Prepare Now to Comply with SEC’s Financial Disclosure Requirements

Are you a small company looking to raise capital by opening up shares to investors? Then it’s no news to you that publicly owned firms, however small, are subject to detailed disclosure requirements about their financial status, operating results, salaries to management, and other areas of their business.

Monitored and enforced by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the current system of mandatory corporate disclosure is known as the integrated disclosure system. Through this, the SEC has strived to make reporting less burdensome by standardizing forms and eliminating some differences in reporting requirements between the SEC and shareholders.

SEC’s Financial Disclosure Requirements

To help you hop on board with ease or quench your thirst for knowledge on all things SEC and the obligations you have to meet, we have put together a list of mandates that you’ll need to look out for.

The Exchange Act has mandated the submission of the following forms:

    • Form 10-K
    • Form 10-Q
    • Form 8-K
    • Proxy statements

These reports are available to the public through the SEC’s EDGAR portal. These filings pave the way for a transparent exposure of crucial financial information facilitating objective decision-making for shareholders and the public.

– Form 10-K

As part of a publicly owned company, you will need to prepare two annual reports, one for the SEC and one for stakeholders.

  • Form 10-K is the annual report made to the SEC, and its content and form are statutory. It contains an explanation of financial information and operations, along with the response from management. It is a comprehensive report, typically filed two to three months after your year-end,
  • Proxy statements almost always accompany the annual reports submitted to stakeholders. The SEC has introduced amendments ensuring that these proxy statements comply with their mandates.

Form 10-Q

10-Q is a condensed version of the 10-K and is filed 40-45 days after the end of the first three quarters of a financial year.

The 10-Q gives an in-depth look into financial performance for the quarter through balance sheets, MD&A, and disclosures on risk factors and internal controls.

Form 8-K

This is a “current report” that is created when certain significant events occur during a fiscal year, such as:

    • Completion of acquiring or disposing of assets
    • Unregistered securities sales
    • Changing your certifying accountant
    • A Merger

A Form 8-K filing is due within four business days of the significant event.

Proxy Statements

These statements are a vehicle to keep shareholders of a public company aware of operational aspects of the business. Be it an expansion of the board of directors or a change in executive compensation, these types of material matters go on a proxy statement through Form DEF 14A and keep your shareholders attuned to what’s going on in your organization, particularly at the executive and board levels.

Quite an intimidating list, isn’t it? And while we have tried to summarize the main points, there are many other possible filings in your public entity future. There are so many; it can be difficult for you and the stakeholders to keep track and file all of these mandatory requirements on time.

Although SEC’s EDGAR system is quite intuitive, you will need assistance to ensure you get on there. Enter DataTracks – your one-stop shop for all things regulatory compliance with SEC.

Drop a line at and get in touch with our disclosure management specialists.

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