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Article
Publication date: 27 June 2019

Laura D. Richman, David S. Bakst, Robert F. Gray, Michael L. Hermsen, Anna T. Pinedo and David A. Schuette

To describe the modernization and simplification amendments of certain disclosure requirements of Regulation S-K and related rules and forms recently adopted by the US…

Abstract

Purpose

To describe the modernization and simplification amendments of certain disclosure requirements of Regulation S-K and related rules and forms recently adopted by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Design/methodology/approach

This article provides an overview of the amendments, their effective dates and related practical considerations for companies.

Findings

The amendments cover many provisions within Regulation S-K and affect various forms that rely on the integrated disclosure requirements of Regulation S-K. The amendments are designed to enhance the readability and navigability of SEC filings, to discourage repetition and disclosure of immaterial information and to reduce the burdens on registrants, all while still providing material information to investors. The amendments contain several changes relating to confidential information contained in exhibits. For consistency, parallel amendments have been adopted to rules other than Regulation S-K, as well as to forms for registration statements and reports.

Practical implications

Most of the amendments are effective May 2, 2019. The amendments relating to the redaction of confidential information in certain exhibits became effective April 2, 2019. Given these dates, companies should review the rule changes implemented by the amendment now and consider how they will impact their disclosure in upcoming SEC filings.

Originality/value

Practical guidance from experienced lawyers in the Corporate & Securities practice.

Details

Journal of Investment Compliance, vol. 20 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1528-5812

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 November 2016

Richard J. Parrino

This article examines compliance and disclosure interpretations issued by the staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission in May 2016 that provide guidance to SEC

Abstract

Purpose

This article examines compliance and disclosure interpretations issued by the staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission in May 2016 that provide guidance to SEC-reporting companies on how they can use financial measures not prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in a manner that complies with SEC rules governing the presentation of non-GAAP measures in SEC filings and other public communications.

Design/methodology/approach

This article provides an in-depth analysis of the new interpretive guidance in the context of the increasing use of non-GAAP financial measures by SEC-reporting companies and the SEC’s concern that some companies have been using non-GAAP measures inappropriately to present a materially different picture of their operating performance than investors can discern from financial measures prepared in accordance with GAAP.

Findings

Although the appropriate use of non-GAAP financial measures can enhance investor understanding of a company’s business and operating results, a relatively permissive SEC attitude towards the use of non-GAAP measures in recent years has emboldened some companies to increase their reliance on non-GAAP measures in a manner the SEC views as inconsistent with its rules. The SEC staff’s new guidance signals a renewed focus by the SEC on compliance with its requirements concerning the nature of permissible non-GAAP measures and the ways in which companies should present those measures.

Originality/value

This article provides expert guidance on a major new SEC disclosure requirement from experienced securities lawyers.

Details

Journal of Investment Compliance, vol. 17 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1528-5812

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Article
Publication date: 3 May 2016

Richard J. Parrino

This article examines the rule issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission in August 2015 that requires most SEC-reporting companies to disclose annually the ratio of…

Abstract

Purpose

This article examines the rule issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission in August 2015 that requires most SEC-reporting companies to disclose annually the ratio of the annual total compensation of their chief executive officer to the median of the annual total compensation of their employees other than the CEO.

Design/methodology/approach

This article provides an in-depth analysis of the operation of the controversial pay ratio disclosure rule against the backdrop of concerns expressed by many commenters on the rule proposal, as well as by the two Commissioners who dissented from adoption of the rule, that the disclosure will not provide meaningful information to investors and will be excessively costly and burdensome for companies to produce.

Findings

The SEC fashioned the final pay ratio disclosure rule with a vaguely defined statutory purpose to guide it and a heavy volume of comments on its rule proposal that urged widely disparate approaches to implementation. In overhauling the proposed rule, the SEC sought to satisfy its mandate under the Dodd-Frank Act while providing companies with flexibility in implementing the new rule that it believes will reduce compliance costs and burdens.

Originality/value

This article provides expert guidance on a major new SEC disclosure requirement from experienced securities lawyers.

Details

Journal of Investment Compliance, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1528-5812

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 5 May 2015

Richard J. Parrino, Peter Romeo and Alan Dye

The purpose of this paper is to review the enforcement initiative announced by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in September 2014 directed at reporting…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review the enforcement initiative announced by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in September 2014 directed at reporting violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act) by public company officers, directors and significant stockholders. The paper considers the notable features of the first round of SEC enforcement actions pursuant to that initiative and proposes measures public companies and their insiders can adopt to enhance compliance with their reporting and related disclosure obligations under the Exchange Act.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper examines the SEC’s enforcement initiative against the backdrop of the agency’s enforcement activity since 1990 for violations by public company insiders of the reporting provisions of Sections 13 and 16 of the Exchange Act. The paper summarizes the features of the reporting violations that attracted SEC enforcement interest in the recent proceedings and identifies the factors apparently weighed by the SEC in determining the amount of the penalties sought against those charged with the violations.

Findings

The SEC’s latest enforcement actions are unprecedented for insider reporting violations. The new enforcement initiative represents an abandonment by the SEC of its largely passive approach of the past dozen years in which it charged insider reporting violations only when they related to fraud or other major violations of the securities laws. If reporting violations are flagrant, the SEC now promises to target the offenders for enforcement on a stand-alone basis without regard to other possible wrongdoing. The SEC also cautions that, as it did in some of the recent enforcement actions, it may charge companies that promise to assist their insiders in the preparation and filing of their reports, but do not to make the filings in a timely manner, with contributing to the filing failures.

Originality/value

The paper provides expert guidance from experienced securities lawyers.

Content available
Article
Publication date: 13 October 2017

Eileen Taylor and Jennifer Riley

The purpose of this paper is to explore how non-professional investors (NPIs) with varying levels of financial sophistication interpret and perceive corporate disclosures…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how non-professional investors (NPIs) with varying levels of financial sophistication interpret and perceive corporate disclosures and management credibility, specifically risk factors, when those disclosures are presented in readable and less-readable formats.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses an online experiment to test hypotheses related to the effects of financial sophistication (measured) and readability (manipulated) on NPIs’ equity valuations and perceptions of management credibility (competence and trustworthiness).

Findings

Increased readability appears to counteract less-sophisticated NPIs’ conservatism in equity valuations, such that they are not statistically significantly different from more-sophisticated NPIs’ equity valuations. Further, less-sophisticated NPIs judge management as less competent when disclosures are less readable, while more-sophisticated NPIs judge management as more competent when disclosures are less readable.

Research limitations/implications

The paper has important implications for the SEC’s regulations related to plain English requirements for risk factor and other corporate disclosures. Financial sophistication varies among NPIs, and readability appears to influence these individuals in different ways.

Practical implications

The SEC’s Concept Release (April 13, 2016) acknowledges the need to update and improve risk factor disclosure regulations. This study provides evidence that contributes to those decisions.

Originality/value

The paper extends the research on processing fluency, by examining readability of disclosures with a consistent tone (negative). The NPIs surveyed are directly representative of the population of interest for risk factor disclosure regulations.

Details

Journal of Capital Markets Studies, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-4774

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 28 November 2017

Francesco Bellandi

Part IV provides readers with the extant requirements for the application of materiality to recognition, measurement, presentation, and disclosure in the financial…

Abstract

Part IV provides readers with the extant requirements for the application of materiality to recognition, measurement, presentation, and disclosure in the financial statements. This part also includes a detailed critical review of the recent Practice Statement on materiality, the FASB’s proposed ASU on the notes and the amendments to the Conceptual Framework proposed by the IASB and the FASB.

The part expands to issues that are typical of Management Commentary, including the SEC guidance on materiality in Management Discussion and Analysis.

It informs about the complexities and subtle differences between financial statements and bookkeeping and the different standards of reasonableness versus materiality.

A section moves from materiality to material misstatements and covers the application of materiality in auditing.

Another section goes in depth on internal control over financial reporting, showing the linkages between materiality and risk appetite and risk tolerance and the related application guidance.

Details

Materiality in Financial Reporting
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-736-4

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 22 February 2008

Jaemin Kim and Nikhil Varaiya

Due to insufficient disclosure on open market share repurchases in the USA, at any given point in time, outside shareholders have no knowledge of whether their firm is…

Abstract

Purpose

Due to insufficient disclosure on open market share repurchases in the USA, at any given point in time, outside shareholders have no knowledge of whether their firm is executing open market share repurchase trades. It is hypothesized that such information disparity between outside shareholders and insiders of a repurchasing firm creates asymmetric opportunities for insiders to time their sell trades in a period when the firm is engaged in buyback trading of its own shares. Insiders have an incentive to sell when the firm is in the market supporting the price by repurchasing its shares. The purpose of this study is to examine this hypothesis (insider timing hypothesis) by investigating insiders' trading activities during the periods of corporate share buyback trading.

Design/methodology/approach

Multiple regression analyses are used to explore relations among trades by insiders, corporate share buyback trades, and a number of other control variables.

Findings

This study finds evidence that insiders do increase the net number of shares sold in a fiscal quarter when the firm is in the market engaged in share buyback trading.

Originality/value

This study suggests the possibility of insiders' opportunistic trading behavior during the periods of corporate open market share buyback trading.

Details

Review of Accounting and Finance, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1475-7702

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 8 August 2006

Mimi L. Alciatore and Carol Callaway Dee

We investigate the state of environmental financial reporting since the increased regulation imposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulatory bodies…

Abstract

We investigate the state of environmental financial reporting since the increased regulation imposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulatory bodies during the 1990s by examining mandatory environmental disclosures for a sample of petroleum firms. Our results indicate that while the majority of firms stated that they accrued remediation liabilities and environmental exit costs, only about half or less of these firms disclosed the amount of the accrual, even though disclosure is required if the amount is material. Consistent with prior research, we find that cross-sectional variation in disclosure is positively related to firm size and financial leverage. Our results show that environmental disclosures increased during the 1990s, concurrent with increased regulatory pressure and corresponding threats to oil companies’ legitimacy. Firms’ disclosure levels in 1998 were strongly related to their disclosure levels in 1989 –i.e., those companies that reported more (less) information in 1989 did the same in 1998. Thus, individual firms appear to have distinctive environmental disclosure policies.

Details

Environmental Accounting
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-366-2

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Book part
Publication date: 1 December 2004

Elizabeth A. Gordon, Elaine Henry and Darius Palia

Transactions between a firm and its own managers, directors, principal owners or affiliates are known as related party transactions. Such transactions, which are diverse…

Abstract

Transactions between a firm and its own managers, directors, principal owners or affiliates are known as related party transactions. Such transactions, which are diverse and often complex, represent a corporate governance challenge. This paper initiates research in finance on related party transactions, which have implications for agency literature. We first explore two alternative perspectives of related party transactions: the view that such transactions are conflicts of interest which compromise management’s agency responsibility to shareholders as well as directors’ monitoring functions; and the view that such transactions are efficient transactions that fulfill rational economic demands of a firm such as the need for service providers with in-depth firm-specific knowledge. We describe related party transactions for a sample of 112 publicly-traded companies, including the types of transactions and parties involved. This paper provides a starting point in related party transactions research.

Details

Corporate Governance
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-133-0

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2002

Martin Freedman and A.J. Stagliano

This paper is concerned with financial statement disclosure of environmental liabilities by companies that are coming to the US securities market for the first time in an…

Abstract

This paper is concerned with financial statement disclosure of environmental liabilities by companies that are coming to the US securities market for the first time in an initial public offering (IPO). This specific disclosure type has not been previously reported on in the accounting literature. Compares 26 IPO firms identified as potentially responsible parties (PRPs) in Superfund sites with a closely matched (on the attributes of industry classification and asset size) group of publicly held PRPs. The objective is to observe whether there is a differentially higher level of environmental disclosure by the IPO group during the year of heightened securities market scrutiny as the IPO occurs. Data are collected through content analysis of annual reports and SEC Form 10‐Ks. The results from this study show that no different level of environmental disclosure was identified in the matched‐pair sample. The more intense inspection, the higher stakes in an IPO situation and the enhanced due diligence procedures are of no apparent consequence in simulating a greater amount or quality of environmental disclosure. Strict disclosure mandates and expected public scrutiny do not appear to ensure the anticipated level of accounting statement disclosure concerning environmental liabilities.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

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