CPAs and Advisors with Your Growth in Mind

SEC Office Unveils Examination Priorities for 2018

On February 7, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”) revealed its annual list of exam priorities. This year’s examination priorities are divided into five categories: Compliance and risks in critical market infrastructure Matters of importance to retail investors, including seniors and those saving for retirement FINRA and MSRB Cybersecurity Anti-money laundering programs More on the OCIE’s 2018 examination priorities is available in the news release.

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Forums on Auditors of Broker-Dealers Coming This Fall

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (“PCAOB”) has released the schedule for its 2017 Forums for Auditors of Broker-Dealers. Only two forums are set for this year, which will be held at the following locations: Las Vegas, Nevada, on October 20, 2017 Jersey City, New Jersey, on December 7, 2017 This year’s forums include case studies and discussions on inspection observations and trends, enforcement issues, and auditor independence. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority staff members will lead presentations on agenda topics. In addition, there will be an auditing standards update and a panel discussion about professional. Read More.

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SEC Grants Approval to FINRA Rules for Crowdfunding Portals

Per the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) order on January 22nd, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) has been granted accelerated approval in regard to its rules for crowdfunding portals. Proposed in October, the FINRA’s rules outline requirements for regulated online intermediaries that bring together start-ups and potential investors. Issued in Release No. 34-76970, Notice of Amendment No. 1 and Order Granting Accelerated Approval to a Proposed Rule Change, as Modified by Amendment No. 1, to Adopt the Funding Portal Rules and Related Forms and Rule 4518, the order brings the crowdfunding obligations of the JOBS Act one step closer to fruition.

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SEC Orders Start of Tick Size Program for Stock Exchanges

Answering feedback from various small companies, brokerage firms and venture capitalists, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has ordered stock exchanges and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) to start a pilot program for trading stocks from 900 small businesses. Announced in Release No. 34-72460, Order Directing the Exchanges and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority to Submit a Tick Size Pilot Plan, the test is in response to requests for higher stock price increments. Supporters say increased stock price increments would boost trading volume and investor interest in small cap stocks. Hoping to run the program for a year, the. Read More.

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Corp Fin to Review Disclosure Rules & Cybersecurity Protection in Fiscal 2015

Outlining next year’s policy objectives, Report on Objectives – Office of the Investor Advocate has been released by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) Office of the Investor Advocate (“the Office”). Published on June 24th, the report details two major projects the Office will work on during fiscal year 2015. The projects include assisting the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance (“Corp Fin”) revise disclosure requirements and reviewing cybersecurity for investor protection. Mandated by the JOBS Act, the SEC’s Mary Jo White considers the review of disclosure requirements in Regulation S-K a high priority. Using recommendations from the Report on. Read More.

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SEC Orders Creation of National Market System

Pairing national securities exchanges and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”), the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has ordered both sides to create a national market system plan. To be filed with the agency, the plan would execute a pilot program to increase minimum quoting and trading increments for particular small capitalization stocks. The 12-month program will also determine if such changes could benefit investor and issuers by improving market quality. As part of the SEC’s order, the exchanges and FINRA must design the pilot’s basic terms in a way that does not unnecessarily disrupt the market, and caps. Read More.

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