Lack of staff training, technology upgrades, slow implementation of leases standard
A recent survey of more than 2,200 CFOs, conducted by Robert Half Management Resources and Protiviti, found that 80 percent had not yet begun to transition to FASB's new leases standard. Among the top reasons given for the lack of progress (characterized as the 'most challenging' aspects of implementing the new leases standard) were lack of staff training, the need for technology upgrades, and the need for change management.
Among companies that have begun implementing the new standard, responses were still surprisingly low on the following points:
- Begun or completed new written accounting policies (65%) procedures (67%)
- inventoried and prioritized systems changes that may be needed (65%)
- developed a progress plan to address all gaps emanating from diagnostic work (63%)
- investigated any lease or property management systems which will facilitate adoption (55%)
A reminder from the SEC
In remarks at the University of Tennessee in March, SEC Chief Accountant Wes Bricker issued a reminder that companies progress apace in implementing three major new standards issued by the FASB: the new standard on leases, as well as the new standards on revenue recognition and credit losses.
Bricker added that the Office of the Chief Accountant, "has encouraged companies, their audit committees, and their auditors to assess the quality and status of implementation to ensure that the new standards meet their objectives to better inform investors. As part of the assessment, we encourage audit committees to anticipate, and require, dialogue with the auditor about the auditor’s views of implementation progress."
The MACPA has a number of programs and webcasts coming up to help build staff expertise on the new leases standard:
Leases: Mastering the new FASB requirements - WEBCAST - April 18, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., 8 CPE
Leases: Mastering the new FASB requirements - in-person or simulcast option - June 16, 8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., 8 CPE
Find more programs on the leases standard and many other topics in the MACPA's CPE Catalogue.
Read more from the Robert Half/Protiviti survey: U.S. companies report they're lagging on lease accounting transition.