SEC Speaks! on Disclosures, IFRS, the PCAOB and More

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During a lively panel on Day 2 of PLI’sSEC Speaks” conference, SEC Chief Accountant Paul Beswick announced that a Staff Paper on Disclosures is expected in the “next couple of months” and a related Disclosure Roundtable is expected to be held in the “late spring or early summer.”


The focus of the Staff Paper and Disclosure Roundtable will include a discussion on what the proper 'dividing line' should be for placement of the increased number of calls for 'forward-looking information' from some investors, who of late have called for such information to appear more and more: in the audited (footnote disclosure) side of the fence, vs. where forward-looking information was traditionally designed to appear: in the unaudited MD&A.

Coincidentally, SEC Commissioner Troy Paredes focused his remarks on Day 1 of the PLI SEC Speaks conference virtually entirely on the Disclosure system, voicing concern over the potential for investor confusion resulting from information overload (aka disclosure overload), and closing his remarks with a call for an overhaul of the disclosure regime.


Beswick was also gently pushed by two of  commentators on his panel - former Commissioners  Cynthia Glassman and Aulana Peters, to comment on the status of any upcoming Commission decision on the incorporation of IFRS into U.S. GAAP.


He also received feedback from a third commentator on the panel, former Commissioner Paul Atkins, that there is anecdotal evidence of the PCAOB inspection process pressuring audit firms to go back to a more granaular AS 2 approach to auditing internal control, vs. the more top-down AS 5 approach which replaced AS2, and was aimed at achieving more efficiency and effectiveness.

Read more about these and other topics covered by Beswick at the Feb. 22-23 PLI SEC Speaks conference here.   

About Edith Orenstein


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