Policy Implications of Research on Non-GAAP Reporting
Forthcoming, Research in Accounting Regulation
24 Pages Posted: 11 Apr 2018
Date Written: March 1, 2018
Over the past two decades, the regulatory landscape for non-GAAP reporting has evolved significantly. Despite a temporary decline in the frequency of non-GAAP reporting following Regulation G, the incidence of non-GAAP disclosure has continued to increase steadily, leading to a current all-time high in reporting activity. This proliferation of non-GAAP disclosure has captured the attention of standard setters and regulators in recent years. This paper provides an academic perspective on policy implications for both regulation and standard setting. We contend that current Compliance and Disclosure Interpretations (C&DIs) of the SEC staff may perhaps have gone too far in restricting certain types of non-GAAP disclosures. As a result, we advocate a slight relaxation of the current enforcement of Regulation G. We agree with FASB proposals for greater disaggregation in the income statement to allow for more transparency in non-GAAP reporting. Finally, we believe the PCAOB should consider requiring auditors to take a more direct role with respect to non-GAAP disclosures.
Keywords: Non-GAAP earnings, regulation, standard setting, auditing
JEL Classification: M41, M42, M48
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation