Among all of the annual tasks required of an RIA, one of the least anticipated and pleasant of them is preparing and filing the annual update with the regulators. It is not that any single aspect of the process is particularly difficult or burdensome. What makes the task undesirable for so many of us is the need to actually review what the business has done and is doing so that the disclosures are complete and accurate.
Now, this is not a problem if, during the course of the year, we keep track of how our business processes have changed and have kept our contracts, disclosure document and policy manual up to date. Waiting until the new year comes, with its attendant wrap up of the prior year for clients, preparation of income taxes, and the pressure of the new year’s resolutions and plans to improve the business, just makes the annual update more annoying. So the first piece of advice for you is to get at it NOW, and do not wait until the end of March to get going on the update.
The new year is a good time to take stock of your business situation and making the annual update – which is required anyway – a part of your look at the business for the upcoming year, seems to make sense. Hopefully there won’t have been a lot of changes in the way you do business that require amendment to the disclosure document but remember that even the little things (adding new services, additional or changed fee schedules, new personnel, new business relationships such as custodians and brokers) may need to be reflected in the updated disclosure document.
If you need some help in pulling these items together or in strengthening your internal processes to make the annual review less of a hassle, we can help you along the right path. Just contact us at email@example.com We can help you make the annual update fun this year.