FASB Proposes to Delay Leases and Rev Rec Standards Due to Coronavirus

Published on May 20, 2020

The Financial Accounting Standards Board issued a proposed accounting standards update that would delay the effective date for one year for some private companies and nonprofits in applying its leases standard, and for franchisor businesses in applying the revenue recognition standard, because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier this month, the FASB board members voted remotely to propose the delay to help businesses and nonprofits trying to cope with the far-reaching impact of the pandemic.

“The FASB’s proposal to delay time-sensitive standards would provide a measure of relief to certain companies and organizations focused on the COVID-19 crisis,” said FASB chairman Russell Golden. “It’s the first in a series of steps the board is taking to ensure our stakeholders can successfully implement GAAP guidance during this time.”

The deferral of the effective date for the leases standard would be limited to private companies, private not-for-profit organizations and public not-for-profit organizations that haven’t yet issued their financial statements. It would give near-term relief to those entities for whom the leases standard is currently effective who have rapidly approaching year-end dates and for entities for whom the leases effective date is imminent.

Under the proposed update, private companies and private not-for-profit organizations would have the option to apply the new standard for fiscal years starting after Dec. 15, 2021, and to interim periods within fiscal years beginning after Dec. 15, 2022. Public not-for-profit organizations that haven’t yet issued financial statements would have the option to apply the standard for fiscal years beginning after Dec. 15, 2019, including interim periods within those fiscal years.

Last October, FASB decided to postpone the effective date of the leases standard for private companies and nonprofits, though it had already taken effect for public companies). The leasing standard was set to take effect in January 2020 for private companies and nonprofits, but FASB decided last year to move it to January 2021 for those entities. The proposal would now delay that effective date for another year.

The proposed effective date deferral for revenue recognition would be limited to private company franchisors. Those stakeholders would have the option to apply the new standard for annual reporting periods starting after Dec. 15, 2019, and interim reporting periods within annual reporting periods starting after Dec. 15, 2020.

(Source:  AccountingToday – Auditing & Accounting – April 27, 2020)