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Executive Order Could Affect the SEC

President Trump recently signed an executive order that could have an impact on Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) rulemaking. The Executive Order, Presidential Executive Order on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs , calls for the elimination of two existing regulations for every new regulation introduced. In addition, the order sets the fiscal year 2017 regulatory budget at $0. The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board’s rulemaking efforts could also be affected by the president’s order. To read the executive order, please visit WhiteHouse.gov.

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Conflict Minerals Rule Implementation Could be Reassessed

In a public statement issued January 31 , Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Acting Chairman Michael Piwowar ordered staff members to review whether the SEC’s Conflict Minerals Rule is still applicable and needs additional relief. In April 2014, the D.C. Court of Appeals ruled that part of the required disclosure under the conflict minerals rule was in violation of the First Amendment. In response to the ruling, the Director of the Division of Corporation Finance at the time issued guidance delaying the compliance date for portions of the rule considered unconstitutional. The case was subsequently remanded to the district court for further consideration. Litigation is. Read More.

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FASB 2017 Accounting Support Fee Approved

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has approved the fees that the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) uses to aid operations. In issuing Release No. 33-10297, Order Regarding Review of FASB Accounting Support Fee For 2017 Under Section 109 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act Of 2002, the SEC requested that the FASB review the financial reporting taxonomy for presenting financial statements in the eXtensible Business Reporting Language. The FASB must also submit its findings prior to the SEC’s consideration for the 2018 support fee. In addition, the SEC wants to be informed about the FASB’s filled vacancies and efforts to improve. Read More.

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FASB Goodwill Impairment Standard Issued

Last week, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) published Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) No. 2017-04, Intangibles – Goodwill and Other: Simplifying the Test for Goodwill Impairment. A result of the Simplification Initiative, the standard simplifies how a company tests goodwill for impairment by eliminating “Step 2”, which measures impairment loss by comparing the carrying amount of goodwill to its implied fair value. In its news release, the FASB said the ASU will allow companies to measure goodwill impairment as the excess of the reporting unit’s carrying value over its fair value. Stakeholders had complained that the current impairment test creates. Read More.

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SEC Announcement Added to FASB Codification

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) recently announced the issuance of Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) No. 2017-03, Accounting Changes and Error Corrections (Topic 250) and Investments – Equity Method and Joint Ventures (Topic 323): Amendments to SEC Paragraphs Pursuant to Staff Announcements at the September 22, 2016 and November 17, 2016 EITF Meetings. The amendments update the FASB Codification for the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Staff Announcement regarding the following standards: ASU No. 2014- 09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606) ASU No. 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842) ASU No. 2016-13, Financial Instruments—Credit Losses (Topic 326): Measurement of Credit. Read More.

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Civil Monetary Penalties Adjusted for Inflation

A final rule has been introduced to carry out the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015. The final rule implements the first annual inflation adjustment of Securities and Exchange Commission-issued (“SEC”) civil monetary penalties under the following: Securities Act of 1933 Securities Exchange Act of 1934 Investment Company Act of 1940 Investment Advisers Act of 1940 Certain penalties under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 Violations that occurred after November 2, 2015, will be impacted upon the final rule’s effective date. For violations on or before that date, the SEC will reinstate penalty amounts in its previous adjustments as. Read More.

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