Read the article entitled ‘Shining the Light on Leases’ on the IASB website:

http://www.ifrs.org/news-and-events/2016/03/hans-hoogervorst-article-shining-the-light-on-leases/

You work as a graduate for a medium sized accounting firm and a number of clients are asking questions about a forthcoming change in the leasing standard, due to come into effect from 1 January 2019.

bearing in mind that the internal briefing paper is for accountants whilst the client letter needs to be written for non-accountants.

The internal memo should cover the following points as a minimum:

? Briefly remind staff of the existing standard IAS 17 (AASB 117) Leases – in particular what are operating and what are finance leases? Explain the concepts briefly with reference to lessees only, rather than providing all the technical details.

? Critically analyse the main differences between IAS 17 (AASB 117) and the new IFRS 16 (AASB 16) from the lessee perspective only

? Explain what is meant by ‘off balance sheet liabilities’ (as referred to in the article highlighted above)

? Some partners and staff are concerned about the potential negative impact on clients from this change. In particular, explain why may the change lead to ‘defaults on debt covenants’ (as referred to in the article highlighted above)

? Using your judgement, explain how your firm should deal with this change in terms of communications with clients and what you feel the overall impact will be on those clients.

The draft client letter should include the following points as a minimum (remembering that technical accounting language will not help the client to understand):

? Outline the reasons the leasing standard is changing

? Outline the impact the change may have (or problems it may cause) and how these problems can be overcome

? Summarise the letter and offer further advice if needed

You may find further useful resources on the IASB website, the AASB website and on the websites of major accounting firms.