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Is Your RIA firm Ready for a State or SEC Compliance Examination?

Advisor Guidance’s State and SEC mock examinations help proactive-thinking registered investment advisors (RIAs) assess their readiness for a comprehensive compliance exam by the federal or state regulators.

While conducting a mock examination of your firm, our team will review your firm’s compliance program to ensure that it is adequately designed and effectively implemented following the relevant state and federal regulations. During our exam, we will also pinpoint weaknesses based on our most recent experiences with regulatory examiners.

Our mock examination team employs similar procedures, tools, and techniques as state and SEC examiners. Therefore, they can provide your RIA firm with a comprehensive compliance evaluation and an actionable list of items where your organization can improve.

Key Questions We Address During Our Mock Audit:

  • Is your firm maintaining proper books and records as required?
  • Is your Chief Compliance Officer able to quickly retrieve and deliver emails, social media pages, trade blotters, financial statements, and other documents to the examiners?
  • Are critical components of your compliance program, including your Privacy Policy, personal trading protocols, and procedures around client and public communications fully integrated into your team’s daily activities?
  • Does your Chief Compliance Officer know and understand the supervisory and compliance oversight responsibilities as described in the compliance manual?

How to Prepare for Your First Compliance Exam

SEC & State Mock Examination Process

Once we sign an agreement we set up a Dropbox account for you to securely transmit files. We can also execute an NDA to document that the RIA has taken appropriate steps to protect confidential firm and client information. 

Our comprehensive mock examination process consists of the following steps:

RIA Registration Renewal step 1

Data Collection

At the start of every mock exam, we provide your firm with a document request list. The list is similar to the one used by the SEC’s Office of Examinations. Once we have gathered all of the appropriate materials, we begin the process of examining your compliance program and books and records. 

RIA Registration Renewal step 2

Compliance Review

Once your firm has satisfied our document request list, our compliance team will familiarize themselves with your firm’s lines of business, operations, and existing compliance program.

RIA Registration Renewal step 3

Presentation of Findings

We provide a written report detailing our findings (unless otherwise requested) and recommendations for areas needing improvement. If preferred, we can present our results via a conference call. This information can be delivered in whatever format your firm specifies.

RIA Registration Renewal step 4

Recommendations & Consulting

As part of our mock examination project fee, our compliance team may provide your RIA firm with additional hours of consulting following the completion of the exam. This additional service can be provided to help you fill any gaps in your compliance program discovered during the process.

Areas Examined During Our Mock Audit

  • Annual Compliance Review
  • Compliance Review & Updates
  • Risk Assessment, Record Retention, Compliance Training
  • Account Maintenance, Trade Allocations,  Aggregations
  • Client Complaints, Valuations, and Fees
  • Advertising & Marketing, Custody
  • Solicitation, Business Continuity Plan
  • Proxy Voting
  • Firm and IAR Registrations, Privacy
  • Personal Securities Transactions, Gifts & Entertainment
  • Cybersecurity

Is Your RIA firm Ready for a
State or SEC Compliance Examination?​

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