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SEC Adopts JOBS Act and FAST Act Amendments

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has approved final rule amendments that implement provisions of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (“JOBS Act”) and the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (“FAST Act”). In particular, the final rules concern the registration, termination of registration, and suspension of reporting under Section 12(g) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The final rules also establish a non-exclusive safe harbor for determining holders of record when evaluating an issuer’s registration responsibilities under Section 12(g). The final rules will be effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. More on the approved JOBS Act and FAST Act amendments can be found. Read More.

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SEC Deputy Chief Accountant Speaks at Financial Reporting Conference

As guest speaker at the 15th Annual Baruch College Financial Reporting Conference, Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Deputy Chief Accountant Wesley Bricker expressed his views on the current transition period undertakings for the upcoming revenue recognition and leases standards, and the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s proposal for financial instruments’ credit impairment. He also cautioned companies that presenting non-generally accepted accounting principles in public filings, especially adjustments to revenue, will increase the likelihood of receiving an SEC comment letter. He also spoke about the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board’s efforts to encourage auditor attention on financial reporting risks. A transcript of Bricker’s speech is available on. Read More.

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PCAOB Audit Engagement Partner Disclosure Rule Approved

The Securities and Exchange Commission has approved the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board’s (“PCAOB”) rule requiring the disclosure of the engagement partner and other participating accounting firms in an audit in Release No. 34-77787, Public Company Accounting Oversight Board; Order Granting Approval of Proposed Rules to Require Disclosure of Certain Audit Participants on a New PCAOB Form and Related Amendments to Auditing Standards. Per the release, audit firms will have to disclose such information when filing the new PCAOB Form AP, “Auditor Reporting of Certain Audit Participants.” The lead audit firm must also make known the extent of other auditors. Read More.

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SEC Nominees Blocked by Democrats

Four Senate Banking Committee Democrats have blocked the nominations of Lisa Fairfax and Hester Peirce to the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). During an April 7th voice vote, Sens. Robert Menendez, Jeff Merkley, Charles Schumer and Elizabeth Warren expressed their dissatisfaction over the nominees’ answers on a political spending disclosure rule they want passed. Senator Warren also remarked that Peirce’s nomination is risky because of her disapproval of the Dodd-Frank Act reforms. The SEC had no comment regarding the vote. More on the SEC nomination vote is available on the U.S. News website.

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SEC Approves PCAOB’s 2016 Budget

With a 2-1 vote, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has approved the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board’s (“PCAOB”) budget for 2016. This year’s spending plan is $257.7 million, which is a 2.7 percent increase from the audit regulator’s 2015 budget ($250.9 million). The PCAOB estimates that its 2016 total support fees will be $253.3 million. Approximately $220.9 million of those fees are expected to come from public companies, while $32.4 million will come from broker-dealers. SEC Commissioner Michael Piwowar was the lone dissenting vote, favoring a more modest increase in the accounting support fee. Piwowar also expressed concern over. Read More.

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Montana and Massachusetts Officials to Challenge Regulation A+

In federal appeals court later this month, state securities regulators and the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) will square off over the agency’s Regulation A+ amendments under the JOBS Act. Montana and Massachusetts officials seek to overturn the capital formation rule, contending it overlaps state management of certain securities offerings. Issued in June 2015, Release No. 33-9741, Amendments to Regulation A, the rules increase the amount companies can raise (up to $50 million) in transactions that are compared frequently to small-scale initial public offerings, but have lesser disclosure and accounting requirements than more traditional registered offerings. The final rules allowed companies to. Read More.

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