Back in November 2013, we talked about the Designation of Accountant requirements. Well, effective June 1, 2014 there was an amendment to SEC Rule 17a-5(f)(2). As such, all Broker/Dealers must file a NEW Designation of Accountant form. FINRA has recently announced that there is a new electronic form, which will be available on the FINRA Gateway as of November 24, 2014. As in the past, this form is due by the 10th of the December (for fiscal year end December firms). All Broker/Dealers are required to file a new form, regardless of whether or not you have changed auditors, or if your audit engagement is continuous in nature. So, be sure to remind your FINOP to mark their calendars for the period 11/24 – 12/10, as they will have 16 days to file the new form. Again, a reminder that you should make sure your audit engagement letters have language in them stating that the agreement is of a continuing nature, providing for successive engagements. This will allow you to avoid having to file a new Designation of Accountant form each year, and does not preclude the annual renegotiation of fees and terms. Of course should you decide to change auditors, you will be required to file a Replacement of Accountant under Rule 17a-5(f)(3).
We recently sent out the following cover letter to our clients, along with a .pdf summary. If you would like to receive a copy of our rule amendments summary, please contact us! To our valued clients: On August 21, 2013, The Federal Register published the Final Rule of the SEC on their adoption of amendments to the net capital, customer protection, books and records, and notification rules for broker-dealers operating under the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934. The SEC issued two releases relating to these Rule amendments. Each release was over 300 pages. In the interest of our clients, we have attempted to summarize these amendments as succinctly and accurately as possible, with a focus on those items that are most likely to impact our clients. After each rule summary we include a “Maven Takeaway” – our topside interpretation of the rule change (if you read nothing else, read these). We encourage questions, challenges, and further review of published documentation.
The new Form Custody is now available through FINRA’s Firm Gateway. Form Custody is a new filing requirement for all broker/dealers to submit on a quarterly basis, coinciding with FOCUS filings. There is no exemption from this filing! Its purpose is to gather information about the B/D’s practices with respect to the custody of securities and funds of customers and non-customers. The form is not required to be audited. The requirement to file Form Custody was created through an amendment to SEC Rule 17a-5. The first Form Custody is due on January 27,2014, for the period October 1,2013 through December 31,2013. For more information on Form Custody,see SEC Release No. 34-70073.