November 30, 2018
Next Wednesday! SEC’s Open Meeting on Quarterly Reports
Yesterday, the SEC posted this Sunshine Act notice of an open Commission meeting next Wednesday – December 5th – to consider a “request for comment” on the nature & content of quarterly reports and earnings releases. As we’ve blogged several times, the request is bound to seek comment on the reduction (and even elimination) of quarterly reporting – as tweeted by President Trump. Here’s an excerpt from this WSJ article that John is quoted in:
One question the SEC may ask in its release, up for a vote next Wednesday, is whether quarterly guidance about expected earnings from companies unnecessarily drives expectations for investors, and whether that guidance could be pared back. Earnings guidance is voluntary and isn’t required by the government. Among possible changes, the SEC could also reduce the number of disclosures required in quarterly reports, which some companies view as excessive in an age when company information is readily available to the public.
“Do we really need the ’thou shalts’ from the SEC in an age when we have so much more information at our fingertips?” said John Jenkins, partner at Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP and an editor of TheCorporateCounsel.net.
Federal securities rules have required quarterly reporting since 1970, when the SEC required it as part of a formalization of stock-exchange practices that preceded the agency’s creation in 1934. The SEC’s planned meeting isn’t the start of a formal rule-making process and is intended to solicit feedback on how the quarterly reporting system is functioning and what improvements could be made, a step that could in the future lead to regulatory changes.
Upcoming Webcast: “Shareholder Proposals – Corp Fin Speaks”
I just calendared a webcast – “Shareholder Proposals: Corp Fin Speaks” – with Corp Fin’s Matt McNair, who has headed the Division’s “Shareholder Proposal Task Force” for the past five years. Tune in to learn the experiences with implementing Staff Legal Bulletin 14I from this past proxy season – and learn the intricacies of new SLB 14J. Also see this blog by Cydney Posner about some no-action positions taken on “ordinary business” since SLB 14J came out last month…
Edgar: SEC Seeks Feedback
Recently, I blogged about how the SEC has started to post notices of Edgar outages – and that you’re encouraged to contact “Edgar Filer Support” to report a problem. Now, the SEC has posted an Edgar questionnaire, hoping to get feedback concerning the user-filing experience…
Blockchain & Audits
Recently, PCAOB Board Member Kathleen Hamm gave this speech about the intersection of blockchain & auditing…
Don’t forget to tune into our upcoming webcast: “Audit Committees in Action: The Latest Developments“…
– Broc Romanek