SEC Chief Accountant Emphasizes Need for High-Quality Information
On April 3, 2020, the SEC’s Chief Accountant issued a statement emphasizing the importance to all market stakeholders of high-quality financial reporting during this period of heightened economic uncertainty. The statement indicated that the Office of the Chief Accountant (OCA) is available to work directly with all participants in the financial reporting system on issues related to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The statement explained that the OCA is working with FASB on accounting matters related to COVID-19. The OCA recognizes that reporting companies will be required to make significant estimates and judgments in reporting the effects of COVID-19 and that it remains supportive of well-reasoned judgments.
OCA is also engaging with PCAOB in its efforts to provide flexibility in light of COVID-19, including a 45-day exemption from certain audit inspections. Although willing to be flexible in many areas, the OCA emphasized that it remains actively focused on auditor independence requirements.