January 7, 2013

Delaware’s New Voluntary Disclosure Program: Is Delaware Really Going Soft on Escheatment?

Last year, I blogged about how Delaware was getting greedy when it came to escheatment. As noted in this memo, in an effort to stem the backlash from Fortune 500 companies incorporated in Delaware, the state is attempting to save face by adopting a sweeping new Voluntary Disclosure program. This new program potentially differs substantially from the approach of the contingent fee contract auditors that Delaware has long relied on for audit enforcement of its unclaimed property laws. For companies that meet the new Voluntary Disclosure requirements and enroll by June 30th, Delaware will reduce the liability reachback period by 15 years, from 1981 to 1996, and waive all interest and penalties.

However, it remains to be seen whether this new VDA program is in fact a legitimate path for fully and finally resolving outstanding unclaimed property obligations, or instead a mechanism by which Delaware secures information to be used in a future audit – a criticism that has often been levied at Delaware’s precursor VDA process.

IFRS Foundation Staff’s Analysis of SEC Staff Final Report on IFRS

Last month, the IFRS Foundation Staff released analysis of the SEC Staff’s July 2012 final report on incorporating IFRSs into the U.S. financial reporting system. The analysis concludes that “[w]hile the size of the US economy relative to other jurisdictions presents significant challenges in transition that are unique to the US, the experience of other countries suggests that many of the challenges can be overcome with the appropriate political will to make a commitment to the mission of a single set of global standards.” Here is the IASB’s press release.

Transcript: “How the SEC Really Works”

We have posted the transcript for the recent webcast: “How the SEC Really Works.”

– Broc Romanek