Lease and service for product life‐cycle management: an accounting perspective

Wei Qian (School of Commerce, Centre for Accounting, Governance and Sustainability, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia)
Roger Burritt (School of Commerce, Centre for Accounting, Governance and Sustainability, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia)

International Journal of Accounting & Information Management

ISSN: 1834-7649

Publication date: 20 September 2011

Abstract

Purpose

Previous research in lease finance and evaluation has given little consideration to environmental factors. The purpose of this paper is to add to the literature by analysing how leasing provides a more attractive option than selling and extended producer responsibility (EPR) in helping to close product life‐cycle loops, extend the useful life of products, and increase environmental benefits.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper revisits the accounting concepts of asset depreciation, residual value and cost of leasing and proposes methods to incorporate these concepts into the “closed loop” lease and service mode for product life‐cycle management.

Findings

For business, the “closed loop” lease and service mode changes asset values through the extension of the asset's useful life and in particular, the increase of the residual value of the product (i.e. recoverable value to the producer/lessor). Such changes reduce the cost of leasing to the advantage of both lessor and lessee. However, the argument about a “win‐win” monetary and environmental outcome being associated with leasing presents several challenges for current accounting standards in terms of recognition of lease and lease revenue, recognition of intangible assets and internalisation of environmental costs and impacts associated with the leasing process.

Originality/value

To date, accounting and finance literature seems to focus exclusively on the economic aspects of leasing strategies. This paper uses a different lens to make a call for a rethink about leasing with environmental considerations. It is expected that the findings and suggestions in this study will facilitate the adoption and diffusion of the “closed loop” lease and service mode in the business world for the benefit of the environment in the future.

Keywords

Citation

Qian, W. and Burritt, R. (2011), "Lease and service for product life‐cycle management: an accounting perspective", International Journal of Accounting & Information Management, Vol. 19 No. 3, pp. 214-230. https://doi.org/10.1108/18347641111169232

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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