3 min read

IFRS 16: CFOs can see quick gains with Connected Planning technology

Nadine Pichelot

Vice President of Finance of EMEA

There’s nothing quite like ringing in the new year. Along with the promises of fresh starts and renewed perspectives, it’s that time of the year that we can set—and dare not forget—lofty goals to achieve in the 365-days ahead.

The new year represents more than an annual reset button and it ushers in more than new beginnings. It also brings deadlines. This rings especially true for corporate finance teams this year, as the IFRS 16 deadline looms.

Effective January 1, 2019, IFRS 16 marks one of the first significant changes to lease accounting standards in 40 years. If they haven’t already made the adjustments, businesses now have a very limited time to ensure that future accounting processes will meet compliance.

Unfortunately, for companies addressing these changes through spreadsheets and aging technology, time might be ticking even faster because these manual tools can turn such operations into a lengthy, burdensome, and complex undertaking.

What IFRS 16 means for businesses

Beginning on the first day of the year, new standard IFRS 16 will be implemented by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the International Accounting Standard Board (IASB). This standard will impact company balance sheets and how many businesses that rent or lease will operate in the future.

The new IFRS 16 requirements will eliminate nearly all off-balance-sheet accounting for lessees. Further, it will impact commonly used metrics such as EBITDA and gearing ratios. Why? The changes are designed to make it easier for outsiders to compare the performance of different companies.

Although the changes in performance metrics will make it easier to compare and contrast, they may also affect credit ratings, borrowing costs, and even stakeholders’ perception of a company. This makes it vital that companies understand and prepare for the effects of this new leasing standard. An Anaplan blog written by one of our partners earlier this year outlined eight aspects of an IFRS 16 implementation and can be read in depth here.

Technology that turns arduous into effortless

Even though time is winding down on the IFRS 16 deadline, businesses still have an opportunity to implement a solution that can quickly fulfill its requirements—and many are turning to cloud-based, Connected Planning solutions.

Adhering to the new standard with spreadsheets and legacy tools quickly turns burdensome; in contrast, Connected Planning technology supports rapid implementation, easily interfaces with existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) databases, and calculates large volumes of data in real time. Connected Planning gives decision makers instant insight into how to optimize their company’s lease management strategy in context of the new regulations.

Recently, Anaplan released a suite of apps developed in partnership with PwC, FiNext and Reportwise that helps companies address their unique planning challenges and manage their evolving business models as they prepare for IFRS 16 to take effect.

For Anaplan customers, the end-to-end capabilities of the apps and its resulting implementations have been quick and seamless:

“At the beginning of June 2018, we chose the Anaplan IFRS 16 solution to manage the complexity of different leases. At the end of the month, we were able to publish our H1 numbers and be compliant with the new accounting rule,” said Bruno Teppaz, Group Chief Accounting Officer at Publicis Groupe, one of the largest marketing and communications companies in the world.

The deadline for IFRS 16 approaches and businesses have to determine the best way to comply with the new leasing standard soon. Connected Planning technology offers a way to tackle the complexity of the standard with ease.

For more information on how to prepare for IFRS 16, browse our suite of apps below.

Discover a better way to plan for IFRS 16Explore apps