Recent SEC guidance and focus emphasizes the current preferences for non-GAAP financial measures, a type of financial performance and liquidity metric, specifically with public disclosures that inform investing. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that only 5.7 percent of companies in the S&P 500 index reported 2015 financials using solely GAAP measures.

In May 2016, the SEC issued several new compliance and disclosure interpretations (C&DI) on the topic of non-GAAP measures that outlined the importance of clarifying the relationships between GAAP and non-GAAP measures to elucidate any prominence, omissions, or significance between the measures.

Mark Kronforst, the chief accountant at the SEC's Division of Corporation Finance, recently suggested that the SEC will pay close attention to how companies adjust their disclosures in their filings and earnings releases after the May guidance and is expecting to continue to issue comments on second quarter earnings releases. According to Audit Analytics, based on comment letters that became available publicly between January to May 2016, the SEC had already issued comments on the use of non-GAAP financial measures by many public companies. One area of focus of the comment letters, where the SEC has indicated compliance has been weak is the reconciliation of forward-looking non-GAAP measures and whether a company qualifies for the unreasonable efforts exception referenced above.