Recently, LeaseQuery hosted another successful virtual summit focused on GASB 87. At the free event on January 13, accounting experts discussed how government entities are impacted by recent lease accounting updates.

Over 600 attendees of the 2022 GASB LEASE Summit received valuable information about GASB 87 and GASB 96 from accounting professionals, including speakers from LeaseQuery, Baker Tilly, RGP, and Grant Thornton.

ICYMI: Highlights from the 2022 GASB LEASE Summit

During the GASB Series, speakers reviewed the new lease accounting standard, GASB 87, and introduced GASB 96, the new standard regarding subscription-based IT arrangements. Below, we have underscored some of the most important information from the summit. For further information, check out the 2022 LEASE Summit GASB Series Recap page. And, in case you missed the summit altogether, you can watch all presentations on demand.

Cheryl Levesque

Timothy Tickle – VP of Finance Transformation, RGP

“I think the biggest challenge with GASB 96 is that as an organization, especially in government, you’ll find that potential for these types of arrangements extends out further into the organization under GASB 96 than what you would traditionally find for just a lease agreement. So, when you’re looking at GASB 87, if you identify potential web-based software agreements that are tied to any type of contract, you should aggregate those and possibly conjoin the activity. As you go through the discovery of GASB 87 leases, expand that to include an analysis or questionnaire on the SBITA side to attack both [GASB 87 and GASB 96] at the same time. “

“This is not a one-time event, this is not a race to the finish line. This is actually a race to a starting line. Once you adopt GASB 87, you now have this sustained compliance requirement, which for most organizations, is gonna be directly tied to their processes. When we think about GASB 87, and even the other lease standards, think of them as finance transformation. As a whole, the organization is going to have to behave differently going forward. That involves people outside of finance, which means as you go through this exercise, you should be thinking about how you’re going to sustain compliance.

George Azih – CEO and Founder, LeaseQuery

“We talked about GASB 87 being very similar to GASB 96. Let’s also keep in mind that this is going to be a challenge for GASB 96. The whole completeness and identification process. Unlike leases, SBITAs are a lot more complex. There’s a lot more of them.”

Cheryl Levesque

Sarah Slaughter, CPA – Senior Manager, Baker Tilly

“Make sure you identify the complete [lease] population. This will be key later on when you think of your audit firm looking at it and making sure that you did everything you can to identify your complete lease population.”

“I think this is a collaborative process. You should be speaking with your auditor as soon as possible at every stage and step on the way so you can make sure you’ll get by with the way that you’re going with the policies you’re implementing around leases.”

Marla Hummel, CPA – Partner, Grant Thorton

“The first topic that I focus on with my clients when discussing auditing is the approach. What’s the rational approach? How are we going to think about the timeline for getting to the finish line? We need to think about what kind of documentation is necessary. Completeness and accuracy definitely need to be considered as you’re developing that approach and think about the right things to do.”

Summary

Attendees of the 2022 GASB LEASE Summit walked away with a better understanding of both GASB 87 and GASB 96 and valuable advice for their first post-transition audit. For more in-depth information on the adoption and audit processes, watch the summit recap.