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Jay Clayton: Working from Home Works for the SEC

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illustration of a computer monitor with employees in a virtual meeting
March 13, 2020

From a stock market decline to social distancing, COVID-19 has backed companies against the wall, forcing them to reevaluate how work will get done. And that includes accounting and finance work—just weeks before many companies file their 10-Qs, but after the delivery of proxy materials to the voting shareholders.

In light of these difficulties, the SEC has announced guidance on regulatory flexibility, permitting the use of new technologies, such as virtual shareholder meetings that avoid the need for in-person attendance. 

“The SEC staff recognizes that many public companies and other market participants are transitioning to teleworking, virtual meetings and other contingency measures to address health concerns,” said SEC Chairman Jay Clayton.  

What’s more, said Clayton, the SEC itself has moved to working from home. All meetings are virtual, he said, “and [we] remain fully operational.”

Take a hint from the SEC

As a part of the economy, and as a part of the global community, we’re all in this together. Still, the current situation isn’t tapering off anytime soon, and work must get done.

Even the SEC team at Workiva is managing a somewhat new experience of working and filing virtually. 

"We've always done our financial reporting and filing in the Workiva platform, obviously, but more often than not, we are co-located,” said Jill Klindt, Senior Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer for Workiva. “As we shift to managing this period of more virtual work, we're glad to see the SEC is being proactive about providing much-needed guidance and relief to those companies that need it."

If you’re not quite prepared to make the leap to remote yet, check out these working from home tips for financial reporting and controls teams.

Or, schedule a conversation with Workiva to see the power of connectivity—connected data, connected teams, and connected organizations—and keep your reporting on schedule, wherever your team might be.

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