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SEC’s Corp Fin Updates Compliance and Disclosure Interpretations

Staff members of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) Division of Corporation Finance (“Corp Fin”) recently updated two Compliance and Disclosure Interpretations (“C&DIs”): Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act (Updated Question 1) ; and Securities Act Forms (New Questions 101.04 and 101.05) . Featuring the staff’s interpretations concerning SEC forms, rules and regulations, both updates relate to financial information requirements for emerging growth companies.

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SEC to Offer Interpretive Guidance on Pay Ratio Disclosures

To prepare companies for complying with the pay ratio disclosure requirements early next year, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) recently approved new interpretive guidance. The interpretive guidance outlines the market regulator’s views regarding the use of reasonable estimates, assumptions and methodologies, and statistical sampling as allowed by the pay ratio rule. In addition, the guidance clarifies that companies can use applicable existing internal records (e.g., tax or payroll records) when determining whether to include non-U.S. employees and identifying the median employee. It also offers guidance concerning when a company can use widely recognized tests in determining whether its workers. Read More.

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Companies Can Submit Draft Registration Review Statements for IPOs

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has announced that effective July 10, its Division of Corporation Finance (“Corp Fin”) will allow companies to present draft registration statements regarding their initial public offerings (“IPOs”) for non-public review. This includes IPOs and most offerings made during the first year after an organization enters the public reporting system. Corp Fin’s decision gives companies additional flexibility to design their offering. The non-public review following the IPO decreases its likelihood of being exposed to market fluctuations, which could negatively impact the offering process and public shareholders. Requiring a public filing period before the marketing launches. Read More.

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SEC’s Corp Fin Revises Crowdfunding Guidance

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) Division of Corporation Finance (“Corp Fin”) has revised its Compliance and Disclosure Interpretation, Crowdfunding (new Questions 201.02 and 202.01). The update includes new guidance on related party transaction disclosures and calculating the holders of record for determining eligibility to end the responsibility to file ongoing reports.

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SEC Called Out for Lack of Staff Oversight

A report by the Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) says the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has made limited progress on improving oversight of the agency’s staff. Published on December 29, the report notes that the SEC continues to provide insufficient management of staff members and has yet to develop procedures for reviewing performance, improving collaboration efforts, and regularly assessing progress made. The SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance received some of the blame for not giving supervisors expectations in how to resolve workplace problems and train employees.

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SEC Improves Internal Controls

According to a recent Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) report, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) internal controls are improving. In fiscal 2015, only six of the SEC’s 58 internal supervisory controls tested had deficiencies. Comparative to the GAO’s 2013 review, the six deficiencies mark a significant reduction from the 27 flaws identified in fiscal 2011. The GAO noted that none of the flaws are likely to inhibit the SEC from ensuring their divisions and offices carry out actions accordingly. Specifically, the watchdog agency found two flaws without clear control activities, three that showed a major element did not align with. Read More.

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