|AUDENTES THERAPEUTICS, INC. filed this Form 10-K on 03/13/2017|
Ensuring that we have adequate internal financial and accounting controls and procedures in place so that we can produce accurate financial statements on a timely basis is a costly and time-consuming effort that needs to be re-evaluated frequently. Our internal control over financial reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. We have begun the process of documenting, reviewing and improving our internal controls and procedures for compliance with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, or the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which will require annual management assessment of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting beginning with the year ended December 31, 2017.
During the audit of our financial statements for the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2014 a material weakness was identified in our internal control over financial reporting. Under standards established by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, a material weakness is a deficiency or combination of deficiencies in internal control over financial reporting, such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of our annual or interim financial statements will not be prevented or detected and corrected on a timely basis. The material weakness that was identified related to a lack of sufficient accounting resources and personnel that limited our ability to adequately segregate duties, establish defined accounting policies and procedures and perform timely reviews of account reconciliations.
During 2016 we implemented measures to improve our internal control over financial reporting to address the underlying causes of the previously identified material weakness, including (i) the hiring of our Chief Financial Officer and other accounting personnel, (ii) establishing new accounting policies and procedures, (iii) implementing a new enterprise accounting system, and (iv) implementing appropriate disclosure controls and procedures We believe that the remediation steps outlined above were sufficient to remediate the previously identified material weakness in internal control over financial reporting as discussed above.
We, and our independent registered public accounting firm, were not required to perform an evaluation of our internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2016 in accordance with the provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Accordingly, we cannot assure you that we have identified all, or that we will not in the future have additional, material weaknesses.
Implementing any appropriate changes to our internal controls may distract our officers and employees, entail substantial costs to modify our existing processes and take significant time to complete. These changes may not, however, be effective in maintaining the adequacy of our internal controls, and any failure to maintain that adequacy, or consequent inability to produce accurate financial statements on a timely basis, could increase our operating costs and harm our business. In addition, investors’ perceptions that our internal controls are inadequate or that we are unable to produce accurate financial statements on a timely basis may harm our stock price and make it more difficult for us to raise new capital or effectively market and sell our product candidates once they are approved for commercial sale.
We incur increased costs as a result of operating as a public company and our management is required to devote substantial time to new compliance initiatives.
As a public company, we incur significant legal, accounting and other expenses that we did not incur as a private company, which we expect will increase after we are no longer an “emerging growth company.” In addition, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and rules subsequently implemented by the Securities and Exchange Commission and The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC, or NASDAQ, have imposed various requirements on public companies, including establishment and maintenance of effective disclosure and financial controls and corporate governance practices. Our management and other personnel devote a substantial amount of time to these compliance initiatives. Moreover, these rules and regulations increase our legal and financial compliance costs and make some activities more time-consuming and costly.