SEC & PCAOB Auditor Independence Rules for Broker-Dealers and Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs): What You Need To Know!

With this session, you will get up-to-speed on the latest independence rules and requirements of the PCAOB and the SEC that impact auditors of broker-dealers and registered investment advisors (RIAs). This course will provide a refresher on important independence requirements to ensure your audits of broker-dealers and RIAs are being performed with independence, integrity and objectivity!

Learning Objectives

When you complete this session, you will be able to:

  • Identify and understand the key PCAOB and SEC independence rules and guidance for broker-dealers and RIAs.

Major Topics
  • General Overview of the SEC and PCAOB Independence Rules
  • Broker-Dealer Audits
    • SEC Rule 17a-5 requires auditors of brokers and dealers to comply with SEC independence rules in accordance with § 210.2-01 of Regulation S-X
    • SEC independence rules prohibit auditors from performing bookkeeping or other services related to the accounting records or financial statements of the audit client.
    • Partner rotation requirements, partner compensation requirements, audit committee pre-approval requirements and the cooling-off period requirements for employment
    • PCAOB Rule 3501, Definitions of Terms Employed in Section 3, Part 5 of the Rules
    • PCAOB Rule 3502, Responsibility Not to Knowingly or Recklessly Contribute to Violations
    • PCAOB Rule 3520, Auditor Independence
    • PCAOB Rule 3521, Contingent Fees
    • PCAOB Rule 3522, Tax Transactions
    • PCAOB Rule 3526, Communication with Audit Committees Concerning Independence
    • Non-attest services
    • Expert services unrelated to the audit
  • Investment Company and Investment Adviser Audits
    • Any audit or examination report that is used to satisfy the Custody Rule will oblige the auditor to be qualified and independent under the SEC independence rules; in accordance with Rule 2-01 of Regulation S-X
    • Entities requiring SEC independence – understand that SEC independence rules apply not only to the entity for which the accountant is auditing or performing an examination, but also to each of the audit client’s affiliates, as defined by the SEC.
    • Employment relationships
    • Business relationships
    • Non-attest services
    • Definition of “investment company complex”
    • Expert services unrelated to the audit
    • Prohibited fee arrangements

Advanced Preparations


Who Should Attend

Experienced CPAs and practitioners in public practice who conduct audits of broker-dealers and RIAs.

Fields of Study


General knowledge of PCAOB and SEC auditor independence rules and regulations.

CPE Credits


This course is available for your group as:


Let's Roll!

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