IFRS 16: Leases

Sweeping transformation of current lease accounting rules will have widespread impacts for nearly all companies - how should you prepare?

A significant shift

International Financial Reporting Standard 16 (IFRS 16) represents an important and dramatic change in the way leases are accounted for by lessees. Operating leases will no longer simply be disclosed in financial statement notes - virtually every lease will be recognized on the balance sheet as a right-of-use asset with a corresponding lease liability. The impact on income statement presentation and other performance measures could be significant.

IFRS 16 in a nutshell:

  • Effective January 1, 2019; early adoption is permitted with IFRS 15.

  • Fundamentally changes how lessees account for operating leases.

  • Virtually all leases must be reflected on balance sheets.

  • Income statements will be realigned with current rent expense being replaced with interest and depreciation.

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“IFRS 16 represents a fundamental shift in how operating leases will be accounted for. But with the right planning and execution, it also presents companies with the opportunity to derive real business value from insights into how effectively the company uses and manages its leased assets throughout the organization.”

- Paul Feetham, Partner, Accounting Advisory Services, Toronto


What does this mean for you and your business?

IFRS 16 has a significant impact on many commonly used balance sheet and income statement ratios. For example, covenants in loan agreements, earn-out clauses in purchase agreements, compensation plans and many other arrangements often refer to ratios such as earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA).

The complexity of your transition to IFRS 16 depends on many company-specific factors, such as the completeness and quality of your lease information and the systems you use to manage and account for leases. In addition, there are a number of policy choices, judgments and significant estimates you need to make both on adoption of the new standard and on an ongoing basis. Understanding these complexities is key to effectively managing adoption of IFRS 16 and communicating the impacts to stakeholders.

Flexible solutions to accelerate your transition

Global insights

Being able to use global insights from companies around the world that are implementing this standard will help you develop robust policies and consider industry trends when implementing the new standard.

Implementation methodology

Developing a methodology that identifies what changes are necessary in your current processes, what additional information you need, the judgments and policy choices you must make and when to address each of the needs you identify will allow you to achieve a more efficient implementation and avoid unnecessary effort and duplication of work. A robust methodology will also enable you to develop documentation to support your audit process.

Enabling tools

We firmly believe there is no single solution to each company’s challenges. Instead, we offer a stable of tools, including impact assessment reports, modelling of key terms, judgments and policy choices, extraction and compilation of lease data from contracts, data analytics and project management advice. These tools are integrated but modular, so you can draw on them as you need them.

Contact us

Paul Feetham

Paul Feetham

Partner, Accounting Advisory Services, Toronto, PwC Canada

Tel: +1 416 365 8161

Michael Paterson

Michael Paterson

National Assurance Leader, PwC Canada

Tel: +1 416 941 8268

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