When President Obama signs into law the JOBS Act sometime in April, it will be a big blow to small investors and opponents of corporate accounting shenanigans for the bill reads like a full employment act for unscrupulous executives, accountants and others.
Sure, in a recent report to clients, law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher proclaimed the JOBS Act as the most significant modernization of the federal securities laws since the Securities and Exchange Commissions 2005 Securities Offering Reform. The reason for this euphoria: The law firm asserts the new initiative will make it easier for companies to go public, raise private capital to stay private longer, and reduce the cost and burden on newly public companies during their first few years as public companies.
The act creates a new category of publicly held companies called emerging growth companies. These companies will then enjoy relaxed financial disclosure requirements. For example, they will be required to provide just two years of audited financial statements when they go public, compared to three years of such statements that are required currently. Also, less financial data will be required in registration statements and in reports filed with the commission. And they neednt comply with new or revised financial accounting standards or Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which currently requires their auditor to attest to their internal controls over financial reporting, until their revenues top $1 billion. Such companies will also be able to disclose less about their executive compensation. ....