4 Proven Ways to Prepare for a Routine Examination – According to the Experts


Our free resource, Guide to FINRA's Broker-Dealer Examination Process, presents strategies and tactics to broker-dealers for improving compliance procedures and preparing for future FINRA member firm examinations.

This guide is based on interviews with four leading compliance experts from around the country.

- Carrie Wisniewski, President and Founder of B/D Compliance Associates
- Carolyn May, Independent Compliance Consultant
- Steve Thornton, President and Founder of Thornton & Associates
- Virginia “Ginny” Voos, Senior Compliance Consultant at NCS Regulatory Compliance

FINRA regulates 3,600 member firms and nearly 630,000 registered reps and conducts over 2000 member firm examinations each year. FINRA conducts routine examinations of broker-dealers checking for compliance with industry rules and regulations. Depending on the firm, these  cycle examinations (or more commonly referred to as FINRA audits) occur once every one to four years.

In 2021 the overall total of fines and restitution assessed by FINRA sharply increased. Fines rose 60% from 2020, from $57 million to $91 million. This is the highest amount of total fines since 2016, despite a decrease in cases.

The increasing cost of compliance – in time and money – is something broker-dealers face every day. The time to improve is when a FINRA examination is not on the near horizon.

Download our free resource, Guide to FINRA's Broker-Dealer Examination Process, to learn proven ways to prepare for a routine FINRA examination. To get this FREE resource simply fill out the form on this page. Be prepared for your next audit.