New Lease Accounting Rules Will Affect Roughly 1% of European Companies

Following the official endorsement of the new international lease accounting standard for use in Europe, Leaseurope is calling for European national standard setters to avoid applying similar rules in local accounting rules that are used by more than 99% of European firms.

The new standard, IFRS 16, will be mandatory starting in January 2019 for listed companies that follow international standards, and some other firms. For most firms, the main impact on their accounts will come from their property leases, not equipment and vehicles.

To assist firms needing to implement IFRS 16, participating national leasing associations across Europe will shortly launch the Leaseurope IFRS 16 Specification. The Specification is a simple format by which lessors can choose to provide summary information on leases to their customers.

Changes to international accounting rules that are designed for the largest companies are often reflected in national accounting rules. However, Leaseurope has shown that IFRS 16 will place too great an administrative burden on Europe’s small and medium-sized companies without any corresponding benefit to users of their accounts.

“This endorsement decision is effective only for large companies that are likely to have accounting departments that are used to coping with changes to accounting rules. It’s essential now that national standard setters across Europe avoid any new accounting regulatory burdens on all other European companies that just want to keep investing and growing,” said Leon Dhaene, Leaseurope’s director general.

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