Conflict Minerals Alert – SEC Guidance

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During the last one week, SEC has issued certain statements and orders on the subject of compliance with conflict minerals rules. Some of which may appear contradictory. Noted below is SOAProjects’ guidance on how to interpret and apply these statements

 

The first one (April 28, 2014)  is a comment or position statement by two SEC Commissioners, which should be read only in conjunction with the official Guidance released on April 29, 2014 and the Stay Order released on May 2, 2014. It is below

 

“Joint Statement on the Conflict Minerals Decision – Commissioners Daniel M. Gallagher and Michael S. Piwowar (April 28, 2014)” (http://www.sec.gov/News/PublicStmt/Detail/PublicStmt/1370541665582#.U2e3eWdOVCo)

 

 

The second one (Release No. 72079 / May 2, 2014) is the official SEC Order which to our understanding re-affirms the guidance provided in the “Statement on the Effect of the Recent Court of Appeals Decision on the Conflict Minerals Rule” by Keith F. Higgins, Director, SEC Division of Corporation Finance on April 29, 2014 – “… Subject to the guidance below and any further action that may be taken either by the Commission or a court, the Division expects companies to file any reports required under Rule 13p-1 on or before the due date. The Form SD, and any related Conflict Minerals Report, should comply with and address those portions of Rule 13p-1 and Form SD that the Court upheld …”

 

SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934, Release No. 72079 / May 2, 2014 – Order Issuing Stay (http://www.sec.gov/rules/other/2014/34-72079.pdf)

 

The position as a result of the partial stay is summarized as follows by the Lexology website (http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=0d04b9ec-e72b-4108-9d1a-ac7ae858f398) – “For the present time, issuers will not be required to describe themselves as “DRC conflict free” or not, and unless they identify themselves as “DRC conflict free,” they can also delay an independent private sector audit (IPSA). Despite this partial stay, the reporting deadline still looms for those issuers who are subject to conflict mineral disclosure obligations. Any issuer who files reports with the SEC pursuant to Sections 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act is affected by the conflict disclosure rules under Rule 13p-1 if such issuers has “conflict minerals that are necessary to the functionality or production of a product manufactured or contracted by that [issuer] to be manufactured.” Affected issuers must file Form SD, and if applicable, a Conflict Minerals Report, by June 2, 2014 with all information other than that exempted by the partial stay and SEC guidance.”

 

For more information, please contact Kaushik Raha, Partner, SOAProjects at kraha@soaprojects.com or (650) 960-9900.

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PCAOB Updates by Manpreet Grover

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Revenue Recognition – New Direction

FASB and the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) are developing a new, converged standard on revenue recognition that will have at least some effect on virtually all businesses that use U.S. GAAP or IFRS for their financial reporting.

The objective of the new guidance is to establish the principles to report useful information to users of financial statements about the nature, amount, timing, and uncertainty of revenue from contracts with customers.

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PCAOB updates its standard-setting agenda

The PCAOB has published its latest standard-setting agenda, which outlines its standard-setting projects and key milestones – The auditor’s reporting model; Audit transparency; Related parties; Framework for reorganization of PCAOB auditing standards; Auditors’ responsibilities with respect to other accounting firms, individual accountants, and specialists; Going concern; Quality control standards; Auditor independence, objectivity, and professional skepticism; Confirmation; Subsequent events.

On April 15, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held that parts of the SEC’s rule on conflict minerals1 and of Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act2 (the “statute”) violate the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to the extent that they require “regulated entities to report to the Commission and to state on their website that any of their products have ‘not been found to be “DRC conflict free.”

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http://www.fasb.org/jsp/FASB/Page/BridgePage&cid=1351027207987#section_1

 

http://pcaobus.org/Standards/Documents/201403_Standard_Setting_Agenda.pdf

 

http://www.sec.gov/rules/final/2012/34-67716.pdf

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Welcome to SOAProjects Blog

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With the launch of new site, Blog is the platform created for SOAProjects family members to share latest industry news, articles and other interesting things.

 

Please let us know the topics you would like us to blog on.

 

Manpreet Grover

CEO – SOAProjects Inc.

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