Broadcast Date: Thursday, February 04, 2021
from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm (ET)


For most public companies, the adoption deadline for Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (FASB’s) Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842) has already passed. Their focus now shifts from adoption to quarterly reporting under the new lease accounting standard. Private companies, however, are still preparing for their implementation of the new ASC 842 leases and should learn from public companies’ experience.

Whether your company has moved past its deadline crunch or is still approaching its implementation date, it should have a more comprehensive approach that satisfies compliance needs. The ASC 842 can dramatically impact your company’s business with all the leases placed on your balance sheet. A lease accounting compliance strategy that also allows you to provide efficiencies for other systems is a must.

In this LIVE CLE Webcast, accounting expert Stephen G. Austin (Swenson Advisors, LLP) and real estate attorney Alison R. Weinberg-Fahey (Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP) will provide an in-depth analysis of the implications of the new guidance in ASC 842. Speakers will also provide the best lease accounting implementation strategies and compliance practices to help you ensure that your company remains compliant in the future.

Some of the major topics that will be covered in this course are:

  • The New Lease Accounting Standard: Sweeping Implications
  • Takeaways from Public Company ASC 842 Leases Implementation
  • Best Compliance Practices
  • Implementing ASC 842 Technology Solution
  • Improvement Opportunities

Learning Objective:

  • Determine the best lease accounting implementation strategies in light of today’s key issues, lessons learned from public company implementations, as well as current developments and opportunities


Course Level:



Advance Preparation:

Print and review course materials


Method of Presentation:

On-demand Webcast (CLE)



General knowledge of financial reporting/accounting


Course Code:



NASBA Field of Study:

Accounting – Technical


NY Category of CLE Credit:

Areas of Professional Practice


Total Credit:

1.0 CLE

1.0 CPE (Not eligible for QAS (On-demand) CPE credits)

Speaker Panel:

Stephen G. Austin, CPA, MBA, Firm Managing Partner
Swenson Advisors, LLP

Steve is a Certified Public Accountant in the states of California and Georgia. Steve manages audit, SEC, Sarbanes-Oxley, and business and lease accounting consulting engagements with a focus on technology, manufacturing, service, real estate, social media, and non-profit organizations. He is the author of the book Rise of the New Ethics Class. Steve speaks worldwide on governance, Sarbanes-Oxley, and IFRS matters and writes articles published by the AICPA. Prior to joining Swenson Advisors, Steve held Partner positions with McGladrey & Pullen, LLP and Price Waterhouse, LLP. Steve earned a BS in Accounting and Finance from Bob Jones University and an MBA from the University of Georgia, Terry College of Business. Steve serves on numerous community boards and audit committees including Summit Ministries, Family Heritage Foundation, Brandman University and InSoCal CONNECT.

Alison R. Weinberg-Fahey, Associate & Director
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP

Alison is a real estate attorney at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP and a director at Manatt Real Estate Advisors, Inc., located in the firm’s Los Angeles office. She focuses her practice on commercial real estate transactions, including acquisitions and dispositions, development, joint ventures, construction, secured loans, and workouts. She also advises and represents property owners, developers, tenants, lenders and investors in retail, office, hospitality, hospital system/medical center, aviation and multifamily projects. As a broker and director, Alison represents clients in listings and acquiring properties, and in an advisory capacity including with respect to brokerage rules and regulations.

Prior to becoming an attorney, Alison was a CPA and worked as an auditor at a Big 4 accounting firm in New York City on a team for AIG Financial Products in Wilton, Connecticut during the 2008 financial crisis.


Stephen G. Austin, CPA, MBAFirm Managing Partner

Swenson Advisors, LLP


Alison R. Weinberg-FaheyAssociate & Director

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP

Introduction to Lease Accounting

  • Various rules: ASC 842, IFRS 16, GASB 87
  • Balance sheet recognition of right-of-use assets and lease liabilities
  • Immediate decrease in reported working capital
  • Financial ratio changes may impact debt compliance and other financial covenants/requirements
  • Required for public companies 1/1/2019 and for private companies 1/1/2022 (COVID-19 delay)

Leases overview

  • Accounting definition of a lease
  • Lease classification – 5 criteria - finance vs. operating
  • Embedded leases
  • Key accounting concepts
    • Recognizing right-of-use asset and lease liability
    • Lease component vs. non-lease component
    • Fixed payments vs. variable payments
    • Lease commencement vs. payment commencement
    • Existing accounting under ASC 840 carries forward – assuming it is correct
    • Can apply going forward – no impact to equity, no restatement of prior reporting
    • Can exclude short-term leases

Key decisions and implementation issues

  • Transition method, reassessment practical expedient package, short-term leases, hindsight
  • Election to not separate non-lease components (and treat as one combined lease component)
  • Determining lease term – “reasonably certain” exercise of renewal/extension/ termination options
  • Determining discount rate – incremental borrowing rate, rate implicit in the lease
  • Determining lease payments – fixed payments, rent increases, index-based increases, variable rent, rent holiday considerations
  • Leasehold/tenant improvements – who pays and who benefits
  • Previous deferred/prepaid rent
  • Amendments and remeasurements

Lessons Learned from Public Company Implementations

  • More complex than initially envisioned
  • Takes longer than initially envisioned
  • More stakeholders involved than initially envisioned
  • Obtaining and analyzing data is the key
  • Technology solution is not the driver
  • Process changes needed to establish appropriate controls (identification, recording, reporting)

Current Developments and Opportunities

  • Centralization of lease documentation
  • Careful drafting of lease documents can address potential implementation/compliance issues (and reduce future accounting and auditing costs)
  • Pandemic-related changes to lease arrangements/contracts – may include contract modifications
  • Sale and leaseback transactions
    • Can provide working capital for other strategic business purposes
    • If “successful for accounting purposes,” can result in gain recognition if the following are met:
      • Must meet the transfer of control requirements of ASC 606
      • Leaseback must be classified as an operating lease
      • No repurchase option unless for fair value at the time and there are other “substantially the same” assets available (excludes real estate)
    • Treated as a financing if “not successful for accounting purposes”
  • Following successful implementation, focus on establishing processes and controls that are reliable, repeatable, sustainable, and scalable

Closing thoughts

  • Provide enough time (often 9 – 12 months) and remain flexible
  • Enlist the support of professionals and assemble a team with the needed talent and experience
  • Manage the project, monitor progress, and see through to completion
  • Assess lessons learned for establishment of post-implementation compliance processes and controls

Date & Time:

Thursday, February 04, 2021

3:00 pm to 4:00 pm (ET)

Who Should Attend:

  • Chief Financial Officers
  • Chief Accounting Officers
  • Financial Controllers
  • VPs and Directors of Finance
  • VPs and Directors of Accounting
  • Leasing Administrators
  • Top-Level Executives
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Stephen G. Austin, CPA, MBAFirm Managing Partner
Swenson Advisors, LLP
Alison R. Weinberg-FaheyAssociate & Director
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP



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