June 12, 2009
I am writing you about the proposed rule that would require all investment advisers who have custody of clients funds or securities, SOLELY because of their authority to withdraw fees from clients custodial accounts, to undergo the surprise examination, regardless of whether the qualified custodian provides statements directly to clients.
Like many other fee-only Registered Investment Advisor, we use third party custodian to custody clients assets and we conduct out business under a Limited Power of Attorney which gives us permission to make trades in their accounts and to have fees deducted from those accounts. Our clients are provided with monthly statements, along with being able to access their accounts on line, therefore they have frequent opportunities to review positions and history in their respective accounts. We send our invoices five days before deducting the fees thus giving them a chance to review billing calculations before fees are deducted.
Considering extreme cost of an independent audit, in addition to disruption of our services for something that has no potential for misappropriation of clients assets, it appears to be waste of resources.
My firm, Rowling, Dold Associates LLP, and I respectfully request that you withdraw the proposed rule requiring surprise audits for firms solely because of their ability to withdraw fees from client accounts.
Thank you for your consideration.