On January 30, 2020, Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Jay Clayton, released a public statement, “Proposed Amendments to Modernize and Enhance Financial Disclosures; Other Ongoing Disclosure Modernization Initiatives; Impact of the Coronavirus; Environmental and Climate-Related Disclosure.”

frontal view of a stone building with pillars and American flags; image used for blog post about SEC Chairman Public Statement

Clayton’s statement discusses these four topics:

  1. Disclosure Effectiveness Initiative—Financial Disclosures and Performance Metrics – the amendments were proposed to eliminate duplicative disclosure and modernize and enhance Management’s Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) disclosures. If adopted, the proposal would benefit investors and capital markets more generally.
  2. Ongoing Disclosure Initiatives – topics engaged by SEC staff include:
    • LIBOR transition,
    • Cybersecurity and information system integrity and resilience,
    • Environmental and climate-related disclosures,
    • The protection of intellectual and other property in jurisdictions with varying legal regimes and access requirements relating to intellectual and other property
    • Brexit transition,
    • The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB)’s ability to conduct inspections of audit firms in China and other jurisdictions, and
    • Matters related to the role and functioning of audit committees
  3. Impact of the Coronavirus – Clayton has asked staff to provide guidance and assistance to issuers and other market participants regarding disclosures related to the current and potential effects of the coronavirus.
  4. Discussion of Environmental and Climate-Related Disclosure Efforts – Clayton reassures the Commission’s committed investment in this evolving topic and offers a detailed summary of his views on the topic.

For the full details of the statement, visit www.sec.gov/news/public-statement/clayton-mda-2020-01-30.

To learn more about how PKF Texas serves public companies, visit our website at: www.PKFTexas.com/SECDesk.