SEC Aims to Fix Auditor Independence Rule by Next Fall
Addressing complaints that the current loan provision under its auditor independence rule is outdated, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) expects to finalize planned changes to the rule by September 2019. The final rule will likely be based on Release No. 33-10491, Auditor Independence With Respect to Certain Loans or Debtor-Creditor Relationships. Issued in May, the proposal addresses practical challenges in deciding whether an auditor complies with independence Rule 2-01 of Regulation S-X when engaged in a lending relationship with its audit clients’ shareholders. To finance its business operations, an accounting firm may borrow from a bank or acquire funds by. Read More.
Reporting Issuers to Get Regulation A Exemptions from SEC
In response to the passing of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) plans to offer Regulation A exemptions to reporting issuers. SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance director William Hinman said the agency will act quickly to make the exemptions available to companies bound by reporting under Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities and Exchange Act. The SEC initially planned to issue a proposal on the Regulation A exemptions in September 2019, but Hinman noted that the agency will accelerate the matter by skipping its formal rulemaking process. If any questions. Read More.
PCAOB Awaits Congress Vote before Proposing Audit Inspection Program
Before it proposes a permanent inspection program for auditors of brokerage firms, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (“PCAOB”) wants Congress to pass a bill that curbs broker-dealers’ audit requirements. Speaking earlier this month at the PCAOB’s Investor Advisory Group meeting, William Duhnke stated that the board is waiting for Congress to vote on the Small Business Audit Correction Act this year to allow for legislative movement. If the bill is not passed by the end of the current session, the PCAOB chairman said the board will prioritize its program early next year to address what the inspection program will. Read More.
Investment Companies Receive Update to Interpretive Guidance
The Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) Division of Investment Management has revised its interpretive guidance to help investment companies meet updated reporting requirements. Issued under the Investment Company Reporting Modernization Frequently Asked Questions, the updated guidance clarifies the final rules in Release No. 33-10231, Investment Company Reporting Modernization. Release No. 33-10231 increases fund company disclosures regarding investment holdings. The update to the Investment Company FAQs states that reports on Form N-PORT, a new monthly portfolio form, do not need to be filed if a fund has been liquidated, merged or terminated and has no investments remaining despite not yet deregistering with. Read More.
SEC Updates Disclosure Rules for Mining Companies
Mining companies must give investors more comprehensive details on their properties. The decision is a result of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) issuance of Release No. 33-10570, Modernization of Property Disclosures for Mining Registrants. Release No. 33-10570 requires mining companies to make available certain specified information regarding mineral resources and mineral reserves, which would help investors make better decisions. The final rules also bring the SEC’s disclosure requirements for mining companies more in line with industry practices and the Committee for Reserves International Reporting Standards. The final rules will be effective 60 days after being published in the Federal Register,. Read More.
SEC Asked to Develop Rule on Environmental, Social and Governance Disclosures
In a petition letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) earlier this month, 50 investor groups and 17 law school professors requested that the agency require environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) disclosures from public companies. The letter’s authors, law professors Jill Fisch (University of Pennsylvania) and Cynthia Williams (York University in Canada), wrote that the SEC should develop an extensive framework related to ESG matters that help investors become better informed on companies’ long-term performance and risks. According to Fisch and Williams, recent investment studies prove that a good amount of companies’ ESG disclosures are material. A 2017 study. Read More.