Deadline today for oaths of accounting honesty

Link: Executives slow to swear

The CEOs and FDs of 947 companies were told by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the US financial watchdog, to make out sworn statements of honesty but a list posted on the SEC website shows hundreds of executives are still to come forward.

UK companies with US listings will also be required to issues the statements.

There are extensions available to executives ranging from five to 15 days, but it appears the SEC is allowing no exemptions.

However, the SEC is expecting a flood of filings today when business begins at around 2pm UK time.

The chief accounting officer of Amazon the online bookseller was one of the first to make a sworn statement.

Mark Peek, submitted his on 29 July. In it he swears that the company’s annual report and accounts did not contain ‘an untrue statement of a material fact’. He also swears that no report made by him ‘omitted to state a material fact necessary to make the statements in the covered report, in light of the circumstances under which they were made, not misleading’.

CEOs and CFOs will also have to makes out the oaths again. Though the SEC had ordered the sworn statements the recent and controversial Sarbanes Oxley Act compels the statements to be made under its provisions.

US companies will have to make the sworn statements for annual and all quarterly reports. It is unclear whether foreign listings in the US from regimes that do not require a report each quarter, like the UK, will have to follow suit.

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