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The SEC Division of Corporation Finance's filing review process is a key function utilized by the SEC staff to monitor the critical accounting and disclosure decisions applied by registrants. Our analysis of SEC comment letters issued in relation to Form 10-K and Form 10-Q filings identifies the frequency of topical areas addressed by the SEC staff and how their focus areas changed over time. In addition to providing our insights on the nature of the SEC staff comments, we provide sample text from the SEC staff’s comments and links to where you can learn more about the accounting and disclosure requirements addressed in each topical area.
We have observed that the staff has begun to issue comments related to COVID-19 disclosures; however, clear trends have yet to develop. These comments have focused on company-specific disclosures of pandemic-related risk factors and the discussion of known trends and uncertainties in MD&A, including expectations of the impact on operating results and near- and long-term financial condition, with references to CF Disclosure Guidance: Topic No. 9 and Topic 9A for guidance. The staff has also issued comments related to impairment assessments, such as requesting clarification on how COVID-19 impacted the analysis and assumptions and further information about or disclosure of the headroom.

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*This analysis was performed based on topical areas assigned by research firm Audit Analytics for comment letters publicly issued in the 12 months ended June 30, 2021 ("Current Period") and the 12 months ended June 30, 2020 ("Prior Period") in relation to Form 10-K and Form 10-Q filings. Total comment letters evaluated during the Current Period and Prior Period were approximately 830 and 958, respectively. In addition, we note that the overall comment letter trends remained relatively consistent with the 12 months ended December 31, 2020.

The relative number of comment letters has increased.
The relative number of comment letters has decreased.
The relative number of comment letters has not changed significantly.

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