Companies are bracing for the possibility that they will have to assume additional balance-sheet liabilities under a lease-accounting convergence proposal, expected to be unveiled soon for public comment. Advocates of the change say it is necessary to add transparency for investors, but critics say it is too complex and would burden companies with high and unexpected costs. For a 17-year aircraft lease worth $100 million, expenses would increase 26%, or $2.4 million, in the first year, ELFA says.

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