricing is among the best in the industry, and when you call us we can set you up with a lease accounting software free demo.

To do this, call us at 888-351-4606, or you can email us at We also have plenty of great information about lease accounting software on our website, which is, and you can chat with a live representative there as well.

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