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SEC allows e-signature in financial statements

SEC building

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has allowed corporations enrolled in its new system dubbed Online Submission Tool to submit electronically signed annual financial statements (AFS) while Metro Manila and nearby provinces are under a stringent quarantine status.

In a notice issued on April 8, the agency announced that electronically signed AFS for the period ended December 31, 2020 and for other fiscal years ending this year will be accepted through its system until further notice.

The use of e-signatures shall be allowed for submissions made through the system starting March 29, when the stricter quarantine period began in the National Capital Region, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal.

All stock corporations are mandated to file their reports through the new system, pursuant to SEC Memorandum Circular No. 3, Series of 2021, or the Schedule and Filing of AFS, General Information Sheet and Other Covered Reports.

Meanwhile, non-stock corporations have the option to enroll and file reports through the system until 2022.

Enrollment in the system will ensure that the financial statements submitted by corporations were signed and submitted to the SEC by their authorized filers.

The SEC requires the management and external auditors of corporations to ensure that the manually signed financial statements will be available upon directive by the agency.

Corporations that may encounter errors in the enrollment or submission process through the system may physically file their report by securing an appointment through the SEC’s express appointment system. In such cases, corporations would have to submit manually signed reports.

All stock corporations with fiscal year ending December 31, including branch offices, representative offices, regional headquarters and regional operating headquarters of foreign corporations, shall enroll and file their financial statements through the SEC’s new system based on the last numerical digit of their SEC registration or license number.

Corporations also have the option to file ahead of the prescribed filing dates through the new system.

Those whose fiscal year ends on a date other than December 31 should file their AFS within 120 days from the end of their fiscal year, while publicly listed companies and other issuers of securities should file their financial statements within 105 days after the end of their fiscal years.

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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