Yesterday afternoon, the SEC announced that it had—unanimously—adopted amendments, largely as originally proposed in 2019, to modernize filing fee disclosure and payment methods. How long has it been since the SEC adopted anything unanimously? Apparently it took a far-from-spellbinding 432-page adopting release about filing fee disclosure and Automated Clearing House payments to finally achieve that level of comity. Here is the brief fact sheet. The amendments revise almost everything—“most fee-bearing forms, schedules, statements, and related rules”—to require each fee table and accompanying explanatory notes (which will now be moved to a separate exhibit) to include “all required information for fee calculation in a structured format.” That means more XBRL. The amendments also add new options for fee payment using ACH and debit and credit cards, retain the current option for payment by wire transfer, but eliminate fee payment with paper checks and money orders. Most of the amendments will become effective on January 31, 2022 with extensive transition periods to allow filers time to comply with the Inline XBRL structuring requirements. The amendments related to ACH and debit and credit cards will become effective on May 31, 2022.
Corp Fin has recently focused on the issue of corporate reporting and short-termism. At the end of last year, the SEC posted a “request for comment soliciting input on the nature, content, and timing of earnings releases and quarterly reports made by reporting companies.” (See this PubCo post.) Following up, Corp Fin then organized a roundtable, held last week, to discuss the issues surrounding short-termism. The roundtable consisted of two panels: the first explored “the causes and impact of a short-term focus on our capital markets,” with the goal of identifying potential market practices and regulatory changes that could promote long-term thinking and investment. In part, this panel developed into a debate about whether short-termism was actually creating a problem for the economy at all. In that regard, several of these panelists were quick to cite the oft-cited academic study revealing that “three quarters of senior American corporate officials would not make an investment that would benefit a company over the long run if it would derail even one quarterly earnings report.” (See this PubCo post and this article in The Atlantic.) Could the reason be a misalignment of incentives? The second panel was centered on the periodic reporting system and potential regulatory changes that might encourage a longer-term focus in that system. Does the current periodic reporting system, along with the practice of issuing quarterly earnings releases and, in some cases, quarterly earnings guidance contribute to or encourage an overly short-term focus by managers and other market participants? On this panel, the headline topic notwithstanding, the discussion barely touched on short-termism; rather, the focus was almost entirely on regulatory burden. At the end of the day, is the SEC seriously considering making changes to periodic reporting?
You’ve got to just love the irony: the SEC’s amendments mandating the use of Inline XBRL aren’t even effective yet, and experts at an accounting conference have declared XBRL “nearly useless as an investment tool,” and “all but unnecessary.”
by Cydney Posner A draft of the Financial CHOICE Act of 2017 (fka version 2.0), a bill to create hope and opportunity for investors, consumers, and entrepreneurs — a masterpiece of acronyming — has just been released (and weighs in at 593 pages). The bill, sponsored by Jeb Hensarling, Chair […]
The Financial CHOICE Act would dismantle a whole lot more in Dodd-Frank than just financial regulation
by Cydney Posner There has been a fair amount of press regarding the Financial CHOICE Act, a new bill sponsored by Jeb Hensarling, Chair of the House Financial Services Committee. The actual bill has not yet been released, but an executive summary is available. Most of the press attention has […]
by Cydney Posner Until now, companies have been required to provide the financial statements accompanying their periodic and current reports in “structured,” i.e., machine-readable, format using XBRL and to provide this XBRL data as an exhibit to their filings. Today, the SEC issued an order allowing companies, on a voluntary […]
by Cydney Posner This morning, by a three to two margin, the SEC voted to propose rules requiring companies to disclose executive pay for performance. The proposal comes five years after passage of Dodd-Frank, which imposed the obligation on the SEC. Currently, many companies voluntarily provide information that could fit […]
New House bills seek to relax some SEC requirements and help reverse the growth in income inequality
by Cydney Posner Hat tip to thecorporatecounsel.net blog for identifying these two new House bills. H.R. 5405, Promoting Job Creation and Reducing Small Business Burdens Act, is intended to relax some additional requirements for Emerging Growth Companies (EGCs), and has been passed by the House. It has some good stuff In […]