By Raymond Ong. Filing with the SEC is a complex, time consuming and high stakes process. Having the appropriate credentials ready and waiting for filing time can save frantic headaches and fire drills when battling against the clock. Below are the SEC credentials you need to ensure you are ready to file in the zero hour.
Central Index Key & CIK Confirmation Code
Your Central Index Key (CIK) is a number given to your company by the SEC. This figure is used to identify the filings of your company and is typically 10 digits in length. You will need a CIK whether your organization self-files or if you utilize a filing agent. Unlike your public CIK code, your organization will also be given a confidential CIK Confirmation Code (CCC). Your CCC is noted as part of a submission and will be needed for each of the multi registrants. Frequently, third-party filing agents, if used, maintain the CCC for you and use this code as part of their filing service on your behalf. For those that self-file, either the Corporate Secretary or Legal department of your company likely maintains this information.
Password, PMAC & Passphrase
What’s the difference? Your password is generated by the SEC and expires once a year. Only one password is needed, even for multi registrants. A company’s Password Modification Access Code, or PMAC, is used to reset a password. This unique code is intended only to authorize a password change and should not be shared. Passphrase, not to be confused with password, is chosen by the filer. This can be used to reset your CCC and/or password if forgotten, and can also be used repeatedly, even for multi registrants. A password is needed for self-filers, while those that use a filing agent may not need one. Information on changing your CCC or password can only be done using your existing CCC and password credentials.
And there you have it. Remember your CIK, CCC, PW, PMAC and PP and you’re documents basically file themselves! But seriously, these codes can often be lost in the shuffle, which can cause a real nightmare come filing time. On the SEC’s website, you can leverage the filer management webpage to update or modify your credentials. Depending on the code you wish to change, filers may be prompted for a notarized signature faxed back to the SEC before a new code can be issued.
Don’t find this out at the eleventh hour, have your SEC credentials queued up in advance!
Be sure to read the 4 Step Guide to Improved Regulatory Reporting for more tips on key processes for efficient external financial reporting.