SEC moves toward requiring electronic filings

By Kevin Brewer

The SEC proposed amendments Wednesday designed to modernize its information collection and analysis methods by, among other things, requiring that registrants file a number of submissions electronically.

Under current rules, registrants are required to file or otherwise submit many Exchange Act forms, filings, or other submissions on paper. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many submissions were made electronically rather than on paper, which was generally well received, the SEC said. The proposed amendments would require registrants to make these submissions electronically on the Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval (EDGAR) system, using structured data where appropriate.

"We live in a digital age. In 2023, one might think that all filings to the commission already could be made electronically. That's not yet true," SEC Chair Gary Gensler said in a news release. "Today, we have the important opportunity to require electronic filing for nearly all of the remaining paper filings required under the Exchange Act. I believe the proposal, if adopted, would save both registrants and the commission time and resources."

Specifically, the proposed amendments would require the electronic filing, submission, or posting of certain forms, filings, and other submissions that national securities exchanges, national securities associations, clearing agencies, broker-dealers, security-based swap dealers, and major security-based swap participants make with the commission.

The proposals would also:

  • Make certain amendments regarding the Financial and Operational Combined Uniform Single (FOCUS) Report to harmonize it with other rules, make technical corrections, and provide clarifications;
  • Require withdrawal of notices filed in connection with an exception to counting certain dealing transactions toward determining whether a person is a security-based swap dealer in specified circumstances.

The public comment period on the proposal will remain open for 30 days after publication in the Federal Register or until May 22, whichever is later.

— To comment on this article or to suggest an idea for another article, contact Kevin Brewer at

Where to find June’s flipbook issue

The Journal of Accountancy is now completely digital. 





Leases standard: Tackling implementation — and beyond

The new accounting standard provides greater transparency but requires wide-ranging data gathering. Learn more by downloading this comprehensive report.