I am a huge fan of Microsoft Excel. For three years I worked at a start-up that made Excel spreadsheets available to multiple users at once in the cloud. I once built a spreadsheet that housed all my family meal recipes, I could select what I wanted to cook for the week then run a macro to get my grocery list. I’m an Excel kind of a girl.
The new lease accounting standard proposed by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) profoundly changes the rules that govern accounting for real estate and equipment leases. Under the proposed new rules, companies would be required to recognize the assets and liabilities resulting from leases (including existing leases) of more than 12 months in duration based on the present value of lease payments. The change will result in very real consequences for corporate financial statements. Although the standards aren’t expected to be finalized until the third quarter of 2015, and they likely won’t go into effect until 2018, now is the window of opportunity for CFOs and corporate real estate teams to prepare to minimize the impact.
When we talk to people involved in corporate real estate, and we ask them how they optimize their locations, we get a lot of different answers. The recurring theme, however, seems to be that they are doing record keeping related to leases in one way or another, some with automation others manually. What most aren’t doing is strategically managing and optimizing the performance of the real estate portfolio as a whole.