SEC Objects to MicroStrategy’s Accounting Adjustment for Its Bitcoin Holdings

The software firm said in a filing it would revise its future reports to reflect the SEC’s concerns.

1/22/2022 12:58:00 AM

.MicroStrategy said it would revise the way it presents its bitcoin holdings in its financial results following objections from the SECGov. By mikeybellusci

The software firm said in a filing it would revise its future reports to reflect the SEC’s concerns.

Jan 21, 2022 at 9:34 p.m. UTCUpdatedJan 21, 2022 at 10:49 p.m. UTCMicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor (Getty Images)Michael Saylor’s MicroStrategy won’t be able to remove swings in the value of its enormous bitcoin holdings from its unofficial accounting measures, according to comment letters released by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

MicroStrategy used non-GAAP rules, or measures that don’t comply with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles, to show what its income would have been if it didn’t have to impair its bitcoin holdings. Bloomberg was the first to report on the comment letters.

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By Jan 21, 2022 at 9:34 p.m. UTC Updated Jan 21, 2022 at 10:49 p.m. UTC MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor (Getty Images) Michael Saylor ’s MicroStrategy won’t be able to remove swings in the value of its enormous bitcoin holdings from its unofficial accounting measures, according to comment letters released by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. MicroStrategy used non-GAAP rules, or measures that don’t comply with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles, to show what its income would have been if it didn’t have to impair its bitcoin holdings. Bloomberg was the first to report on the comment letters. Under standard accounting rules, the value of digital assets such as cryptocurrencies must be recorded at their cost and then only adjusted if their value is impaired, or goes down. But if the price rises, that does not get reflected until an asset is sold. The SEC told MicroStrategy in a filing on Dec. 3 that “...we object to your adjustment for bitcoin impairment charges in your non-GAAP measures. Please revise to remove this adjustment in future filings.” In mid-December, MicroStrategy replied to the SEC that it would “revise its disclosures of non-GAAP measures in future filings to remove the adjustment for impairment losses and gains on sale related to bitcoin, as requested by the Commission,”