On September 25, 2018, the Division of Corporation Finance of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "Staff") issued a new Compliance and Disclosure Interpretation ("C&DI") providing transition guidance and relief on reporting requirements under the disclosure update and simplification rules adopted on August 17, 2018 (the "Final Rules"). As discussed in our recent post (available here), the Final Rules become effective 30 days from publication in the Federal Register, but do not indicate whether the amendments should be applied to periodic reports covering periods ending on or after the effective date or to all periodic reports filed after the effective date. (As of the date of this posting, the Final Rules have still not been published in the Federal Register.) The timing is significant because the Final Rules require companies' quarterly reports on Form 10-Q to include a new statement of changes in stockholders' equity and to disclose the amount of dividends per share for each class of shares with respect to the interim period.
The Staff's new interpretation set forth in Question 105.09 of the Exchange Act Forms C&DIs (available here) explains that the amendments are effective for all filings made after the effective date, but advises that, with respect to the new requirement to present changes in stockholders' equity and dividends per share in quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, the Staff would not object to issuers waiting to apply this requirement to interim periods beginning after the effectiveness of the Final Rules. As such, December 31 fiscal year companies may omit the new disclosure about changes in shareholders' equity from the third quarter 2018 10-Q.
In its entirety, CD&I 105.09 and stated the following:
Question: On August 17, 2018, the SEC adopted amendments to certain disclosure requirements in Securities Act Release No. 33-10532, Disclosure Update and Simplification. The amendments will become effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. Among the amendments is the requirement to present the changes in shareholders' equity in the interim financial statements (either in a separate statement or footnote) in quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. Refer to Rules 8-03(a)(5) and 10-01(a)(7) of Regulation S-X. When are filers expected to comply with this new requirement?
Answer: The amendments are effective for all filings made 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. In light of the anticipated timing of effectiveness of the amendments and expected proximity of effectiveness to the filing date for most filers' quarterly reports, the staff would not object if the filer's first presentation of the changes in shareholders' equity is included in its Form 10-Q for the quarter that begins after the effective date of the amendments. For example, assuming an effective date of October 25, a December 31 fiscal year-end filer could omit this disclosure from its September 30, 2018 Form 10-Q. Likewise, a June 30 fiscal year-end filer could omit this disclosure from its September 30, 2018 and December 31, 2018 Forms 10-Q; however, the staff would object if it did not provide the disclosures in its March 31, 2019 Form 10-Q. (Sept. 25, 2018).
For additional information on the Final Rules, see our client alert available here.