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Accounting Best Practices, Fifth Edition by Steven M. Bragg Englewood, Colorado

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11–7. Open Conference Calls to the Public

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently issued Regulation FD, which requires full disclosure of all information normally released by public companies to investment analysts to the entire investing public. Some companies have reacted to this ruling by issuing as little information as possible to anyone. However, the majority have taken the opposite course and become more open in their informational releases.

A good way to be in compliance with Regulation FD is to open all investor conference calls to the public. The conference call services and prices of a number of companies can be compared on the www.conferencecallcompany.com Web site. Besides the price per minute charged, one can also rate the various services on their ability to provide a Web interface for calls, transcribe calls, mute callers, and so on. One can then arrange with a number of Web-based investor notification services, such as www.bestcalls.com, www.vcall.com, and www.earnings.com to automatically notify their subscribing investors of the times when they can access these calls. The only limitation on this approach is the number of investors allowed on a conference call, which one can select based on the type of conference call paid for. For example, one conference call company only allows 16 participants in a call, but offers the lowest rate per minute, while another allows 50 participants but at a slightly higher cost to the company.

Cost: Installation time:

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