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Labor Union Wants More Disclosures on Business Acquisitions

In recent comment letters concerning the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) Disclosure Effectiveness program, Unite Here! has asked for additional disclosures about pending company acquisitions. Responding to Release No. 33-9929, Request for Comment on the Effectiveness of Financial Disclosures About Entities Other Than the Registrant, the 250,000-member labor union said that Rule 3-05 of Regulation S-X does not require businesses to give sufficient information suitable for making an informed decision. Disclosure requirements depend on the size of the business acquisition, and Rule 1-02(w) of Regulation S-X details what is significant for financial information. United Here! suggests lowering the threshold of. Read More.

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FASAC Members Want More Transparency on Non-GAAP Measures

During talks last month on possible uniform non-GAAP measures in companies’ financial statements, several members of the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (“FASB”) Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Council (“FASAC”) advocated requiring companies to provide more details about their non-standard earnings metrics. Indiana University professor Patrick Hopkins acknowledged that some non-GAAP measures allow companies to disclose industry-specific information not reflected in accounting standards. He also argued that if the FASB or Securities and Exchange Commission required more transparency regarding how measures are defined, investors and analysts could better understand the information. Supporting Hopkins’ call for increased transparency was Douglas Oare, managing director. Read More.

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GASB Issues Measurement Guidance for Qualified External Investment Pools

On December 23rd, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (“GASB”) published a standard that offers measurement guidance for some state and local government investment pools. Issued as GASB Statement (GASBS) No. 79, Certain External Investment Pools and Pool Participants, the standard allows qualified external investment pools to measure pool investments at their amortized cost. GASBS No. 79 is effective for financial statements for reporting periods that have begun since June 15th. State and local governments are encouraged to apply the statement for periods ahead of that date. The standard’s requirements to reduce the risk in a pool’s assets and the provisions. Read More.

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SEC Chair Supports Idea for Supplemental IFRS Information

One year after Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Chief Accountant James Schnurr suggested allowing public companies to voluntarily supplement International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) information with their U.S. GAAP financial statements, the SEC’s Mary Jo White endorsed the plan during a speech in December. At the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ Conference on Current SEC and Public Company Accounting Oversight Board Developments, the agency chair said Schnurr’s idea could potentially be helpful as the next step in U.S. companies increasing their use of global accounting standards. Also at the conference, White mentioned that staff members have developed a recommendation. Read More.

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SEC Seeks to Enhance Alternative Trading Systems Oversight

Last month, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) proposed new rules to improve the transparency and regulatory oversight of alternative trading systems (ATSs) that trade stocks listed under a national securities exchange (NMS stocks). Per the agency’s proposal, an NMS stock ATS would be required to file in depth disclosures on the newly proposed Form ATS-N regarding its operations, as well as the actions of its broker-dealer operator and affiliates, and execution priority procedures. The proposal would also make Form ATS-N disclosures available on the SEC website, which could help market participants when deciding whether to conduct business with an. Read More.

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SEC Concerned over Companies Using Non-GAAP Earnings Measures

Public companies’ growing use of non-GAAP earnings measures has caught the attention of Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Chair Mary Jo White. At a November 17th conference in Washington, D.C., White said the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance want to make sure that companies’ reliance on non-GAAP measures for presenting better-looking financial results does not mislead investors. In particular, SEC officials want to determine if companies are adequately disclosing why non-GAAP measures provide valuable information regarding their financial conditions and results of operations. White cited the lack of consensus on how companies define certain non-GAAP measured decreases comparability between companies. In. Read More.

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