Eighty-one percent of US CFOs support the
reforming of lease accounting rules and many are in favor of
putting lease obligations on the balance sheet, according to a
survey by Grant Thornton US.

The International Accounting Standards Board
(IASB) is due to release a lease accounting exposure draft in
June.

This would replace current rules that allow
companies to keep many lease obligations off their balance
sheets.

Grand Thornton professional standards partner
John Hepp said the level of support for recording leases
obligations on balance sheets depends of how they are measured.

Most respondents preferred to measure the
obligations as either the non-cancellable amounts due, or those
amounts plus amounts that are highly probable and reliably
measurable.

This is in contrast to the more comprehensive
estimates currently under consideration by the US Financial
Accounting Standards Board and the IASB.

“The level of support depends on the boards
using a simple, reliable measure of the lease obligation rather
than a complex model that incorporates contingent costs or optional
renewal periods other than bargain renewals,” Hepp explained.

The Grant Thornton survey gathered the
opinions of 496 US CFOs and senior controllers during March and
April 2010.