Alert October 01, 2018

SEC Publishes Guidance on Form 10-Q and Disclosure Simplification

Summary

Guidance on how the disclosure simplification amendments adopted on August 17, 2018, will affect upcoming Form 10-Q quarterly reports was published by the staff (Staff) of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Division of Corporation Finance on September 24, 2018. The guidance clarifies questions about the effective date of the amendments and provides important interpretive relief concerning the requirement to present changes in shareholders’ equity in interim financial statements contained in Form 10-Q quarterly reports.

SEC Exchange Act Forms Compliance and Disclosure Interpretation 105.09 (C&DI 105.09) provides guidance on several elements of the disclosure simplification amendments described in our recent client alert. Uncertainty about the effective date of the amendments and how they would apply to SEC filings has become an increasingly significant matter as companies approach the filing deadlines for Form 10-Q quarterly reports for the quarter ended September 30, 2018. The adopting release did not indicate whether the amendments would be effective for filings made on or after the effective date, or for filings for periods ending (or for periods starting) on or after the effective date.

C&DI 105.09 states that the Staff is providing this guidance “[i]n light of the anticipated timing of effectiveness of the amendments and expected proximity of effectiveness to the filing date for most filers’ quarterly reports.” The effective date of the disclosure simplification amendments will be November 5, 2018.  The filing deadlines for Form 10-Q quarterly reports for the quarter ended September 30, 2018, will be November 9 (for large accelerated filers and accelerated filers) and November 14 (for non-accelerated filers and smaller reporting companies). Whether the amendments apply to a company’s Form 10-Q quarterly report will therefore depend on the date on which the company files the report.

Action to Take Now

Companies preparing to file Form 10-Q quarterly reports for the quarter ended September 30, 2018, should determine whether the date on which the company will file its Form 10-Q quarterly report is on or after November 5. If so, the company should:

  • consider deferring implementation of the requirement to present changes in shareholders’ equity with the interim financial statements to be contained in the Form 10-Q quarterly report, as described below; and
  • reflect the other disclosure simplification amendments described in our previous client alert in its upcoming Form 10-Q quarterly report unless the Staff issues further interpretive guidance.

Effective Date of Amendments

C&DI 105.09 states that the disclosure simplification amendments will be effective for SEC reports and registration statements filed on or after the effective date (November 5, 2018).

Transitional Relief for Changes in Shareholders’ Equity

Solely with respect to the requirement to present the changes in shareholders’ equity in the interim financial statements (either in a separate statement or in a footnote) in quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, as required by Rules 8-03(a)(5) and 10-01(a)(7) of Regulation S-X, C&DI 105.09 indicates that Staff will not object if a company initially presents the changes in shareholders’ equity in its first Form 10-Q quarterly report for the quarter that begins after the effective date of the amendments.