SEC at Your Door? Invite Them In.

You know that feeling.  A letter sitting on your desk.  Return address, 100 F Street, NE Washington, DC 20549.  Your heart sinks to your stomach.  You open it slowly.  Yup, there it is.  An SEC comment letter.
 
What’s the best way to handle this bit of assumingly unwanted news?  According to Steven Jacobs, an associate chief accountant with the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance, you should engage the SEC in dialogue to determine exactly what they are looking for rather than rushing to restate your financial results.  At a conference sponsored by the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants, Jacobs said that picking up the phone makes it easier to “assure that the issuer’s response addresses the staff’s concerns.”
 
For other great tips for dealing with the SEC, check out CFO.com’s recap of Jacob’s speech.  Sarbanes-Oxley calls for an SEC review of the financial filings of publicly traded companies at least once every three years.  Last year, the SEC reviewed the filings of nearly 5,000 issuers, up from the prior two years.  It’s bound to happen sooner or later, so be prepared and don’t be afraid to talk to your friendly neighborhood SEC officer.  It might be easier than you think.

 

Laurie Berman, lberman@pondel.com
 
 

Cash is King

…but not at Commerce, an upscale New York City restaurant that recently went “plastic only.” 
 
According to the Wall Street Journal, the restaurant’s co-owner, Tony Zazula said, “If you don’t have a credit card, you can use a debit card.  If you don’t have a debit card, you probably don’t have a checking account.  And if you don’t have a checking account, you probably shouldn’t be eating at Commerce to begin with.”  While his sentiment may actually be true, I think this is one case where media training might have helped.
 
While most diners at the New York’s most exclusive restaurants already use credit cards to pay for their meals, it strikes me that consumers using credit cards overzealously is partly to blame for the current economic predicament.  Can accepting cash really be that bad?
 
Spaghetti with tomato sauce and ricotta cheese at Commerce — $24
 
Taxi to get from your midtown hotel to Commerce for dinner (including tip) — $12
 
Ability to use cash to pay for your meal – PRICELESS
 
Check out Commerce next time you’re in NY for business and let us know how it is.

 

Laurie Berman, lberman@pondel.com