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Those firms which are into leasing will be affected the most from the IFRS 16 norms

Most companies in the UAE are not ready for the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and those firms which are into leasing will be affected the most from the IFRS 16 norms set to come into force from January 2019, according to financial industry analysts.

Yusuf Hassan, partner, risk consulting,in one of the big 4’s said larger companies in the UAE were aware of the subject while listed companies kept abreast of the IFRS 16 through the development stage.

“Many listed companies have awareness but may not have done implementation. In terms of implications, it has not been quantified, but we have done a rough estimation of the impact. We see that some companies could be massively impacted, especially on the debt side,” he said.

Hassan said much more liabilities will be recognised on the balance sheet with the new standards.

“Industries that do a lot of leases will have more liabilities. So, retailers will be heavily impacted because they have hundreds of stores on lease. Banks also have a lot of branches on lease. But banks’ balance sheets are so big, the impact may tend to get lost.

“Smaller companies will have implications. What is effectively happening is you’re booking now with the promise to pay future lease payments. Earlier, you used to book obligations at the end of the year; now, you have to book obligations upfront and recognised overtime. It is going to be a major change in all financial statements for those with leases,” Hassan said during a seminar organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) – Dubai chapter on Saturday.

Naveen Sharma, chairman, ICAI – Dubai chapter, said companies are working against time because most of them didn’t start early and as a result are unprepared.

“Large companies are not ready for IFRS 9, 15 and 16, but they are working hard because there is a tendency to start late. IFRS 16 will be implemented from January 1, 2019, but it will have a retrospective effect. So, all ongoing lease will come under the new standards. After the introduction of new IFRS guidelines, if you have any asset under ‘right to use’, it will come onto the company’s balance sheet,” Sharma said.

He revealed that companies engaged in the leasing business such as airlines, auto firms and warehouse leasing firms will be impacted the most from the change.

“Companies have fleets of hundreds of vehicles, but if you see their balance sheet, there is nothing. It doesn’t give the right picture to the readers of how much assets are there on the balance sheet. Under the new standards, if you have a product under ‘right to use’, then it has to be in the company’s balance sheet,” he pointed out.

Anish Mehta, secretary, ICAI – Dubai chapter, said the new IFRS rules will bring off balance sheet items with the introduction of ‘right to use’ norm.

“‘Right to use’ asset also has value. For example, we use ‘key money’. The ‘key money’ is also ‘right to use’. If you don’t account for books, then people don’t know what assets you’re holding. It’s a right and right has a value,” Mehta said.

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courtesy to Khaleej Times

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