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What is ASC 842? A Complete Guide

ASC 842 is an accounting standard that impacts how companies account for leases. It was introduced by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) to bring transparency and consistency in lease accounting. This standard applies to lessees and lessors and changes how leases are recognized and reported in financial statements.

The ASC 842 standard affects various industries and can significantly impact financial statements, ratios, and key performance indicators. This complete guide will provide an in-depth understanding of ASC 842 and its business implications.

How Can Lease Management Software Help With ASC 842 Compliance?

Here are some ways how a lease management software can help with ASC 842 compliance:

  • A lease management software provides a centralized platform to store all lease information, including lease terms, payment schedules, and lease amendments. It eliminates the need for multiple spreadsheets and paper-based records, making tracking and managing lease data easier.
  • ASC 842 requires complex calculations for lease assets and liabilities, as well as lease expenses and disclosures. These computations can be automated by lease management software, lowering the possibility of mistakes and increasing the precision of lease accounting and reporting.
  • Lease grouping, lease modification, and lease cancellation procedures can all be made more efficient with lease management software. It boosts lease management effectiveness and lessens the need for manual labor.
  • ASC 842 lease accounting software is designed particularly to meet the new lease accounting requirements, which are now required. The income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement will all be properly categorized and reported using this method for all lease data.
  • To create an automatic lease administration experience, leasing management software can interact with other financial networks, such as ERP and accounting tools. It reduces the risk of data duplication and improves data accuracy.
  • Lease management software can provide alerts and reminders for critical lease events, such as lease expirations and lease option dates. It minimizes the risk of non-compliance by ensuring businesses avoid missing crucial lease deadlines.

What Is The Effective Date Of ASC 842?

The new lease accounting standard, ASC 842, has several effective dates for various categories of companies. The guideline applied to public companies and took effect for financial years starting after December 15, 2018. It indicates that beginning from or after January 1, 2019; public corporations must apply ASC 842 for their accounting records. ASC 842 took effect for all other entities, including private businesses and non-profits, for fiscal years starting after December 15, 2021. Beginning on or after January 1, 2022, these organizations must establish the industry standard for their financial statements.

Because it establishes when businesses must start disclosing leases on their balance sheets following the new standard, ASC 842’s effective date is crucial. Businesses that lease out assets must ensure they are ready by the effective date per ASC 842. It could entail putting new lease management systems or procedures into place, gathering lease terms and payments data, and assessing how the new norm might affect monetary ratios and important performance metrics.

What Are The Key Changes In ASC 842?

Some of the key changes in ASC 842 include:

  • Balance Sheet Recognition: Lessees must account for most of their leases on their balance sheets as assets and obligations. It means lessees must include the authorization to use the leased asset on their balance sheet and the current value of the lease fees as a liability.
  • Elimination of Off-Balance-Sheet Financing: ASC 842 eliminates this practice, which enables businesses to keep leasing obligations off their balance sheets. This modification improves transparency and gives stakeholders a more realistic picture of a company’s financial situation.
  • New Disclosure Requirements: ASC 842 imposes additional obligations for lessors and lessees. Lessees must provide additional information about their leasing arrangements, including lease terms, discount rates, and lease payments. Lessors must disclose information about the leases they have entered into and the terms of those leases.
  • Lease Classification: ASC 842 retains the distinction between finance and operating leases but changes the criteria used to classify leases. The new standard emphasizes the control transfer and the leased asset’s right to use.
  • Impacts on Financial Ratios and KPIs: The recognition of lease assets and liabilities on the balance sheet can impact a company’s financial ratios and key performance indicators (KPIs). For example, recognizing lease liabilities can increase a company’s debt-to-equity ratio.

What Are The Benefits Of ASC 842? 

The adoption of ASC 842 brings several benefits for companies that lease assets. Here are some of the benefits of ASC 842:

  • Improved decision-making based on accurate financial information: By recognizing lease assets and liabilities on their balance sheets, companies gain a more accurate and complete view of their financial position. It enables better decision-making, such as assessing the true cost of a lease versus purchasing an asset.
  • A level playing field for companies that lease assets: Before ASC 842, some companies used off-balance-sheet financing to avoid reporting lease obligations. Due to this, businesses that disclosed their leases on their balance sheets faced an unfair playing field. This practice was stopped by ASC 842, leveling the playing field for all businesses.
  • Improved comparability between businesses and industries: ASC 842 mandates businesses to report leases in a standardized manner, improving comparability between businesses and industries. It makes it easier for investors and analysts to compare financial statements across companies.
  • Improved lease management and compliance: ASC 842 requires companies to gather more detailed information about their leases, which can help them better manage their lease portfolios. It can lead to improved compliance with lease agreements and reduced risk of lease-related disputes.


ASC 842 is a comprehensive collection of accounting standards that specifies how businesses should report leases in financial statements. The new regulations mandate that all leased assets and liabilities be included on balance sheets to promote transparency and present a more realistic picture of a company’s financial condition.

A more reliable and transparent view of a company’s financial status ultimately benefits all stakeholders. Businesses may ensure they are set up for sustained prosperity and sustainability by comprehending and following these criteria.