Determining ongoing compliance requirements may seem overwhelming to many registered investment advisers. Complying with the rules and regulations under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (“Investment Advisers Act”) and similar state investment adviser regulations must be a central part of an investment adviser’s fiduciary duties. Investment advisers have a variety of duties to perform throughout the year in order to comply with the requirements of the Investment Advisers Act and similar rules of state securities regulators. Having a well-organized process can help streamline an investment adviser’s ongoing compliance requirements. To help manage the ongoing compliance process, registered investment advisers should consider developing a compliance calendar that can serve as an effective and proactive tool to assist the investment adviser with meeting its ongoing compliance requirements. Developing a compliance calendar can help strengthen an investment adviser’s written compliance policies and procedures that must be developed pursuant to Rule 206(4)-7 of the Investment Advisers Act and similar state rules to detect, prevent, and correct possible regulatory violations that can occur throughout the year.
Investment advisers that do not have a compliance calendar in place should consider preparing one now for 2014. In order to develop a customized investment advisory compliance calendar, an investment adviser should review its written compliance policies and procedures. A well written, customized compliance program should lay out the investment adviser’s ongoing compliance requirements and the systems and controls the investment adviser has in place to prevent, detect, and correct compliance violations. If the investment adviser’s written compliance policies and procedures indicate that a specific task will be performed, it should be included on the investment adviser’s compliance calendar. When developing the compliance calendar, the investment adviser should indicate when the specific task will be performed as well as who will be responsible for performing the task. Not performing a task that is specifically included in the investment adviser’s written compliance policies and procedures is an easy red flag to a securities regulator that the investment adviser has not customized or fully implemented its written compliance policies and procedures. Compliance calendars can help to eliminate uncertainties about an investment adviser’s ongoing compliance requirements and can be used as a tool when an investment adviser conducts an annual compliance review. Compliance calendars should include ongoing investment adviser regulatory requirements such as the annual compliance review, annual renewals, or the annual Form ADV update filing as well as the internal control and ongoing monitoring tasks that the investment adviser performs to prevent and detect violations.
Even if an investment adviser is already using a compliance calendar, as this year comes to an end the investment adviser should review and update its annual compliance calendar to make sure that it addresses all required tasks, reflects any necessary changes due to internal or regulatory developments, and verifies that someone is properly assigned to perform the tasks.
For more information and tips to assist your investment adviser in preparing its compliance calendar, RIA Compliance Consultants is hosting a webinar “Preparing Your Compliance Calendar for 2014,” on December 12, 2013, from 12:00 to 1:00 pm CST. The fee for this webinar is $69.95. To register, simply click here.
For more information about the compliance support services RIA Compliance Consultants can provide to your registered investment adviser, click here to schedule a time to speak with one of our Senior Compliance Consultants.