The SEC Chief Accountant Financial Reporting Series
A series of roundtable sessions to assist in the proactive identification of risks related to, and areas for potential improvements in, financial information filed with the SEC.
Purpose of the Financial Reporting Series
As part of its oversight role for accounting and auditing standard setting and financial reporting, the Office of the Chief Accountant (“OCA”) intends to hold an ongoing series of roundtable sessions (the “Financial Reporting Series” or “FRS”) to facilitate a balanced discussion of implementation issues or emerging issues within the financial reporting system. The Financial Reporting Series is designed to assist in the proactive identification of risks related to, and areas for potential improvements in, the reliability and usefulness of financial information provided to investors.
To that end, the Chief Accountant will invite a representative cross section of capital markets participants (e.g., investors, preparers, auditors, and others) to each roundtable in order to obtain information and viewpoints regarding individual topics of interest. The purpose is for the participants at the roundtable to discuss, inform, and provide their individual views, and not to formulate consensus recommendations at or after the conclusion of any roundtable. FRS objectives are:
Framework for the FRS Roundtables
The Chief Accountant will chair the FRS sessions. The chairs of the FASB and the PCAOB, who are essential to the roundtables, will attend all sessions as observers and have the opportunity to make statements and ask questions of participants. Depending on the subject matter of the roundtable, the Chief Accountant may invite other observers, for example — banking regulators or SEC staff from other offices or divisions.
OCA's Deputy Chief Accountant for Policy and Market Risk is in charge of the operational activities of the FRS and facilitates coordination of FRS-related matters with FASB and PCAOB staff designated by their respective chairs.
The roundtable sessions will provide OCA, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”), and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (“PCAOB”) with useful information about matters affecting the financial reporting system and enable each entity to determine what actions, if any, it intends to undertake.
The Chief Accountant, in coordination with the Director of the Division of Corporation Finance and, where appropriate, other Commission staff, will set the FRS agenda. Sources of topics may include, among others:
Suggestions for topics are strongly encouraged and may be submitted via email to the FRS mailbox at FRS@sec.gov or on the FRS webpage.
The Chief Accountant will select roundtable participants, subject to normal SEC procedures for organizing roundtables. The focus will be identifying a representative cross section of capital markets participants who are knowledgeable about the issue or issues to be discussed. In that regard, it is expected that the participants will be different for each roundtable session, and no individual or organization will have a standing invitation to participate.
Frequency, Timing and Location of the Roundtable Discussions
It is anticipated that the FRS will consist of three roundtable sessions per calendar year, subject to the nature and number of emerging issues or existing pressures in the financial reporting system and, budget constraints of the SEC. The Chief Accountant will decide whether more or fewer sessions are warranted.
It is intended that roundtables will be announced via press release, which will include the agenda, topic, date, time, and participants for the session as well indicate that the public is encouraged to provide input as well.
The sessions may be observed in person or via webcast on the FRS section of the SEC’s webpage. The webcast of all sessions will be archived and available for viewing subsequent to the sessions. Sessions may be held at locations other than the SEC’s headquarters.
Upcoming Roundtables provides information on future events.
J. W. Mike Starr, Deputy Chief Accountant for Policy and Market Risk is responsible for the coordination of the FRS. He can be reached via the FRS Mailbox at FRS@sec.gov or by phone at 202-551-5300.
1 In this regard, the FASB and the PCAOB may ask existing advisory groups to identify suggestions for possible roundtable topics.