ASX100 to bring almost $100 billion onto corporate balance sheets this year with new AASB 16 standard

SYDNEY, March 21, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- LeaseAccelerator, the pioneer of enterprise lease accounting software, has released a ranking of Australian companies highlighting those with the largest off-balance sheet leasing obligations.

Australia's top 100 listed companies will bring almost $100 billion on to their balance sheets over the next 18 months as new accounting standards come into effect. Historically, operating lease obligations have been reported in the footnotes of financial reports. However, the introduction in January this year of IFRS 16 internationally and AASB 16 in Australia requires companies to add new assets and liabilities for operating leases to their balance sheets, which will impact key financial metrics.

The report, entitled AASB 16 Lease Accounting - A Ranking of the Leasing Obligations of the ASX 100, demonstrates the Australian business sectors most impacted by the new standards include retail, healthcare, telecommunications, mining and financial services. LeaseAccelerator VP Solution Consulting ANZ and South East Asia, Michelle Laybutt, said the report could help Australian companies benchmark their exposures against their peers as the business community grapples with the complexity of one of the biggest accounting changes in history.

"Companies in the US and UK, who are 3-6 months ahead of us in this journey, have found the transition to the new lease accounting standards to be much more complicated than anticipated," she said. "Large companies can have hundreds of thousands of individual leases, which historically have been tracked on spreadsheets with very little governance, automation or financial controls."

"We have seen many organisations underestimate the complexity of this standard in various countries around the world. A substantial effort will be required to take an inventory of their leases, capture the data needed for calculations from contracts, and implement specialised new systems in advance of the transition. Following adoption, companies will also encounter a significant challenge as they will need to implement new business processes, and financial controls to ensure that accounting remains as their lease portfolio continues to change with new contracts and modifications to existing agreements."

Australian companies will report under the new standards for the first time for fiscal years starting after 1 January 2019 with most Australian companies transitioning in July 2019. Developed over a decade by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) in response to scandals including Enron and WorldCom, the new standards will bring an estimated $3 trillion on to balance sheets worldwide.

The report is available at

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