July 27, 2009
I applaud the SEC for taking the needs of consumers seriously with this proposed rule change. There is only one area that I see great problems with: the surprise audit requirements for advisors who withdraw fees from their clients' accounts.
This part of the proposed rule would be a great burden to advisors, especially smaller advisors like myself. Inquiries to local accounting firms has produced no one who would be willing to provide these services. This means that I would have to bring in a firm from the DFW metroplex, over 100 miles away. Thus the rather large cost of the audits would then be compounded by travel expenses.
Being able to withdraw fees is a great help to my clients. It reduces their tax burden in many cases and it reduces our costs which helps us keep our fees low.
As long as the withdrawals are made from accounts at 3rd party custodians, I believe you will have the level of protection your desire without the adverse effects to smaller advisors and their clients.