SEC plans to require new hyperlinks in filings

The proposal is intended to make exhibits more accessible.

SEC filers would be required to include a hyperlink to exhibits in their company filings if a recent proposal by the commission is adopted.

The proposal would require a hyperlink to each exhibit listed in the exhibit index. The proposed requirement would apply to registrants that file registration statements and periodic and current reports that are subject to the exhibit requirements under Item 601 of Regulation S-K, or that file on Forms F-10 or 20-F.

To enable the use of hyperlinks, registrants also would be required to submit electronic filings in the HTML format. That would be a change from current rules that allow electronic filings in the ASCII format as well as the HTML format. Documents filed in the ASCII format can include a cross-reference but cannot support a functional hyperlink.

According to the SEC, over 99% of filings in 2015 that were made on the forms that would be affected by the new proposal were filed in HTML.

The proposal is intended to provide readers of company filings with an easy way to access exhibits in electronic filings. Currently, a reader who is interested in an exhibit has to find it in the exhibit index and then search through the registrant's filings to locate the relevant filing that includes the exhibit. A hyperlink would make the exhibit available with a simple click.

Comments on the proposal were to be accepted for 45 days following publication in the Federal Register, with instructions available at the SEC's website.

SPONSORED REPORT

How to make the most of a negotiation

Negotiators are made, not born. In this sponsored report, we cover strategies and tactics to help you head into 2017 ready to take on business deals, salary discussions and more.

VIDEO

Will the Affordable Care Act be repealed?

The results of the 2016 presidential election are likely to have a big impact on federal tax policy in the coming years. Eddie Adkins, CPA, a partner in the Washington National Tax Office at Grant Thornton, discusses what parts of the ACA might survive the repeal of most of the law.

QUIZ

News quiz: Scam email plagues tax professionals—again

Even as the IRS reported on success in reducing tax return identity theft in the 2016 season, the Service also warned tax professionals about yet another email phishing scam. See how much you know about recent news with this short quiz.