• SEC Fines Company for Failing to Mention That They Paid for CEO’s Lavish Perks (and Some Non-GAAP Stuff, Too)

    By | January 18, 2017

    Normally I'd reserve mis-adventures in non-GAAP accounting for the news roundup, but it's not every day that an SEC order includes this:

    MDCA is New York-based marketing company MDC Partners and gosh, how do you fail to disclose the cosmetic surgery? Everything else is pretty standard fare as far as extravagant perks go, but if the boss gets a jowl-lift or a new nose, you don't not notice, right? If you work in accounts payable, wouldn't you think about it every time you look at the CEO? Or if he gets pec implants, he's totally walking around the office with his shirt off, right? So wouldn't you'd hear about that and wonder why that isn't included in the disclosures?

    Regardless, MDCA also screwed up its non-GAAP reporting:

    According to the SEC’s order, MDC Partners presented a metric called “organic revenue growth” that represented the company’s growth in revenue excluding the effects of two reconciling items: acquisitions and foreign exchange impacts.  But from the second quarter of 2012 to year end 2013, MDC Partners incorporated a third reconciling item into its calculation without informing investors of the change, which resulted in higher “organic revenue growth” results.  MDC Partners also failed to give GAAP metrics equal or greater prominence to non-GAAP metrics in its earnings releases.

    In other words, the organic nature of both the revenue growth and unknown parts of Mr. Nadal's body were highly questionable. Fascinating.

    [SEC Press Release, SEC Order via MarketWatch]

    • Big4Veteran

      “If you work in accounts payable, wouldn’t you think about it every time you look at the CEO?”

      I have yet to meet an A/P person who even knows what SEC disclosures are, much less knows where to find them, much less has any interest whatsoever in reading them.