Mr. Jonathan Katz
Securities and Exchange Commission
450 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20549
May 20, 2002
File No. S7-08-02
Dear Mr. Katz:
Kimball International, Inc. appreciates the opportunity to comment on the Securities and Exchange Commission's proposed rule to accelerate the periodic report filing dates and disclosure concerning website access to reports.
For various reasons disclosed herein, we oppose the proposal to shorten the filing deadlines for certain companies from 45 to 30 days for quarterly reports and from 90 to 60 days after fiscal year end for annual reports. However, we support the proposal to disclose and provide website access to the Company's filings.
Acceleration of Periodic Report Filing Dates:
We oppose the proposal to shorten the filing deadlines from 45 to 30 days for quarterly reports and from 90 to 60 days from the end of the fiscal year for annual reports.
While we certainly acknowledge the proposed rule would shorten the lag-time between the earnings announcement and the filing of periodic reports with the Commission, we are very concerned with the heightened risks and elevated costs that are associated with such a reduction in filing time. We question whether the incremental benefits of a shortend lag-time will in fact exceed these heightened risks and elevated costs. More specifically, we offer the following in support of our concerns:
We would also oppose a requirement to file reports by a certain amount of days after the first release of earnings information for that period. This requirement would most definitely have an adverse effect by possibly delaying earnings releases. This approach would effectively penalize companies for early releases of information while rewarding companies who delay their earnings releases with extended amount of time to file reports.
We respectfully request the Commission to reconsider their proposal to accelerate periodic reporting filing dates for the reasons listed above.
Disclosure Concerning Website Access to Reports
We support the proposal to disclose and provide website access to the Company's filings. Our current process includes real-time posting to our website immediately subsequent to our periodic filing with the Commission. However, we also believe eliminating the 24-hour delay in posting filings to the Commission's EDGAR website would be a positive step in assisting companies to comply with this proposal by making available the option to hyperlink directly to the EDGAR system.
If the proposal for Acceleration of Periodic Reporting Filing Dates is adopted in its current form, we do not believe the proposed effectivity of three months after date of adoption is adequate. At a minimum sufficient time should be allowed for companies to implement plans for compliance including hiring and training additional staff, implement new processes and complete one full periodic reporting cycle with new staff and processes in place.
We appreciate the opportunity to express our views and would be pleased to discuss our comments or answer any questions the staff may have. Please do not hesitate to contact Bob Schneider or Roy Templin (812) 482-1600 regarding our submission.
Kimball International, Inc.