WASHINGTON, DC-The US Financial Accounting Standards Board and the International Accounting Standards Board expect to have a new lease accounting rule ready for the end of the first quarter. Theoretically, all the pieces are in place for this to happen: the Exposure Draft was duly released in May, followed by a comment period that ended in September, to which numerous stakeholders responded.

Trouble is, many of those responses were critical, calling the proposed standard unwieldy, too expensive and not likely to meet the intended goal of providing more transparency to investors about lease obligations. Where that leaves companies that must account for leases on their balance sheet–a significant community in the commercial real estate space–is unclear. The standard-setting bodies have been aiming for this goal since 2006, unable to get to a consensus. The next few months will be very interesting to watch.

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