June 30, 2009
To Whom It May Concern:
the Securities and Exchange Commission recently proposed a controversial new requirement for federally registered investment advisers that would mandate an annual surprise audit of all discretionary accounts of an investment adviser by an independent public accountant. The SEC considers automatic deduction of client fees from these discretionary accounts to be 'custody' of client assets, thereby requiring special attention in the wake of the Madoff scandal. The SEC estimates the average cost of these audits at $8,100 per firm.
This rule makes no sense at all for advisors whose clients' money is in custody at a home office. These offices are transparent, and can easily be audited. Taking time and resources to audit one and two person advisor shops makes no sense.
The SEC would be better served attending to the manufacturers of products, and the vendors, not the RIA community.
Thank you for your attention.