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Knowledge & Insights

Master ASC 842: Impact on Your Financial Reporting


ASC 842 is a critical component of financial reporting standards, governing lease accounting practices for businesses across a wide array of industries. This regulation requires a nuanced understanding and strategic application to ensure compliance. At GreenGrowth CPAs, we specialize in providing insights and assistance to help companies fully grasp and effectively implement the provisions of this accounting standard. 

This article will highlight the essential aspects of ASC 842, examine its effects on financial statements, and discuss how leveraging our expertise can enhance your organization’s financial reporting accuracy and transparency within the current regulatory framework.

Understanding ASC 842

The Accounting Standards Codification Topic 842, is a lease accounting standard issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) in 2016. It replaced the ASC 840 standard, introducing major changes to how leases are recognized, measured, and reported on financial statements. 

The core principle of ASC 842 is to increase transparency and comparability among organizations by recognizing lease assets and liabilities on the balance sheet and disclosing key information about leasing arrangements.

Context of ASC 842’s Introduction

This standard was introduced by the FASB to enhance financial transparency and comparability, addressing off-balance sheet financing issues. Off-balance sheet financing allows companies to incur financial obligations without reporting those obligations on the balance sheet, making it difficult for investors and other stakeholders to accurately assess a company’s financial health.

By mandating the recognition of lease assets and liabilities on the balance sheet, ASC 842 aims to offer a more accurate depiction of a company’s financial health, ensuring stakeholders are well-informed and trust in financial reporting is bolstered.

Major Changes and Their Impact in ASC 842

  • Lease Recognition: Under ASC 842, both operating and finance leases are recognized on the balance sheet. This represents a significant shift from the previous guidance, where only capital leases were recognized. Now, a right-of-use (ROU) asset and a corresponding lease liability must be recorded for almost all leases.
  • Lease Classification: The criteria for classifying leases as either finance or operating have been updated, affecting how lease expenses are recognized and presented in the financial statements. This classification influences the pattern of expense recognition over the lease term.
  • Disclosure Requirements: ASC 842 increases the disclosure requirements for leasing activities. It demands more detailed information about leasing arrangements, including the lease term, the amount of lease liabilities recognized, and a maturity analysis of lease liabilities.

Navigating Compliance

Adapting to the ASC 842 standard requires a comprehensive approach:

  • Inventory of Leases: Begin by conducting a thorough inventory of all leasing agreements to identify which contracts are or contain leases under the new standard.
  • Classification and Measurement: Classify each lease according to the updated criteria and measure the ROU assets and lease liabilities.
  • Technology and Systems: Implement or update accounting systems and software to manage the increased complexity and reporting requirements.
  • Policies and Procedures: Update internal policies and procedures to reflect the new leasing standards and ensure ongoing compliance.

Challenges of Implementing ASC 842

  • Identifying Leases: One of the initial challenges is identifying contracts that qualify as leases under ASC 842. Companies must review all contracts to determine if they meet the new definition of a lease. This can be a time-consuming process.
  • Data Collection and Management: Implementing ASC 842 requires detailed data collection and management. Companies must gather and maintain comprehensive information about all their leases, including terms, payments, and renewal options. This process can be daunting without the right systems in place.
  • Transition Adjustments: The transition to ASC 842 may need significant adjustments to the financial statements of companies. These adjustments can impact key financial ratios and metrics, potentially affecting stakeholder perceptions and covenant compliance.
  • Expertise and Training: Ensuring that the finance and accounting teams are well-versed in ASC 842’s requirements is crucial. The lack of expertise or understanding of the new standard can lead to errors in financial reporting and non-compliance issues.

Strategic Advantages

  • Enhanced Financial Planning and Analysis: Mastering ASC 842 offers deeper insights into financial obligations, aiding in smarter strategic planning, budgeting, and cash management. This leads to better-informed decisions on lease agreements and financial strategies.
  • Competitive Advantage: Early adoption of this accounting standard can provide a competitive edge by showcasing a commitment to financial transparency and accuracy, boosting reputation among investors, lenders, and other key stakeholders.
  • Operational Efficiencies: Implementing ASC 842 prompts businesses to review and optimize their lease arrangements, uncovering opportunities to save costs, renegotiate terms, and utilize assets more effectively.
  • Risk Management: A thorough grasp of ASC 842 enhances risk management, ensuring all lease liabilities are accurately reported. This minimizes financial uncertainties and supports stronger debt management and negotiation tactics.

How GreenGrowth CPAs Can Assist

At GreenGrowth CPAs, we specialize in helping businesses navigate the complexities of financial reporting and compliance. Our team is well-versed in the intricacies of ASC 842 and is ready to provide the tailored support you need: 

  • Outsourced CFO and Financial Management: Strategic oversight into how it impacts financial strategies and cash flow.
  • Financial Systems Design: Tailoring accounting systems to accommodate the complexities of ASC 842, ensuring seamless integration and reporting.
  • Comprehensive Accounting Standard Implementation: Expert guidance on adopting ASC 842, from lease identification to financial statement preparation, ensuring full compliance.
  • Audit Preparation and Financial Statement Accuracy: Ensuring that financial statements accurately reflect the new lease accounting standards and are audit-ready.
  • Education and Advisory Services: In-depth training and advice to simplify ASC 842 for your team, aiding compliance and informed decisions.
  • Compliance Assistance: Full support in lease identification, classification, measurement, and financial statement preparation per ASC 842.
  • System Implementation: Our experts can guide you on choosing and using accounting software for lease management.
  • Training and Advisory: Continuous training and advisory to keep your financial reporting compliant and clear.


Implementing ASC 842 represents a significant challenge but also an opportunity for businesses to enhance their financial transparency and comparability. With GreenGrowth CPAs, confidently navigate changes, ensure compliance, and uphold your financial reporting integrity.

Contact us today to ensure your lease accounting is compliant, efficient, and tailored to your unique needs. Let us help you adapt and thrive in the new financial reporting landscape.

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