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How the New Lease Accounting Standard Will Impact Businesses

In early 2016, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued their new lease accounting standard, taking effect January 1, 2019. Before reading any further, let’s address the first question: what is the new lease accounting standard? In short, this standard will require organizations, public and private, to be more transparent about their lease-related assets and liabilities, also disclosing all leases greater than 12 months as liabilities on their balance sheets.

Currently, there are two types of leases – operating and capital. Operating leases are only recorded on the Income Statement as rent expense, whereas the liability and related asset for capital leases are reflected on the Balance Sheet. Until recently, companies were not obligated to record all leases as capital and only disclose operating leases in a footnote.

At the end of this year, any lease with a life greater than 12 months must be recorded and disclosed as a capital lease. This change is impacting all businesses that engage in leased assets with the majority of that effort impacting finance, accounting and procurement departments. With many moving pieces on this new standard, here are two areas where companies should be focused in order to prepare for this change:

Track Every Asset
As mentioned, all leases are now to be recorded and treated as liabilities. For example, airlines now will need to list every plane and vehicle they use regardless of ownership. In order to get prepared for this shift, companies should start the reorganization of their lease information as soon as possible. The challenge is this is likely a much more complicated task than anticipated as organizations will need to capture a great deal more data than previously necessary for leases previously treated as operating leases. Luckily, there are analytical programs that have been updated and put in place to help retrieve data and remedy inconsistencies. Taking action here will put companies ahead of the game.

Identify Proper Systems
Once all lease information is reconciled and accurate, new systems should be put in place to ensure these efficiencies continue moving forward. There are emerging options for businesses to incorporate software solutions into the daily administration of leases, providing the accounting and finance managers with adequate resources needed for reporting. Additionally, most systems are designed to fulfill specific purposes, automatically preforming needed capabilities to comply with the new lease accounting requirements.

How the New Lease Accounting Standard Will Impact Businesses

How to Make a New Team Member Feel Welcomed

As exciting as the first day of a new job can be, it is never fun to feel like the newbie and not yet a part of the office culture. So, as a veteran at the company, when a new employee joins the team, you’ll want to make them feel welcomed and at ease in their new environment. To avoid both parties feeling uncomfortable as they are getting to know each other, here are 3 ways to make a new co-worker feel at home in your now shared workspace.

Introduce Them
Introductions are commonly where first impressions are made, and no one wants to interrupt colleagues at their desks by introducing themselves. Sending an email welcoming your new team member is a great way to get the word out about the new hire and making others aware that there is a fresh face in the office. This will lessen the awkward factor when they begin meeting others and will open the opportunity for an office tour, allowing them to say hello face-to-face.

Extend a Lunch Invite
Eating lunch by yourself is never the way someone wants to spend their first day, so remember to extend a lunch invite when the clock strikes noon. Whether you brought food or are running out to grab something, ask if they want to tag along – This give you time to talk one-on-one and show them the lay of the land.

Make Yourself Available
Before the day starts, take the time to sit down with your new team member to answer any initial questions, making them feel a bit more relaxed on day one. Additionally, try to clear your schedule as much as possible during their first week to help with onboarding and / or to walk them through new hire tasks. Regardless of this person’s position, it is always helpful to have someone to go to for company information or just to have a friendly face to chat with in the break room.

Without a proper welcome plan, this person could feel out of place and underrated right off the bat. Carving out time to spend with the new hire will make them engaged from the start, automatically adding value to your team. Whether you are connecting over work projects or shared interest outside of the office, building these relationships are important for retaining talent and building an extra layer of trust within your team or department.

How to Make a New Team Member Feel Welcomed

Tips on Keeping Track of Your Schedule When Traveling for Work

Work travel can have its perks – In person business meetings, visiting new places and frequent flier miles to name a few. However, after the initial excitement about the benefits and excitement of traveling wears off many are met with the reality of the wear and tear. There can be a sense of being overwhelmed and an inability to juggle everything, especially for those who travel extensively. There are many tips and tricks on how to travel efficiently and stay on top of your game, but one important aspect to maintain while on the road is your schedule – Often harder said than done! Here are 3 ways to keep up your normalcy while away:

Travel Itinerary
Creating a travel schedule will help in more ways than one. From keeping up with your flight times, to meeting reminders and hotel itineraries, it is great to have everything in one place for easy viewing. You could use your work or phone calendar to input all of this information or utilize apps like TripIt, which compiles all of your emails and creates an itinerary for you. Regardless of what program you choose, having a master schedule will keep you organized and, hopefully, eliminate you double booking during key times or important things falling thru the cracks.

Travel Time
One common mistake most travelers make is not accounting for their travel time and giving realistic buffers for your time while in route. Always give yourself ample time for traveling to the airport, dealing with TSA security and traveling to your destination upon landing in the event there are delays. Delays are inevitable if you travel enough! If you have a business meeting or presentation, document it on your calendar 15-30 min earlier than scheduled to ensure a buffer is in place and that you are not racing in to a meeting. Showing up slightly early and feeling you’ve won the schedule battle will absolutely help in your presentation. Running in last second or late typically means a presentation feels rushed, unorganized and disjointed. This is even more important when changing time zones – Make sure your watch is adjusted and cross-reference with your digital calendar.

Think Ahead
When your calendar has content overload, it is easy to look over essential dates. One method to adopt to avoid this in the future is to color code important days, so they easily stay on your radar – Reviewing your calendar holistically for the entire time you will be away will help keep these key dates top of mind, as well as identify any missing information that could be crucial to your travel.

Upholding a familiar routine while constantly traveling is challenging and pieces often go missing. Review these tactics and try implementing them the next time you travel for work. Also remember to keep your team in the loop regarding your travel. It shows a commitment to strong corporate communication and sets an expectation with your staff. I have to say this is one area I have struggled in and ultimately needed to put some checks and balances in place to ensure proper communication took place.

Tips on Keeping Track of Your Schedule When Traveling for Work