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SEC Chief Accountant Discusses Auditors’ Responsibility for Fraud Detection

Fraud causes significant losses to investors each year.[1] Frauds that affect issuers and their investors may involve asset misappropriation, financial reporting misconduct, or, more generally, corruption. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (“ACFE”) estimates that organizations lose 5% of revenue to fraud each year, an estimated loss of $4.7 trillion on a global scale.[2]

As we have emphasized on many occasions, independent auditors play an important gatekeeper role in supporting high-quality financial reporting and the protection of investors.[3] A critical aspect of this role is an independent auditor’s responsibilities with respect to fraud detection[4] during

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SEC Accounting Chief Warns Chinese Companies About Risks of Changing Auditors

One of the recent central themes of the Office of the Chief Accountant[1] has been that high-quality audits are foundational to the trust that underlies capital markets.[2] High-quality audits protect investors, instill shareholder confidence in the quality of the financial information, and enable public companies to raise capital efficiently.[3] The investor protection afforded by high-quality audits is as important to U.S. investors in foreign companies that participate in the U.S. capital markets as it is for investors in domestic companies. In fact, it could be argued that the additional information barriers that may exist when investing in … Read more

SEC’s Accounting Chief on Financial Reporting and the Priorities of His Office

The events of the past year bring to mind the old saying that “change is the only constant in life.”[1] Our capital markets continue to evolve and adapt in response to changes in the economic environment, investors’ needs for new types of information, and challenges related to the ongoing effects of the pandemic. Amidst these changes, the U.S. financial reporting system remains strong, largely due to the cumulative efforts of thousands of stakeholders who have exhibited resilience and adaptability, while remaining focused on the need for high quality financial reporting for the benefit of investors.

In this statement, we

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SEC Speaks on Accounting and Reporting Considerations for SPAC Warrants

In a recent statement,[1] Acting Chief Accountant Paul Munter highlighted a number of important financial reporting considerations for SPACs.[2] Among other things, that statement highlighted challenges associated with the accounting for complex financial instruments that may be common in SPACs. Additionally, CF staff also issued a recent statement[3] highlighting key filing considerations for SPACs.

We recently evaluated fact patterns relating to the accounting for warrants issued in connection with a SPAC’s formation and initial registered offering. While the specific terms of such warrants can vary, we understand that certain features of warrants issued in SPAC transactions may

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SEC’s Acting Chief Accountant Discusses Reporting and Auditing Issues for Companies Merging with SPACs

In recent years, we have seen significant market developments and innovation in our capital markets, with a variety of structures being utilized to raise capital and facilitate taking private companies public.[1]

The U.S. capital markets are often described as the envy of the world, and we in OCA continue to promote healthy public markets. However, our efforts to facilitate capital formation are not carried out in isolation since each tenet of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) three-part mission to protect investors, maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and facilitate capital formation is vital to our work. Regardless

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