A New Category of Software
The average S&P 500 company is carrying over $1 billion of leases on its balance sheet. Despite the massive spend and the complexities associated with managing lease portfolios outlined above, there has been relatively little investment in technology to automate the business processes associated with leases at large corporations. Most leases are managed on spreadsheets, emails, or custom developed applications built in-house. With $5 trillion of spend worldwide, leasing is that largest enterprise business process yet to be tamed or disrupted by technology.
Our mission is to change all of that.
We are reinventing the way businesses lease by building a new category of enterprise software called Lease Lifecycle Automation. We believe that some day every company will have a software application to manage their lease portfolio just like every company has a CRM to manage their sales pipeline and a T&E application to manage travel expenses. Lease Lifecycle Automation software is one of the fastest growing categories of financial applications with experts forecasting that it will exceed $1 billion by the year 2022.
Reimagining Business Processes
Leasing offers the potential to offer CFOs tremendous competitive advantage if well managed. Leasing, rather than buying assets, enables companies can realize greater free cash flows, which can potentially drive increases in stock prices and market capitalization. Instead of putting cash into depreciating assets, companies can put cash to work with investments in new products, sales staff, or marketing programs. However, historically few companies have managed leases as a portfolio or thought about the business processes associated with the leasing lifecycle.
CFOs viewed leasing as an accounts payable task. Business managers viewed it as a budgeting strategy. Procurement viewed it as a checklist item in the capital acquisition process.
To realize the benefits of leasing, companies will need to re-imagine leasing as a business process and embrace technology to digitize the lifecycle just as they have for other balance sheet items like receivables, payables, inventory and cash.
Re-Designing the Organizational Chart
If companies are going to successfully transform their leasing programs they will need to build centers of excellence staffed with experts following best practices. Just like companies have entire teams built for accounts payable, corporate treasury, and tax planning, we imagine a world in which every large company has a dedicated leasing team. But adding this new function to the org chart won’t come easy. The biggest challenge will be developing the talent. Historically, leasing expertise has been a rare commodity at large companies. While there are hundreds of thousands of leasing experts around the world, most of them work at the financial institutions that sell the leasing products.
When the new lease accounting standards were introduced back in 2016, there were fewer than 500 leasing experts working in corporate roles. By 2021, there will need to be 25,000 experts in lease accounting and administration.
At LeaseAccelerator, we love impossible challenges. So we’ve taken on a mission to help build an entire new category of profession for leasing.
Online Learning Platform
The Industry’s Most Comprehensive Training Curriculum
We’ve invested several million in online training programs via our LeaseAccelerat-ED experiential learning platform. Our customers can access a library of over 300 different courses on leasing topics ranging from performing the monthly close to managing end of lease decisions. The online learning wherever and whenever they want. Users can take tests and earn continuing professional education credits that are all tracked on an online transcript. Think of it as Ed-Tech for Fintech.
Lease Accounting Dot Com
The Industry’s Best Educational Resource
We recognize that we aren’t the only ones with experts on lease accounting. In addition to our Expert Guide series and Experiential Learning Platform, we offer a curated selection of the best technical accounting articles on the web from the Big Four, the accounting boards, and financial journals. And we’ve organized them into categories so its easy to quickly navigate to the best papers on topics such impairments or incremental borrowing rates.
Lease Accounting Summit
Industry’s Largest Conference Dedicated to Leasing
We host an annual conference that is the only event in the industry 100% dedicated to leasing. SAP and Oracle conferences have breakout sessions on leasing, but they are only 45 minutes. FEI and AICPA abandoned leasing topics after the first accounting deadlines passed. The three day event is focused on education, best practices, and lessons learned. There is no selling nor are there product pitches. Sessions are primarily panels with moderators to facilitate a peer-to-peer exchange amongst finance and accounting leaders. On the last night, we host a blowout Leasapalooza party for all attendees.
Re-Defining the Measurement of Success
One of the biggest challenges with today’s leasing programs is that there is no real model for success. CFOs don’t know the difference between a good leasing program and a great leasing program, because there are no publicly available studies that benchmark performance. Nor are there any generally accepted KPIs or metrics for accounting, operations, or procurement teams to utilize when analyzing the activities of their own organizations.
At LeaseAccelerator, we are relentlessly data-driven. And it drives us mad that there are publicly available metrics or benchmarks to compare the performance of leasing portfolios. So we have invested in research centers and reporting technologies to help companies track, measure, and compare the performance of their sourcing, management, and accounting activities.
Leasing and OpEx Research Center
Benchmarking Industry Success Metrics
To help companies better understand how they compare to their peer group, we established the Leasing and OpEx Research Center. We have published rankings of companies with the largest leasing portfolios in major countries such as the US, UK, Germany, and Australia. Additionally, we have begun to publish trend analysis of qualitative and quantitative metrics being disclosed as a result of the transition to the new standards. We also conduct progress reports on the state-of-readiness by public and private companies for the new lease accounting standards.