On Friday, the SEC announced that it had adopted amendments to require electronic submission of several forms that currently may be submitted on paper and to require structured data reporting (i.e., XBRL) for Form 11-K. Most notably, the amendments require electronic submission of Forms 144 and, in PDF format, of “glossy” annual reports. According to SEC Chair Gary Gensler, in “fiscal year 2021, more than half of all filed Form 144 forms—30,000 in total—were filed on paper. In a digital age, it’s important for investors to have easy, online access to material information, rather than needing to visit SEC facilities to access that information. This is particularly important during Covid-19, which has made in-person visits to access these filings even more challenging. Even when access to physical copies isn’t restricted, there are other costs associated with paper filings. It costs investors money and time to travel to the SEC’s reading room. It costs the SEC money and time to process paper filings. These amendments will reduce costs and drive more efficiencies for investors, filers, and the SEC.”
Yesterday, the SEC published proposed amendments—which the SEC voted unanimously to propose—to update the electronic filing requirements. The proposed rule and form amendments would require that certain forms be filed or submitted electronically and would amend certain forms to require structured data reporting (i.e., XBRL). Most notably, the proposal would require electronic submission in PDF format of “glossy” annual reports. According to SEC Chair Gary Gensler, the “proposed amendments are intended to modernize and increase the efficiency of the filing process—for filers, investors, or other interested parties.” The comment period will be open for 30 days.