Investment adviser routine examination programs and types of exams vary by state. Some are conducted online; some are conducted offsite; and, some are conducted onsite. The SEC conducts various types of routine examinations ranging from limited-scope, remote examinations to full-scope, on-site examinations. Both states and the SEC conduct targeted or “sweep” examinations related to certain topics in order to gather information for rulemaking purposes. For example, the documentation requested may be tailored to a certain area, such as “custody” or “cybersecurity” in order for regulators to determine if rules or regulations need to be amended or implemented to address those areas of concern.

While the majority of examinations are scheduled in advance, in some instances, you may only have a few days to produce the documents and data requested for the examination. Whether you are state or SEC-registered, we want to keep you informed of the most recent trends we are seeing with the document request lists, so you can review your books and records and test your internal operations to be sure you are prepared and able to quickly and easily produce the documentation and data typically requested before you receive a request list.

Attached are examples of a limited-scope examination document request for a newly registered RIA and a full-scope examination document request from the SEC. Also attached is a state examination document request from a recent Colorado routine examination. States generally follow the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) examination guidelines so any state request will be similar to the one provided by Colorado.


About RIA Compliance Group: RIA Compliance Group is an investment adviser compliance consulting firm based in Delray Beach, Florida. The firm’s mission is to provide affordable, timely, practical, and cost-effective compliance advice. We help investment advisers to comply with the myriad of state and SEC regulations and compliance obligations facing their firms. RIA Compliance Group takes pride in giving personal service and real world compliance advice, not theoretical concepts and legalese. The firm interacts on a daily basis with SEC and state securities regulators.

RIA Compliance Group, LLC – 701 SE 6th Ave, Suite 201, Delray Beach, FL 33483 – Tel: 561-600-0564 –