Back in June, 2018, the SEC adopted the Inline XBRL requirements (see HERE) and since that time almost all new disclosure rules require either XBRL tagging or Inline XBRL. In December 2022 a new law was passed requiring the SEC to “establish a program to improve the quality of the corporate financial data filed or furnished by issuers under the Securities Act of 1933 (the “Securities Act”) and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”),” causing the SEC to focus even more on XBRL use. As a result, in September 2023, the SEC published a sample letter to companies regarding their XBRL disclosures.
The sample letter consists of six comments, which I have included in full below followed by a short commentary on the point.
- Your filing does not include the required Inline XBRL presentation in accordance with Item 405 of Regulation S-T. Please file an amendment to the filing to include the required Inline XBRL presentation.
On June 13, 2023, the SEC published its semiannual Spring 2023 regulatory agenda (“Agenda”) and plans for rulemaking. The Agenda is published twice a year, and for several years I have blogged about each publication. Although items on the Agenda can move from one category to the next, be dropped off altogether, or new items pop up in any of the categories (including the final rule stage), the Agenda provides valuable insight into the SEC’s plans and the influence that comments can make on the rulemaking process.
The Agenda is broken down by (i) “Pre-rule Stage”; (ii) Proposed Rule Stage; (iii) Final Rule Stage; and (iv) Long-term Actions. The Proposed and Final Rule Stages are intended to be completed within the next 12 months and Long-term Actions are anything beyond that. The number of items to be completed in a 12-month time frame is 55, which is in-line with the average items under Gary Gensler’s regime (and much higher than
On May 25, 2023, the SEC published three new Compliance and Disclosure Interpretations (C&DI) on the recently effective Rule 10b5-1 amendments. The new rules were adopted on December 14, 2022 (see HERE) to enhance disclosure requirements and investor protections against insider trading. The amendments include updates to Rule 10b5-1(c)(1), which provides an affirmative defense to insider trading liability under Section 10(b) and Rule 10b-5.
The changes updated the conditions that must be met for the 10b5-1 affirmative defense, including adding cooling-off periods before trading can commence under a Rule 10b5-1 plan and a condition that all persons entering into a Rule 10b5-1 plan must act in good faith with respect to the plan. The amendments also require directors and officers to include representations in their plans certifying at the time of the adoption of a new or modified Rule 10b5-1 plan that: (i) they are not aware of any material nonpublic information about the issuer
The last time I wrote about XBRL was related to the 2018 adoption of Inline XBRL which is now fully effective for all companies (see HERE). Although I gave an overview of Inline XBRL, that blog did not cover exactly what SEC forms need to be edgarized using XBRL. I’ll cover that now.
XBRL requirements currently apply to operating companies that prepare their financial statements in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“U.S. GAAP”) or in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (“IFRS”). Operating companies (as opposed to a new initial public offering) are required to submit financial statements and any applicable financial statement schedules in XBRL with certain Exchange Act reports and Securities Act registration statements. The 2018 adoption of inline XBRL allowed companies to embed XBRL data directly into an HTML document, eliminating the need to tag a copy of the information in a separate XBRL exhibit. Inline XBRL is both human-readable and machine-readable
On February 10, 2023, the SEC published 15 new Compliance and Disclosure Interpretations (C&DI) related to the pay versus performance (“Pay vs. Performance”) disclosure rules which were, in turn, adopted in August, 2022 (see HERE) after seven years in the process.
The rules require companies to provide a table disclosing specified executive compensation and financial performance measures for their five most recently completed fiscal years in any proxy or information statement filed under Section 14 of the Exchange Act. With respect to the measures of performance, a company will be required to report its total shareholder return (TSR), the TSR of companies in the company’s peer group, its net income, and a financial performance measure chosen by the company itself. Using the information presented in the table, companies will be required to describe the relationships between the executive compensation actually paid and each of the performance measures, as well as the relationship between the company’s TSR and the
On January 30, 2023, the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance updated its Financial Reporting Manual (“Manual”). The latest update is dated as of December 31, 2022. Although we attorneys like to leave the accounting to the accountants, the Financial Reporting Manual is a go to resource for all practitioners and is generally one of the many resources always open on my desktop.
As the preamble to the Manual states, it was originally created as internal guidance to the SEC staff. In 2008, in an effort to increase transparency of informal staff interpretations, the SEC posted a version of the Manual to its website. The SEC continues with its usual disclaimers that the manual is not formal guidance and that they can change their interpretations or views at any time, etc. Regardless, we all use it as a resource and in my years of experience, have never had the SEC take a counter-position to the Manual’s guidance unless there has been
Earlier this year, the SEC published proposed rules on cybersecurity risk management, strategy, governance and incident disclosure by public companies. Although the comment period has passed, a final rule has not yet been issued. As of now, cybersecurity disclosures are encompassed within the general anti-fraud provisions including the requirement to disclose “such further material information, if any, as may be necessary to make the required statements, in light of the circumstances under which they are made, not misleading” as well SEC guidance last updated in 2018 (see HERE).
The proposed amendments would require, among other things, current reporting about material cybersecurity incidents and updates about previously reported cybersecurity incidents. The proposal also would require periodic reporting about a company’s policies and procedures to identify and manage cybersecurity risks; the company’s board of directors’ oversight of cybersecurity risk; and management’s role and expertise in assessing and managing cybersecurity risk and implementing cybersecurity policies and procedures. The proposal would further
On March 21, 2022, the SEC proposed rules that would require publicly reporting companies to include certain climate-related disclosures in their registration statements and periodic reports. Among other information, the new disclosures would require information about greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), climate-related risks that are reasonably likely to have a material impact on a company’s business, results of operations, or financial condition, and certain climate-related financial statement metrics in a note to its audited financial statements.
The proposed rules, which are heady and complex, initially only allotted for a 39-day comment period. Considering the size (490-page rules release), scope, complexity and ramifications, the marketplace pushed back on such a short window. On May 9, 2022, the SEC extended the comment period through June 17, 2022, and all aspects of the industry are weighing in. Other than the small but powerful group of environmental activists and institutional investors that influenced the proposed rule, the vast majority of the commenters believe the
On March 21, 2022, the SEC proposed rules that would require publicly reporting companies to include certain climate-related disclosures in their registration statements and periodic reports. Among other information, the new disclosures would require information about climate-related risks that are reasonably likely to have a material impact on a company’s business, results of operations, or financial condition, and certain climate-related financial statement metrics in a note to its audited financial statements.
The proposed rules would include a phase-in period for all registrants, with the compliance date dependent on the registrant’s filer status, and an additional phase-in period for Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions disclosure.
The proposed rules, which are heady and complex, initially only allotted for a 39-day comment period. Considering the size (490-page rules release), scope, complexity and ramifications, the marketplace pushed back on such a short window. On May 9, 2022, the SEC extended the comment period through June 17, 2022, and all aspects of the industry are
In March 2019, the SEC adopted amendments to Regulation S-K as required by the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (“FAST Act”) (see HERE). Among other changes, the amendments allow companies to redact confidential information from most exhibits without filing a confidential treatment request (“CTR”), including omitting schedules and exhibits to exhibits. Likewise, the amendments allow a company to redact information that is both (i) not material, and (ii) competitively harmful if disclosed without the need for a confidential treatment request. The enacted amendment only applies to material agreement exhibits under Item 601(b)(10) and not to other categories of exhibits, which would rarely contain competitively harmful information.
After the rule change, the SEC streamlined its procedures for granting CTR’s and for applying for extended confidential treatment on previously granted orders. The amendments to the CTR process became effective April 2, 2019. See HERE for a summary of confidential treatment requests. In December 2019, the SEC issued new guidance on confidential