The SEC Professionals Group is a community of in-house professionals who actively prepare and file financial reports with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Our exclusive community now represents over two-thirds of large U.S. public companies and also includes membership from many smaller companies as well.
It all began in the Silicon Valley in mid-2008. Joe Howell discussed how challenging it was for SEC reporting professionals to resolve their issues and demands with limited internal resources. It was noted that when dealing with highly technical accounting or disclosure issues, a dialog with other experienced professionals is often needed to flush out answers. Even in the largest companies, there are often a limited number of technically competent individuals.
For middle market and smaller companies, this dialog is even more challenging. The large accounting firms have the greatest concentration of technical competency, but in many cases, reporting teams are not yet ready to reach out to their auditors.
After informal discussions with a number of reporting teams, Joe convened a meeting of SEC reporting professionals in December 2008 at the East Palo Alto offices of DLA Piper. The initial group of seven companies included Apple, eBay, Electronic Arts, HP, Intel, Maxim Integrated Products, and Symantec.
The stated purpose of the meeting was to provide a safe forum to discuss challenging accounting and reporting issues, and to provide a resource for confidential and open discussion. The discussion, collaboration, and peer-to-peer conversation was fruitful.
The group agreed to meet on a regular quarterly basis and to expand. HP hosted the second quarterly meeting, with a significant increase in attendance. It became clear that the SEC Professionals Group addressed an unmet need amongst reporting professionals, and member feedback indicated a high interest in continuing to expand the group.
Currently the SEC Professionals Group has over 9,200 members from over 3,300 companies.