Since the implementation of the Sarbanes‐Oxley Act of 2002, the SEC has adopted new rules for certifications and proposed many other new rules. The proposals cover financial experts, codes of ethics, internal controls, improper influence of audits, off‐balance‐sheet transactions, non‐GAAP financial information, and trades during pension blackout periods. Among the specific requirements of the new rules are that: (1) an issuer’s principal executive officer and principal financial officer certify the contents of the issuer’s quarterly and annual reports; (2) financial experts on audit committees be disclosed; (3) codes of ethics be disclosed; (4) internal control reports be included in annual reports; (5) officers and directors be prohibited from fraudulently influencing the auditor of financial statements; (6) a separately captioned subsection of the MD&A explain an issuer’s off‐balance‐sheet arrangements; (7) Non‐GAAP financial measures be clearly explained; and (8) officers and directors be prohibited from buying or selling equity securities acquired in connection with employment when other employees are “blocked out” from trading in their individual pension accounts.
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