According to the Financial Times (via CFO.com), the Big Four accounting firms will recommend in a joint paper to be released tomorrow that the current system of quarterly reports be scrapped for “real-time, internet based reporting encompassing a wider range of performance measures.” It will be interesting to see what exactly they have in mind. In particular, how will liability issues be addressed? Obviously, more frequent and quicker disclosure is good for market efficiency but increases the chances of misstatements and omissions of material facts. Oh, yeah, the SEC is going dis-imply Rule 10b-5 private causes of action and cap auditor liability, so maybe increased liability exposure isn’t a big concern. But seriously, in addition to potential 10b-5 liability, how will the proposal impact incorporation by reference into registration statements and the attendant potential Section 11 and 12 liability?
No More 10-Qs?
3 responses to No More 10-Qs?
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November 8, 2006
[…] Bill Sjostrom at Truth on the Market on a proposed change in the way companies report financial results. […]
I think at least as interesting and probably more realistic than the real-time aspect of this proposal is the call for reporting of â€œa wider range of performance measures.â€ As Iâ€™ve argued for some time, there is an unjustifiable gap between the metrics that firms use internally to evaluate their performance and the financial information that firms share with public investors, e.g. http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=572463 .
Very interesting, Bill. With increased reporting on the Net, won’t accountants make more money? And if so, doesn’t that make the report’s recommendations a bit suspect?