Leasing is a very important activity for many business entities as it assists them in obtaining finance as well as in reducing their exposure to risks associated with business finance. In 2014, IASB hascalculated that listed companies using IFRS or US GAAP have disclosed almost US$ 3 trillion of off-balance sheet lease commitments. Such an impressive economic significance, along with a certainlypeculiar legal structure, have made leases operations one of the most discussed topic of financial accounting, raising the interest of both standard setters and accounting literature. Since 1949, severalgeneral accepted standards have been produced till the recent and rather ’revolutionary’ IFRS 16, and numerous are the studies that can be found in the prevailing accounting literature.Against this background, the present paper offers a review of the way Anglo-Saxon accounting literature have framed leases operations in the accounting model and, especially, in the accountingequation. The literature analysed is consisting in all the studies available in the database Business Source Premier from 1950 to July 2016. The research has proved that while there is an overallagreement that, for accounting purposes, leasing agreements have to be considered in the wider category of « executory contract », three main different approaches can be distinguished: (i) PropertyRight view; (ii) Firm Commitment approach; (iii) Risk and Rewards approach.


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