SEC Proposes Mandating Electronic Filings for Certain Forms

The SEC is pulling all stops to ensure that, as a regulatory body, it is keeping up with the constantly evolving business world. With digital transformations taking the post-pandemic world by storm, the Commission is also working to modernize its system through amendments that mandate issuers to file regulatory reports for specific forms electronically.

SEC Mandates Electronic Filing of certain Forms

In line with this, the SEC has proposed rules relating to Orders under the Advisers Act and the Investment Company Act, Filings on Form 13F, and Form ADV-NR; Amendments to Form 13F and Updating EDGAR Filing Requirements

Applying to issuers, investment advisers, and investment managers, these rules will have to be followed when submitting reports to the SEC on EDGAR or Investment Adviser Registration Depository (IARD), as well as other national security exchanges.

The forms that will have to adhere are: 

· Form 6-K, which include most of the documents that are currently submitted electronically under Rule 101(b) of Regulation S-T, and filings submitted by multilateral development banks;

· PDF format of the annual report that is shared with security holders 

· Certificate of approval by an exchange to list and register security in line with Section 12(d) of the Exchange Act and Exchange Act Rule 12d(1)-3; 

· Applications for orders under the Advisers Act; 

· Form 13F to request for confidential treatment of certain documents 

· Form ADV-NR (through the IARD system)

The Commission has also proposed that the use of Inline eXtensible Business Reporting Language (Inline XBRL) for filing the financial statements be made mandatory to ensure that documents are both machine and human-readable. This also includes the financial statements required by Form 11-K.

General partners and managing agents who don’t reside in the country will also have to file a new Form ADV-NR within 30 days of the information in the form becoming inaccurate. 

These proposed changes will likely augment the SEC’s ability to track and process filings and modernize its records management process. Accessibility to publicly filed electronic submissions would improve, and one can easily search for information on the Commission’s website.

“The proposed amendments are intended to modernize and increase the efficiency of the filing process—for filers, investors, or other interested parties,” SEC Chair Gary Gensler recently said in a statement. “Just as we are hoping to update our rules for market participants in the face of rapidly changing technology, it’s also important that we update our rules to make filing obligations more efficient.” He added.