SEC Says Funhouse Accounting OK Until It Figures Out Its Own New Rules

You can probably just forget about them until at least Jan. 20, 2021.
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(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Last year, one of the SEC’s top accounting watchdogs had some strong words about the made-up accounting standards many companies employee. Specifically, Mark Kronforst said that the SEC was gonna keep its eye on things and start sending out a flurry of comment letters until companies shaped up, which he expected them to do in the third quarter of last year.

That, of course, was when Barack Obama was still president. Now, President Do Whatever The Hell You Want is in charge, and Kronforst is singing a very different tune.

“This is a very big change, it’s very complicated and companies have put a lot of time and effort into this,” said Mark Kronforst, chief accountant in the SEC’s division of corporation finance….

“If something is clearly wrong, or something is omitted, absolutely a comment will go out. But what I think we’ll try to avoid if for the comment process to become the centerpiece of this effort,” Mr. Kronforst said.

The problem, it seems, is that the agency that wrote those new revenue-recognition rules doesn’t really understand them.

The SEC is fielding 10% to 15% more inquires on revenue recognition this year versus last year. About two-fifths of those are internal — from enforcement and corporation finance units, among others, Mr. Teotia said.

Lest you think the SEC’s gone totally soft, however, don’t worry. It’s not shredding every single rule written under Mary Jo White.

Regulators rejected a last-minute request from U.S. stock and options exchange operators to delay by a year the start of a far-reaching new market-surveillance system….

Chairman Jay Clayton said talks with the exchanges in recent days had been “constructive,” but he said he was “not in a position to support the issuance of the requested relief on the terms currently proposed.”

SEC to Give Companies Time to Adjust to New Revenue Rules [WSJ]
SEC Rejects Last-Minute Push to Delay Stock Surveillance System [Bloomberg]

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