May 19, 2009

Looking Out for #1: How to Manage Your Career

With changes in the legal profession being accelerated by an economic downturn, I thought it was an appropriate time to hold a webcast to look at how these trends may impact how you approach managing your career. The days of sitting in a job for thirty years clearly is over.

Tomorrow’s webcast – “Looking Out for #1: How to Manage Your Career” – will explore the differences between working in firms, the government and in-house. It also will explain how to best pick a recruiter and what can be expected from that relationship. And it will analyze how you can best market yourself, including the use of new technologies. Join these experts:

Jim Brashear, Partner, Haynes and Boone LLP (and former Corporate Secretary of Sabre Holdings Corp.)
Selena LaCroix, Head of US Practice Group and Managing Partner for the Dallas Office, Egon Zehnder
Bob Major, Founding Partner, Major, Lindsey & Africa
Kevin O’Keefe, Founder and CEO, LexBlog
Broc Romanek, Editor,
Manny Strauss, VP & Assistant General Counsel, XO Communications

It doesn’t matter where you work today. Even being in-house is not safe, just yesterday I participated on a panel that I jokingly referred to as “Where Corporate Secretaries Go to Die” to a chapter of the Society of Corporate Secretaries and there was a high level of interest.

Survey Results: Corporate Lack of Enthusiasm for XBRL

With XBRL mandated for the largest 500 companies next month, XBRL USA conducted a survey recently that shows that two-thirds of these companies are ready. While the organization touted this as a good thing, my reading of the results is “surprise” since that’s quite a few companies unprepared to meet a requirement that is looming very soon.

On top of this frightening news is this Grant Thornton survey of CFOs and senior comptrollers that shows that 64% of the respondent public companies have no plans to use XBRL (the respondents seem to include a cross-section of all companies, not those mandated to implement it next month). Even more scary is that 35% of the respondents said they are “not familiar” with XBRL.

These companies are lucky as SEC Chair Schapiro has indicated that XBRL is low on her priority list (as noted in this article), which I suppose could possibly mean a delay in the phase-in of mandatory XBRL for smaller companies.

Meanwhile, the SEC just calendared a seminar for June 10th to help companies learn how to comply with the new rules, to be held in DC and by webcast.

Meanwhile, XBRL is high up on Rep. Issa’s list as he seeks to use XBRL as a way to increase TARP’s transparency by introducing this bill. According to this letter, Rep. Issa thinks that standardized use of XBRL will prevent the next financial crisis. Wonder if I can get my hands on some of that Kool-Aid…

Hide n’ Go Seek? XBRL in Regulation S-K?

Here is a note I recently received from a member that I thought was worth pass ing on: Am I the only person who thinks it’s weird that the website requirement for XBRL wound up in Regulation S-K? Especially in Item 601? I have always thought of S-K as being only for cross-referencing from a form (i.e., 10-K, S-3, etc.), and surely Item 601 is only for describing exhibits. I am not sure why I care, but I am finding it annoying that they have sullied this system by placing a requirement in S-K that seems extraneous to the disclosure forms.

It’s with great sadness that I note the passing of Alison Youngman of Stikeman Elliott. Although I barely knew her, you can tell she was a special person by reading this memorial describing her. Condolences to her family and friends.

– Broc Romanek