SEC Year-End Guidance

The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation 2020-01-25

Posted by Laura D. Richman and Michael L. Hermsen, Mayer Brown LLP, on Saturday, January 25, 2020
Editor's Note: Laura D. Richman is counsel and Michael L. Hermsen is partner at Mayer Brown LLP. This post is based on a Mayer Brown memorandum by Ms. Richman, Mr. Hermsen, Ryan Castillo, Robert F. Gray, Jr., and Brian D. Hirshberg.

During the last two weeks of 2019, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) offered guidance and reminders relating to:

  • The Role of Audit Committees;
  • International Intellectual Property and Technology Risks; and
  • Confidential Treatment

Public companies should take these pronouncements into account as the new year begins.

Role of Audit Committees

On December 30, 2019, the SEC’s chairman, chief accountant and director of the division of corporation finance (Division) issued a joint public statement (Audit Committee Statement) on the role of audit committees in financial reporting, including key reminders regarding oversight responsibilities. [1] The Audit Committee Statement included five general observations regarding the audit committee’s role in financial reporting and auditing, followed by three more specific observations.