Not long ago a group of corporate chieftains here in the United States—the CEOs of General Motors, Verizon, JP Morgan, BlackRock, Berkshire Hathaway, and others—published an open letter calling for several improvements to corporate governance. One of their complaints was the increasing use of non-GAAP financial reporting metrics, when companies should stick to Generally Accepted…

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Well, it’s happened. The financial reporting world has reached peak non-GAAP discussion. The moment happened sometime last week. We had two research reports about use of non-GAAP accounting metrics published at the same time (one from Audit Analytics, the other from Calcbench and Radical Compliance), and a speech from Securities & Exchange Commission chairman Mary…

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law

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce published a lengthy critique of the Yates Memo yesterday, and cynics who believe the memo is a powerful threat to internal investigations will be pleased. Others who don’t believe the memo is a threat should be more cynical. Obviously the Chamber has an agenda with this paper, like it has…

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Suisse

By now you may have already heard that Credit Suisse is cutting another 2,000 jobs from its investment banking operations. That’s unfortunate news for the 2,000 bankers soon to be unemployed, but compliance officers on Wall Street have another lesson to absorb here. The real news for compliance professionals—or anyone else working in finance who…

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The Securities and Exchange Commission recently convened a meeting of its Small Company Advisory Committee. Normally news like that would not be big news for securities professionals, except for one point of discussion: overhauling the definition of an accredited investor. We can probably all agree that the current definition is outdated. It was adopted in 1982, and based…

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On Saturday evening after news broke that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia had died, I sent out this tweet (entirely in jest): Going to petition Obama Admin to nominate #compliance officer for SCOTUS vacancy. Who's with me? @tfoxlaw @BenDiPietro1, looking at you — Matt Kelly (@compliancememe) February 14, 2016 After all, why not? Everyone talks…

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board

Well, apparently now it’s the nominating and governance committee’s turn to be hammered on the anvil of corporate governance reform. We see the evidence everywhere: a report from the Government Accountability Office noting that at current pace, women will represent half of all seats on corporate boards sometime around 2055. Calls for more women, minorities,…

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As Wall Street crashes around our ears this week—down 1.5 percent just today, and off to its worst yearly start ever—audit committees at financial firms should strap yourselves in. This year’s audit could be the most tumultuous you’ve overseen in a long while. At least, that’s the conclusion I reach as I re-read the guidance…

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Several times now I’ve mentioned that the Dodd-Frank Act “works” in the sense that it has brought more stability to the financial system, even if other parts of the law are wrong-headed. Today, let me talk about one of those wrong-headed parts: the Conflict Minerals Rule. Or more accurately, let’s use the Conflict Minerals Rule…

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Let me begin this column with a personal disclosure: I refinanced my house in December. So I have first-hand knowledge of just how frustrating compliance with modern mortgage lending can be, at least on the consumer side. Plenty of compliance officers also talk about the frustration of compliance burdens on the lender side, and how…

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