Annual Audit Filing Due Date is February 29, 2012 for Broker-Dealers

February 29, 2012 is the deadline for the SEC to receive the annual audit report for a broker-dealer with a fiscal year-end dated December 31.  The audit report must also be sent to the broker-dealer's designated examining authority, such as FINRA[1] or CBOE, and any states that require filings in which such broker-dealer is registered, by the due date. Every broker-dealer registered pursuant to Section 15 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended ("Exchange Act"), is required to file a certified annual audit report no later than sixty (60) calendar days from its fiscal year-end.  A broker-dealer's designated examining authority may extend the deadline pursuant to the Exchange Act.

If a broker-dealer does not believe that it can meet the deadline due to exceptional circumstances, it must request and receive an extension from its designated examining authority prior to the audit report due date.  Grounds for an extension generally only involve obstacles to filing that the broker-dealer cannot control, such as the auditor's technical difficulties.  A broker-dealer that is a member of FINRA specifically must request an extension from its FINRA District Office no later than three (3) business days prior to the filing deadline.

If you have any questions concerning this Alert or if you would like to review any annual requirements, please contact Daniel G. Viola at 212-573-8038 or dviola@sglawyers.comor Todd Warren at 212-573-8021 or twarren@sglawyers.com.

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[1]  See Regulatory Notice 11-46 (Annual Audit Reports:  FINRA to require Electronic Submission of Annual Audit Reports) (October 2011)

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Cheryl Spratt