Impairment testing cash generating unit with IFRS 16 leases

Impairment testing cash generating unit with leases (or impairment of leased assets) is about a right-of-use asset (leased asset) and  such an asset will frequently be included in a cash generating unit to be tested for impairment. At initial recognition, the right-of-use-asset equals the recognised lease liability, plus any lease payments made at or before the commencement date, less any lease incentives received, plus any initial direct costs incurred by the lessee and an estimate of costs to be incurred by the lessee in dismantling and removing the underlying asset and restoring the site on which the leased asset is located.

The most significant part of the right-of-use asset will often be the lease liability, which is the present value … Read more

9 Essential Leases and No leases examples

9 Essential Leases and no leases examples

– shows the difference between cases of entities involved in contracts containing a lease under IFRS 16 Leases and similar but different cases of entities involved in contracts NOT containing a lease under IFRS 16 Leases.

To start setting the stage, the definition of a lease: A contract, or part of a contract, that conveys the right to use an asset (the underlying asset) for a period of time in exchange for consideration.

1. Lease Rail cars

The case
A contract between Customer and a freight carrier (Supplier) provides Customer with the use of 10 rail cars of a particular type for five years. The contract specifies the rail cars; the cars are owned by Supplier. Customer determines when, where and which goods are to be transported using the cars. When the cars are not in use, they are kept at Customer’s premises. Customer can use the cars for another purpose (for example, storage) if it so chooses.

However, the contract specifies that Customer cannot transport particular types of cargo (for example, explosives). If a particular car needs to be serviced or repaired, Supplier is required to substitute a car of the same type. Otherwise, and other than on default by Customer, Supplier cannot retrieve the cars during the five-year period.

The contract also requires Supplier to provide an engine and a driver when requested by Customer. Supplier keeps the engines at its premises and provides instructions to the driver detailing Customer’s requests to transport goods. Supplier can choose to use any one of a number of engines to fulfil each of Customer’s requests, and one engine could be used to transport not only Customer’s goods, but also the goods of other customers (ie if other customers require the transportation of goods to destinations close to the destination requested by Customer and within a similar timeframe, Supplier can choose to attach up to 100 rail cars to the engine).

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Determining a leases discount rate

Determining a leases discount rate

The definition of the lessee’s incremental borrowing rate states that the rate should represent what the lessee ‘would have to pay to borrow over a similar term and with similar security, the funds necessary to obtain an asset of similar value to the right-of-use asset in a similar economic environment.’ In applying the concept of ‘similar security’, a lessee uses the right-of-use asset granted by the lease and not the fair value of the underlying asset.

This is because the rate should represent the amount that would be charged to acquire an asset of similar value for a similar period. For example, in determining the incremental borrowing rate on a 5 year lease of a property, the security for the portion of the asset being leased (i.e. the 5 year portion of its useful life) would be likely to vary significantly from the outright ownership of the property, as outright ownership would confer rights over a period of time that would typically be significantly greater than the 5-year right-of-use asset contained in the lease.

In practice, judgement may be needed to estimate an incremental borrowing rate in the context of a right-of-use asset, especially when the value of the underlying asset differs significantly from the value of the right-of-use asset.

An entity’s weighted-average cost of capital (‘WACC’) is not appropriate to use as a proxy for the incremental borrowing rate because it is not representative of the rate an entity would pay on borrowings. WACC incorporates the cost of equity-based capital, which is unsecured and ranks behind other creditors and will therefore be a higher rate than that paid on borrowings.

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Sale and leaseback accounting under IFRS 15

Sale and leaseback accounting

A sale and lease back transaction is a popular way for entities to secure long-term financing from substantial property, plant and equipment assets such as land and buildings. IFRS 16 made significant changes to sale and lease back accounting in comparison with IAS 17. A sale and leaseback transaction is one where an entity (the Read more

Lessee accounting under IFRS 16

Lessee accounting under IFRS 16

The key objective of IFRS 16 is to ensure that lessees recognise assets and liabilities for their major leases.

1. Lessee accounting model

A lessee applies a single lease accounting model under which it recognises all leases on-balance sheet, unless it elects to apply the recognition exemptions (see recognition exemptions for lessees in the link). A lessee recognises a right-of-use asset representing its right to use the underlying asset and a lease liability representing its obligation to make payments. [IFRS 16.22]

[IFRS 16.47, IFRS 16.49]

IFRS 16 Balance sheet Profit or loss

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IFRS 16 Lessor accounting

IFRS 16 Lessor accounting

Lessors continue to classify leases as finance or operating leases.

1. Lessor accounting model

The lessor follows a dual accounting approach for lease accounting. The accounting is based on whether significant risks and rewards incidental to ownership of an underlying asset are transferred to the lessee, in which case the lease is classified as a finance lease. This is similar to the previous lease accounting requirements that applied to lessors. The lessor accounting models are also essentially unchanged from IAS 17 Leases. [IFRS 16.B53, IFRS 16.BC289]

Are the lessee and lessor accounting models consistent?

No. A key consequence of the decision to retain the IAS 17 dual accounting model for lessors is a lack of consistency with the new lessee accounting model. This can be seen in the case Lease classification below:

  • the lessee applies the right-of-use model and recognises a right-of-use asset and a liability for its obligation to make lease payments; whereas
  • the lessor continues to recognise the underlying asset and does not recognise a financial asset for its right to receive lease payments.

There are also more detailed differences. For example, lessees and lessors use the same guidance for determining the lease term and assessing whether renewal and purchase options are reasonably certain to be exercised, and termination options not reasonably certain to be exercised. However, unlike lessees, lessors do not reassess their initial assessments of lease term and whether renewal and purchase options are reasonably certain to be exercised, and termination options not reasonably certain to be exercised (see changes in the lease term in the link).

Other differences are more subtle. For example, although the definition of lease payments is similar for lessors and lessees (see lease payments in the link), the difference is the amount of residual value guarantee included in the lease payments.

  • The lessor includes the full amount (regardless of the likelihood that payment will be due) of any residual value guarantees provided to the lessor by the lessee, a party related to the lessee or a third party unrelated to the lessor that is financially capable of discharging the obligations under the guarantee.
  • The lessee includes only any amounts expected to be payable to the lessor under a residual value guarantee.

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Sub-leases under IFRS 16

Sub-leases under IFRS 16

The classification guidance in IFRS 16 means that many sub-leases are finance leases, impacting the financial position and financial performance of intermediate lessors.

A sub-lease is a transaction in which a lessee (or ‘intermediate lessor’) grants a right to use the underlying asset to a third party, and the lease (or ‘head lease’) between the original lessor and lessee remains in effect.

A company applies IFRS 16 to all leases of right-of-use assets in a sub-lease. The intermediate lessor accounts for the head lease and the sub-lease as two different contracts, applying both the lessee and lessor accounting requirements. [IFRS 16.3]

Sub-leases under IFRS 16

An intermediate lessor classifies the sub-lease as a finance lease or as an operating lease with reference to the right-of-use asset arising from the head lease. That is, the intermediate lessor treats the right-of-use asset as the underlying asset in the sub-lease, not the item of property, plant or equipment that it leases from the head lessor. [IFRS 16.B58]

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1 Best Read All IFRS vs US GAAP Leases

IFRS vs US GAAP Leases

1 best read of all comparisons

In 2016, the IASB and FASB issued new standards addressing the accounting for leases (IFRS 16 and ASC 842, respectively). The prior leasing standards (IAS 17 and ASC 840, respectively) were in practice significantly converged. The primary objective of the new standards was to require lessees to recognize assets and liabilities on the balance sheet for most lease contracts. Although the boards accomplished this goal, they did so in different ways.

Thus, while the boards remained largely converged with respect to scope and initial measurement, they significantly diverged on subsequent measurement for lessees: the IASB requires a single measurement model (akin to that for finance leases under U.S. GAAP) while the FASB maintains a two-class system (operating and finance lease classifications).

In addition, while certain presentation and disclosure requirements in IFRS 16 are similar to those in ASC 842, there are also certain differences (quantitative and qualitative) in this area. Other differences between IFRS 16 and ASC 842 may also arise as a result of differences between IFRS Standards and U.S. GAAP in other standards, including those related to (1) impairment of financial instruments and long-lived assets other than goodwill and (2) the accounting for investment properties.

The Lease Standards, effective 2019, requires that leases greater than 12 months are reported on Balance Sheets as Right of Use Assets under both US GAAP and IFRS. US GAAP distinguishes between Operating and Finance Leases (both are recognized on the Balance Sheet), while IFRS does not (any more).

Standards Reference



ASC 842 Leases

IFRS 16 Leases


The following discussion captures a number of the more significant GAAP differences under both the standards. It is important to note that the discussion is not inclusive of all GAAP differences in this area.

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IFRS 16 Good Important Read – Lease payments

Lease payments – Lessee perspective

or what does a lessee include in its lease liability?

At the commencement date, a lessee measures the lease liability as the present value of lease payments that have not been paid at that date. In a simple lease that includes only fixed lease payments, this can be a simple calculation (IFRS 16.26).

Lease payments

Worked example – Fixed lease payments are included in lease liabilities
Lessee B enters into a five year lease of a photocopier. The lease payments are 10,000 per annum, paid at the end of each year.

Because the annual lease payments are fixed amounts, B includes the present value of the five annual payments in the initial measurement of the lease liability.

Using a discount rate (determined as B’s incremental borrowing rate) of 5%, the lease liability at the commencement date is calculated as follows:


Lease payments

















Lease liability at commencement date



Categories of lease payment

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Best focus on IFRS 16 Leases

Focus on IFRS 16 Leases


Best focus on IFRS 16 LeasesBest focus on IFRS 16 Leases

Focus on IFRS 16 Leases 2

Focus on IFRS 16 Leases 3


Focus on IFRS 16 Leases or in slightly more detail…..

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