CPAs and Advisors with Your Growth in Mind

Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Protections Upheld

A broad interpretation of Dodd-Frank whistleblower protections was upheld this month by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (“Ninth Circuit”). Earlier this month, the Ninth Circuit ruled that whistleblowers who report illegal behavior through their employer instead of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) fall under the anti-retaliation protections. The decision was based on the case of Somers v. Digital Realty Trust, which involved the termination of Digital Realty’s former vice president being fired after reporting possible securities law violations. Paul Somers sued Digital Realty, claiming that his termination violated whistleblower protections under the Dodd-Frank Act. Digital Realty maintained that. Read More.

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SEC’s Bricker Urges Implementation of Revenue Recognition Standard

Nearly 10 percent of public companies have not started to implement Accounting Standards Update No. 2014-09, Revenue From Contracts With Customers (Topic 606). While the percentage is insignificant, Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Chief Accountant Wesley Bricker is telling unprepared companies they have no option but to begin the implementation process. At a panel discussion during the SEC Speaks conference on February 25, Bricker said that companies cannot overlook the importance of the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s revenue recognition standard and must prepare accordingly. He encouraged companies to communicate their implementation plans with audit committees, executive teams and others, and. Read More.

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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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Conflict Minerals’ Interpretative Guidance Issued

Issued on April 29th, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has announced interpretive guidance based on Release No. 34-67716, Conflict Minerals. Named Statement on the Effect of the Recent Court of Appeals Decision on the Conflict Minerals Rule (“the Statement”), the guidance is in response to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit’s (“the Court”) April 14th ruling that part of the provision which forces companies to use disclosure language like “DRC conflict free” or “DRC conflict undeterminable” violates the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment. The interpretive guidance curtails the independent audit requirement for the SEC’s Conflict. Read More.

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SEC Commissioners Want Delay in Conflict Minerals Rule

With the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit previously declaring part of a provision unconstitutional, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) Daniel Gallagher and Michael Piwowar seek a delay in the entire Conflict Minerals rule’s effectiveness. Per the controversial portion of the SEC’s final rule, companies are required to publicly disclose any use of conflict minerals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo or neighboring countries. Conflict Minerals also mandates issuers to file for the same period notwithstanding when their fiscal year ends. Releasing a joint statement on the matter, the SEC Commissioners believe a. Read More.

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