Securities Lawyer's Deskbook
                         published by The University of Cincinnati College of Law
UC Law logo


Accounting Rules
Form and Content of Financial Statements

Regulation S-X





Rule 1-02 -- Definition of Terms Used in Regulation S-X (17 CFR part 210)


Unless the context otherwise requires, terms defined in the general rules and regulations or in the instructions to the applicable form, when used in Regulation S-X, shall have the respective meanings given in such instructions or rules. In addition, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated in this section unless the context otherwise requires.

    1. Accountant's report. The term "accountant's report," when used in regard to financial statements, means a document in which an independent public or certified public accountant indicates the scope of the audit (or examination) which he has made and sets forth his opinion regarding the financial statements taken as a whole, or an assertion to the effect that an overall opinion cannot be expressed. When an overall opinion cannot be expressed, the reasons therefor shall be stated.

    2. Attestation report on internal control over financial reporting. The term attestation report on internal control over financial reporting means a report in which a registered public accounting firm expresses an opinion, either unqualified or adverse, as to whether the registrant maintained, in all material respects, effective internal control over financial reporting (as defined in Rule 240.13a-15(f) or 240.15d-15(f) of this chapter), except in the rare circumstance of a scope limitation that cannot be overcome by the registrant or the registered public accounting firm which would result in the accounting firm disclaiming an opinion.

    3. Attestation report on assessment of compliance with servicing criteria for asset-backed securities. The term attestation report on assessment  of compliance with servicing criteria for asset-backed securities means a report in which a registered public accounting firm as required by Rule 13a-18(c) or Rule 15d-18(c) of this chapter, expresses an opinion or states that an opionion connot be expressed, concerning an asserting party's assessment of compliance with servicing criteria, as required by Rule 13a-18(b) or Rule 15d-18(b) of this chapter, in accordance with standards of attestation engagements. When an overall opinion cnnot be expressed, the registered public accounting firm must statewhy it is unable to express such an opinion.

    4. Definitions of terms related to internal control over financial reporting. Material weakness means a deficiency, or a combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting (as defined in 240.13a-15(f) or 240.15d-15(f) of this chapter) such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of the registrant's annual or interim financial statements will not be prevented or detected on a timely basis. Significant deficiency means a deficiency, or a combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting that is less severe than a material weakness, yet important enough to merit attention by those responsible for oversight of the registrant's financial reporting.

  1. Affiliate. An "affiliate" of, or a person "affiliated" with, a specific person is a person that directly, or indirectly through one or more intermediaries, controls, or is controlled by, or is under common control with, the person specified.

  2. Amount. The term "amount," when used in regard to securities, means the principal amount if relating to evidences of indebtedness, the number of shares if relating to shares, and the number of units if relating to any other kind of security.

  3. Audit (or examination). The term "audit" (or "examination"), when used in regard to financial statements, means an examination of the statements by an accountant in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards for the purpose of expressing an opinion thereon.

  4. Bank holding company. The term "bank holding company" means a person who is engaged, either directly or indirectly, primarily in the business of owning securities of one or more banks for the purpose, and with the effect, of exercising control.

  5. Certified. The term "certified," when used in regard to financial statements, means examined and reported upon with an opinion expressed by an independent public or certified public accountant.

  6. Control. The term "control" (including the terms "controlling," "controlled by" and "under common control with") means the possession, direct or indirect, of the power to direct or cause the direction of the management and policies of a person, whether through the ownership of voting shares, by contract, or otherwise.

  7. Development stage company. A company shall be considered to be in the development stage if it is devoting substantially all of its efforts to establishing a new business and either of the following conditions exists: (1) Planned principal operations have not commenced. (2) Planned principal operations have commenced, but there has been no significant revenue therefrom

  8. Equity security. The term "equity security" means any stock or similar security; or any security convertible, with or without consideration, into such a security, or carrying any warrant or right to subscribe to or purchase such a security; or any such warrant or right.

  9. Fifty-percent owned person. The term "50-percent-owned person," in relation to a specified person, means a person approximately 50 percent of whose outstanding voting shares is owned by the specified person either directly, or indirectly through one or more intermediaries.

  10. Fiscal year. The term "fiscal year" means the annual accounting period or, if no closing date has been adopted, the calendar year ending on December 31.

  11. Foreign business. A business that is majority owned by persons who are not citizens or residents of the United States and is not organized under the laws of the United States or any state thereof, and either:

    1. More than 50 percent of its assets are located outside the United States; or

    2. The majority of its executive officers and directors are not United States citizens or residents.


  12. Insurance holding company. The term "insurance holding company" means a person which is engaged, either directly or indirectly, primarily in the business of owning securities of one or more insurance companies for the purpose, and with the effect, of exercising control.

  13. Majority owned subsidiary. The term "majority-owned subsidiary" means a subsidiary more than 50 percent of whose outstanding voting shares is owned by its parent and/or the parent's other majority-owned subsidiaries.

  14. Material. The term "material," when used to qualify a requirement for the furnishing of information as to any subject, limits the information required to those matters about which an average prudent investor ought reasonably to be informed.

  15. Parent. A parent of a specified person is an affiliate controlling such person directly, or indirectly through one or more intermediaries.

  16. Person. The term "person" means an individual, a corporation, a partnership, an association, a joint-stock company, a business trust, or an unincorporated organization.

  17. Principal holder of equity securities. The term "principal holder of equity securities," used in respect of a registrant or other person named in a particular statement or report, means a holder of record or a known beneficial owner of more than 10 percent of any class of equity securities of the registrant or other person, respectively, as of the date of the related balance sheet filed.

  18. Promoter. The term "promoter" includes:

    1. Any person who, acting alone or in conjunction with one or more other persons, directly or indirectly takes initiative in founding and organizing the business or enterprise of an issuer;

    2. Any person who, in connection with the founding and organizing of the business or enterprise of an issuer, directly or indirectly receives in consideration of services or property, or both services and property, 10 percent or more of any class of securities of the issuer or 10 percent or more of the proceeds from the sale of any class of securities. However, a person who receives such securities or proceeds either solely as underwriting commissions or solely in consideration of property shall not be deemed a promoter within the meaning of this paragraph if such person does not otherwise take part in founding and organizing the enterprise.


  19. Registrant. The term "registrant" means the issuer of the securities for which an application, a registration statement, or a report is filed.

  20. Related parties. The term "related parties" is used as that term is defined in the Glossary to Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 57, "Related Party Disclosures."

  21. Share. The term "share" means a share of stock in a corporation or unit of interest in an unincorporated person.

  22. Significant subsidiary. The term "significant subsidiary" means a subsidiary, including its subsidiaries, which meets any of the following conditions:

    1. The registrant's and its other subsidiaries' investments in and advances to the subsidiary exceed 10 percent of the total assets of the registrant and its subsidiaries consolidated as of the end of the most recently completed fiscal year (for a proposed combination between entities under common control, this condition is also met when the number of common shares exchanged or to be exchanged by the registrant exceeds 10 percent of its total common shares outstanding at the date the combination is initiated); or

    2. The registrant's and its other subsidiaries' proportionate share of the total assets (after intercompany eliminations) of the subsidiary exceeds 10 percent of the total assets of the registrant and its subsidiaries consolidated as of the end of the most recently completed fiscal year; or

    3. The registrant's and its other subsidiaries' equity in the income from continuing operations before income taxes, extraordinary items and cumulative effect of a change in accounting principle of the subsidiary exclusive of amounts attributable to any noncontrolling interests exceeds 10 percent of such income of the registrant and its subsidiaries consolidated for the most recently completed fiscal year.


      Note to paragraph (w):
      A registrant that files its financial statements in accordance with or provides a reconciliation to U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles shall make the prescribed tests using amounts determined under U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. A foreign private issuer that files its financial statements in accordance with IFRS as issued by the IASB shall make the prescribed tests using amounts determined under IFRS as issued by the IASB.


      Computational note: For purposes of making the prescribed income test the following guidance should be applied:


      1. When a loss exclusive of amounts attributable to any noncontrolling interests has been incurred by either the parent and its subsidiaries consolidated or the tested subsidiary, but not both, the equity in the income or loss of the tested subsidiary exclusive of amounts attributable to any noncontrolling interests should be excluded from such income of the registrant and its subsidiaries consolidated for purposes of the computation.

      2. If income of the registrant and its subsidiaries consolidated exclusive of amounts attributable to any noncontrolling interests for the most recent fiscal year is at least 10 percent lower than the average of the income for the last five fiscal years, such average income should be submitted for purposes of the computation. Any loss years should be omitted for purposes of computing average income.

      3. Where the test involves combined entities, as in the case of determining whether summarized financial data should be presented, entities reporting losses shall not be aggregated with entities reporting income.



  23. Subsidiary. A "subsidiary" of a specified person is an affiliate controlled by such person directly, or indirectly through one or more intermediaries.

  24. Totally held subsidiary. The term "totally held subsidiary" means a subsidiary (1) substantially all of whose outstanding equity securities are owned by its parent and/or the parent's other totally held subsidiaries, and (2) which is not indebted to any person other than its parent and/or the parent's other totally held subsidiaries, in an amount which is material in relation to the particular subsidiary, excepting indebtedness incurred in the ordinary course of business which is not overdue and which matures within 1 year from the date of its creation, whether evidenced by securities or not, indebtedness of a subsidiary which is secured by its parent by guarantee, pledge, assignment, or otherwise is to be excluded for purposes of (2) herein.

  25. Voting shares. The term "voting shares" means the sum of all rights, other than as affected by events of default, to vote for election of directors and/or the sum of all interests in an unincorporated person.

  26. Wholly owned subsidiary. The term "wholly owned subsidiary" means a subsidiary substantially all of whose outstanding voting shares are owned by its parent and/or the parent's other wholly owned subsidiaries.

  27. Summarized financial information.

    1. Except as provided in paragraph (bb)(2), "summarized financial information" referred to in this regulation shall mean the presentation of summarized information as to the assets, liabilities and results of operations of the entity for which the information is required. Summarized financial information shall include the following disclosures:

      1. Current assets, noncurrent assets, current liabilities, noncurrent liabilities, and, when applicable, redeemable preferred stocks (see 210.5-02.27) and noncontrolling interests (for specialized industries in which classified balance sheets are normally not presented, information shall be provided as to the nature and amount of the majority components of assets and liabilities);

      2. Net sales or gross revenues, gross profit (or, alternatively, costs and expenses applicable to net sales or gross revenues), income or loss from continuing operations before extraordinary items and cumulative effect of a change in accounting principle, net income or loss, and net income or loss attributable to the entity (for specialized industries, other information may be substituted for sales and related costs and expenses if necessary for a more meaningful presentation); and


    2. Summarized financial information for unconsolidated subsidiaries and 50 percent or less owned persons referred to in and required by Rule 10-01(b) for interim periods shall include the information required by paragraph (bb)(1)(ii) of this section.



Regulatory History


37 FR 14593, July 21, 1972, as amended at 38 FR 6066, Mar. 6, 1973; 39 FR 17931, May 22, 1974; 40 FR 55835, Dec. 2, 1975; 45 FR 63668, Sept. 25, 1980; 46 FR 56178, Nov. 16, 1981; 47 FR 29836, July 9, 1982; 50 FR 25214, June 18, 1985; 50 FR 49531, Dec. 3, 1985; 59 FR 65636, Dec. 20, 1994; 62 FR 12743, 12749, March 18, 1997; 68 FR 36636, 36660, June 18, 2003; 70 FR 1506, 1593, January 7, 2005; 72 FR 35310, 35320; 72 FR 44924 44927, Aug. 9, 2007; 73 FR 986, 1009, Jan. 4, 2008; Apr 2009 TBA

Return to top

Notice to Users: The Deskbook is made available with the understanding that the University of Cincinnati College of Law is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. See Terms and Conditions of Use.  UC Brand Ingot

© Copyright 1998-2009, University of Cincinnati, All Rights Reserved
 Contact: ronald.jones@uc.edu