Mar 10, 2020
A recent article in The Globe and Mail looks at the impact that the coronavirus is having on companies and discusses how dozens of Canadian businesses have included new disclosures in their financial reports that outline the effect the coronavirus could have on their operations. According to author Christine Dobby, lawyers who advise businesses on corporate governance say “publicly traded companies are seeking advice on how to disclose risks related to the global outbreak of COVID-19.” She also reports that the “answer on what, if anything, to disclose is also changing rapidly.”
“The situation is so dynamic and moving so quickly," John Valley, an Osler corporate partner and a leader in the firm’s Corporate Governance Group, tells The Globe and Mail. He notes that if you had put out disclosure earlier in the year, "you might not even have mentioned this because it just legitimately was not on your radar” at that time. John also noted that while the impact on specific organizations can be difficult to predict, it’s becoming increasingly hard for companies to not say anything at all on this topic. However, he says “[p]eople aren’t putting numbers to it yet,… ” given the ongoing uncertainty about the extent and duration of the effect that the coronavirus will have.
If you subscribe to The Globe and Mail online, you can read Christine Dobby’s full article “Canadian companies add coronavirus risks to earnings disclosures.”