Account aggregation app, ByAllAccounts, is the most popular account aggregation application among RIAs advising individual investors.
So it was surprising when the app became a central focus of this week's webinar about 2014 RIA compliance priorities.
Chris Winn of AdvisorAssist, an operations and compliance consultant, was the speaker at A4A’s weekly professional education session. The timing of his session, “2014 Compliance: Are You Ready For An Exam?” could not have been better: Winn had just spent a week with an SEC examiner on-site at a client’s office assisting the RIA being inspected by the SEC.
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In addition, the SEC a day earlier, had published its list of Examination Priorities for 2014
Winn’s comments about how account aggregation might unintentionally subject an RIA to onerous custody rules drew a flurry of questions and comments s from attendees. A third of the approximately 25 questions from attendees were about ByAllAccounts and the dreaded custody rules, a strong reaction to one topic.
Taking custody of assets triggers regulations that are costly for a small financial advisory firm to comply with. Depending on exactly how an RIA advises an account — how the RIA logs into a 401(k) website, the functionality provided by a 401(k) provider, and other minutia —an RIA could be required by the SEC to comply with the onerous custody rules.
The custody issue was the most controversial topic to come up but Winn, who has a couple of decades of experience in RIA compliance and operations, offered tips on a broad range of compliance issues.
Winn’s presentation received 4.6 out of five stars and the comments from attendees (below) show how helpful the session was to some advisors. A4A members ($60 annually
) can see a replay of the webinar now
. Winn will be posting answers to attendee questions in the next few days. Look for that post because he will go into more detail about compliance issues we did not have time to cover at the session, including the custody issue.
-- Good Information and recommendations
-- This is possibly the best compliance session I have attended in my 17 years in the business. Chris was very specific about our responsibilites and that is rather unusual... in a good way.
-- I would be interested in a Part 2.
-- Very insightful. I have a rather small firm and have been audited by the state of Texas three different times in a 10 year span.
-- Quality Information, Thanks,
-- Would have been more effective to have shown an example of compliance calendar.
-- Very informative
-- Andy -- I have to thank you. Without you I would have never met Chris Winn--he is now my most trusted partner at 7Twelve. I didn't know guys like this even existed before I saw him for the first time on A4A. I certainly sleep better and run a better shop because of Chris!
-- Better tan most on this subject.
-- Very professional, although too quick for level of information desired.
-- This subject can be very uncomfortable for most advisors. It can also be emotionally draining and cause a lot of angst. Chris has presented before, and he is always measured and matter of fact in his delivery. That being said, there are times when I will ask "is he kidding"? Of course, Chris is only the messenger, and you aren't supposed to shoot the messenger. Nice job on a difficult topic for advisors.
-- Yes as a CFP working in an RIA, I listened even though I got no credit. My firm went through an audit last year and I wanted to make certain that I/we got a refresher on the topic. Chris's presentation reinforced what I thought was important to do as a followup to that audit and on an ongoing basis
-- This is a topic that needs to be on the list more often.