(Lease Capitalization, Bargain Purchase Option) Baden Corporation entered into a lease agreement for 100 photocopy machines for its corporate headquarters. The lease agreement qualifies as an operating lease except there is a bargain purchase option. After the 5-year lease term, the corporation can purchase each copier for $1,000, when the anticipated fair value is $2,500. Jerry Suffolk, the financial vice president, thinks the financial statements must recognize the lease agreement as a finance lease because of the bargain purchase option. The controller, Diane Buchanan, disagrees: “Although I don’t know much about the copiers themselves, there is a way to avoid recording the lease liability.” She argues that the corporation might claim that copier technology advances rapidly and that by the end of the lease term, the machines will most likely not be worth the $1,000 bargain price.
Answer the following questions (# your responses):
- What ethical issue is at stake?
- Should the controller’s argument be accepted if she does not really know much about copier technology?
- Would it make a difference if the controller were knowledgeable about the rate of change in copier technology?
- What should Suffolk do?
Read and reply to one student’s response. This is an automatic assigned peer review. Your reply should be a based on your analysis of the student’s response (min. 100 words). You may comment on why you agree or disagree with the response, what sort of evidence supports or refutes their position, or you may ask questions related to their response.