Opportunities for Improving the Quality and Efficiency of the Securities and Exchange Commission's Process for Reviewing Reports

FGMSD-80-81: Published: Sep 2, 1980. Publicly Released: Sep 2, 1980.

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A review was undertaken of the administrative procedures used by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in examining company reports to determine whether they comply with Federal legislation requiring them to send periodic financial disclosure reports to SEC.

While the number of statements and reports filed with SEC has increased dramatically over the last 10 years, the number of people reviewing the reports has been reduced. Consequently, SEC has decreased the number of thorough reviews and resorted to abbreviated reviews despite evidence calling for greater scrutiny of the reports. The annual 10K and 10Q reports, the key source for data used to assess a firm's financial condition, have been particularly subject to the shorter review. In addition, SEC has devoted increased staff time and computer resources to identifying and following up on firms which either did not file required reports or failed to file them on time. The staff was given little written guidance for reviewing reports. The adequacy of the reviews and the resulting analyses could not be determined.

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  • finance icon, source: Comstock

    Priority Open Recommendations:

    Department of the Treasury
    GAO-20-549PR: Published: Apr 23, 2020. Publicly Released: Apr 30, 2020.

Apr 27, 2020

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