When it comes to CEOs, pay isn’t much of a secret due to disclosure rules already in place. The tightly kept secret is the comparison between executive and median pay.

Thanks to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), that secret will soon be in the spotlight. The SEC recently ruled on a regulatory measure that discloses what CEOs make compared to their employees.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, top CEO pay has increased by 997 percent since 1978, compared to the scanty 10.9 percent of the typical worker. Top CEOs making 300 times more than their company’s workers has raised concern, to say the least.

But will this new knowledge shrink the pay gap, or will it just be a waste of time?

How It Will Work

Starting in January of 2017, public companies will be required by law to show the CEO/median pay ratio on their reports. But what sounds like a simple math problem could take plenty of man-hours to get the numbers right, depending on the size and scope of the company.

The SEC estimates that some 3,800 companies will have to comply with this new rule. To crunch the numbers, they say that it will cost around $72.8 million, or $19,000 per company. Chief Financial Officers from several companies have disputed that estimate, claiming that this pay ratio could cost them upwards of $350,000 just to comply.

Adding up how their employees are paid around the world, taking pensions and other variables into account, could be extensive. However, other companies that already started disclosing their pay ratios, such as Whole Foods, have said that it’s not all that expensive to calculate. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

The Best Part? Kicking Inequality in the Teeth

Aside from increasing the amount of jobs in demand for financial officers, accountants, statisticians and even economists, the pay ratio could potentially explain a lot about how a business values its employees versus its CEO. Not only would employees be able to tell how substantially fatter their bosses’ paychecks are, but they could also compare their own wages with rivaling companies’ employees.

Even consumers could put their money where their mouth is. Under this ruling, customers would hold the power to boycott businesses with unfavorable pay ratios by not buying their product or service. Additionally, shareholders could become aware of their company’s pay practices when it comes to chief execs. What a beautiful way to kick inequality in the teeth and publicly shame the companies that grossly overcompensate the CEO!

Hillary Clinton has also chimed in, saying that this measure has been long overdue: “There is no excuse for taking five years to get this done. Workers have a right to know whether executive pay at their company has gotten out of balance, and so does the public.”

Will This Really Work?

Critics of the pay ratio disclosure say this is a waste of money and will have very little effect on pay. Shareholders generally do not give a darn about pay as long as they see market-beating results.

Stephen Matteo Miller from the Mercatus Center is another critic. “If pay ratios don’t help us understand the crisis, you might still argue that pay ratios at least address growing concerns about inequality,” writes Matteo Miller. “But that’s not right either, since most discussions of inequality, measuring variation across the population, examine only part of the story — typically wagesincome or wealth, ignoring its multidimensional nature.”

This ratio fails to paint the whole picture when it comes to how employees and CEOs are compensated. There’s more to it than just a number. Although the ratio may seem like great ammunition to tackle the problem of income inequality, it might just be a box of faulty bullets.

Good Luck, HR!

Whether or not this pay ratio disclosure is effective in bringing light to unjust compensation in corporations, you can be sure it will be a headache for human resources.

The spotlight on pay could even make everyone slightly tense in the office, from the CEO down to the janitor. Sure, it might keep the “fat cats” from getting too fat, but let’s be real— the “fat cats” won’t really budge much.

What would be really interesting is to add an addendum to this addendum: How about companies expose the gender pay gap, as offered by Joanne Lipman in the New York Times? Have fun with that one, HR!