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Corp Fin’s Higgins Aims for Improved Disclosure Effectiveness

Speaking at the American Bar Association’s Business Law Section Spring Meeting, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Division of Corporation Finance’s (“Corp Fin”; “the Division”) Keith Higgins pointed out how the SEC can make the current disclosure regime more effective. In his April 11th speech, the Director of Corp Fin touched on multiple actions the Division may carry out, including: New requirements might be suggested if Corp Fin finds any potential gaps in disclosure or chances to improve the clarity of information given to investors. An examination into whether disclosure documents can be improved upon through use of structured. Read More.

PCAOB Seeks Standing Advisory Group Nominations

With 14 members’ terms expiring this year, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (“PCAOB”) is currently seeking potential replacements for its Standing Advisory Group (“SAG”). The PCAOB is looking for individuals with a combination of experience in accounting, auditing, corporate finance or governance, and/or investing in public companies. Also, nominees are recommended to have experience in auditing or financial reporting associated with broker-dealers and smaller public companies. The SAG, which meets two or three times a year, helps the PCAOB on numerous topics concerning standard-setting and other activities. Such topics have included how auditors detect fraud, changes to the auditor’s. Read More.

FASB and IASB Make Progress on Joint Standard

Moving closer to a final standard that will mandate companies to add most of their lease liabilities on balance sheets, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) and International Accounting Standards Board (“IASB”) have come to an agreement on several provisions of their lease accounting project. Meeting on April 23rd via videoconference, the boards sought to curtail differences that are keeping them from creating a joint standard for FASB’s Proposed Accounting Standards Update No. 2013-270, Leases (Topic 842), and IASB’s Exposure Draft No. 2013-5, Leases, as well as offer more clarity about lease contract revisions. Most notable from the four-hour meeting,. Read More.

SEC to Move Forward with Conflict Minerals Rule

Despite the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit’s (“the Court”) recent ruling, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Chair Mary Jo White announced that the SEC will continue to carry out most of its Conflict Minerals final rule. The final rule, which forces companies to publicly reveal whether or not they have used conflict minerals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo or neighboring countries and file the disclosure on an SEC-issued form, was ruled by the Court as a violation of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment. During her testimony at the April 29th “Oversight of. Read More.

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SASB Board of Directors Appoints New Members

Prepping final releases of new standards for over 80 industries in ten sectors by the end of next year, the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (“SASB”) recently announced that former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Chairman Mary Schapiro have agreed to join its Board of Directors. Bloomberg will become chair of the Board of Directors, and Schapiro will serve as vice chair. In addition, Head of Americas at UBS Global Asset Management Shawn Lytle has been appointed as a new member of the board. Lytle will be joining the following returning members:. Read More.

PCC’s Decision on Intangible Assets Delayed Again

Failing to agree on how private companies report intangible assets when purchasing or joining another company, the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (“FASB”) Private Company Council (“PCC”) once again could not come to terms with Proposed Accounting Standards Update No. PCC-13-01A, Business Combinations (Topic 805): Accounting for Identifiable Intangible Assets in a Business Combination. During its April 29th meeting, the PCC further discussed the proposal that would give private companies relief from determining the value of hard-to-price assets such as customer lists or noncompete agreements. However, similar to its January discussion, the PCC couldn’t come to terms on writing the exemptions.. Read More.