November 5, 2021

Electronic Filing Proposal: The SEC Wants Your Glossy Annual Report Again. . .

Yesterday, the SEC announced a rule proposal that would update its electronic filing requirements to mandate the EDGAR submission of certain documents that filers still have the option to submit on paper.  Here’s a copy of the 73-page proposing release and here’s a copy of the accompanying fact sheet. Want a statement from Gary Gensler? Okay, there’s one of those too.

The fact sheet says that the proposed rule changes are intended to promote more efficient storage, retrieval, and analysis of these filings, improve the SEC’s ability to track and process them, and modernize its records management process. According to the fact sheet, the rule would require the electronic submission of the following:

– Most of the documents that are currently permitted to be submitted electronically under Rule 101(b) of Regulation S-T, including filings on Form 6-K and filings made by multilateral development banks;
– The “glossy” annual report to security holders and certain foreign language documents, if submitted, in PDF format;
– Applications for orders under the Advisers Act;
– Confidential treatment requests for Form 13F filings; and
– Form ADV-NR (through the IARD system)

Form 11-K filers also would have to use iXBRL for financial statements included in those filings. Most of this stuff is a big yawn to corporate issuers, with the exception of the proposal to resurrect a filing requirement for the glossy annual report. As you may recall, the SEC effectively eliminated the longstanding requirement to furnish it with copies of glossy annual reports back in 2016. If this new proposal is adopted, companies will need to file a PDF of that document.

John Jenkins