February 21, 2019 | Blog Article

Firms that claim compliance with the Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS®) are required to notify CFA Institute of their claim of compliance. Each GIPS-compliant firm must submit the GIPS Compliance Notification Form by June 30 of each year. Any data included in this form must be as of the prior December 31. Firms completing the form must include data as of December 31, 2018. Note that the form can be submitted anytime between now and June 30 and is not dependent upon completion of a firm’s 2018 verification.

February 20, 2019 | Compliance Alert

Julia Hoggett, FCA's Director of Market Oversight, last week gave a speech on the implementation of the Market Abuse Regulation in the UK.

February 15, 2019 | Press Release

In 2018, ACA Compliance Group expanded their team to 270+ compliance professionals (and growing) with new employees who bring a wealth of industry experience, enthusiasm, and talent. New hires include:

February 14, 2019 | Blog Article

Now that the 2017/18 tax return deadline has passed, our personal tax specialist, Paul Webster, provides guidance on how to address a range of post-submission challenges, some of which you may not be aware of.

February 14, 2019 | Press Release

We're pleased to announce that ACA Aponix® has been designated as a HITRUST CSF Assessor by HITRUST. This achievement allows us to provide services using the HITRUST CSF, a comprehensive security framework that addresses the multitude of security, privacy, and regulatory challenges facing organizations in order to comply with healthcare (HIPAA, HITECH), third-party (PCI, COBIT), government (NIST, FTC), and other industry-specific regulations and standards.

February 13, 2019 | Blog Article

Compliance officers are required to adapt quickly to new regulatory requirements and changes in how bad actors conduct financial crime. Unfortunately, most risk-based transaction monitoring solutions are static, outdated, and not easily adaptable to new developments in the anti-money laundering (AML) space. Many banks need to consider new solutions that are cost effective and not only meet but exceed these evolving requirements.

February 13, 2019 | Cyber Alert

On February 12, Microsoft issued a series of software fixes that address over 70 security issues, several of which are critical vulnerabilities. Applying these patches is necessary to prevent bad actors from compromising systems with malware, gaining unauthorized access to data, and performing other malicious exploits.

February 12, 2019 | Cyber Alert

On February 8, Krebs on Security reported that a number of AML compliance professionals at credit unions and other financial institutions have recently been the target of phishing emails spoofed to look like they were sent by Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) officers at other financial institutions.

February 6, 2019 | Blog Article

It’s a new year, and most global financial regulators are preparing or announcing their examination priorities and focus areas for 2019 and beyond. As in previous years, cybersecurity and technology remain top focus areas for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

February 6, 2019 | Press Release

ACA Compliance Group has promoted Dan Campbell, Kimberly Daly, and Kent Wegrzyn to Partner. Each has contributed significantly to the growth of ACA and has provided exemplary service to their clients. Please join us in congratulating them.

February 5, 2019 | Compliance Alert
FINRA Risk Monitoring and Examination Priorities Letter

On January 22, 2019, FINRA released its newly titled Risk Monitoring and Examination Priorities Letter for 2019. While noting that the letter’s format has changed to concentrate more on new risk areas, FINRA stated that it will continue to examine the areas of concern on which it has repeatedly focused in previous years.

February 4, 2019 | Compliance Alert

On January 28, 2019, FINRA issued Regulatory Notice 19-04, which outlines the provisions of an initiative regarding share-class issues related to 529 college savings plans. FINRA is encouraging broker-dealers to review their customer activity in 529 college savings plans and self-report any potential violations related to recommending certain share classes that may not have been suitable based on a customer’s investment profile.

February 1, 2019 | Blog Article

This week is Tax Identify Theft Awareness Week in the U.S. As tax filing season kicks off, it’s important to be on the lookout for tax scams. For the past few years, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued a Dirty Dozen list of tax scams, which in 2018 included phishing, fake charities, and return preparer fraud.

January 30, 2019 | Blog Article

Cybersecurity continues to be a primary focus area for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE), as indicated in their 2019 examination priorities. It’s no surprise given the growing cybersecurity threats facing investment advisers and the consequences a cyber-attack can have on firms.

January 29, 2019 | Press Release

Key milestones for ACA Technology Solutions in 2018 included:

January 29, 2019 | Cyber Alert

On January 28, the computer emergency response team (CERT) coordination center (CC) for the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University reported a new zero-day vulnerability affecting Microsoft® Exchange. This previously unseen exploit allows remote attackers to gain domain administrator privileges on an Exchange server, effectively enabling them to locate all user credentials, take over a domain, and gain access to data on the system.

January 25, 2019 | Compliance Alert

On December 20, 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission's Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) announced its 2019 examination priorities and reaffirmed that, for firms actively engaged in the digital asset market, OCIE will continue to conduct examinations focused on portfolio management of digital assets, trading, safety of client funds and assets, pricing of client portfolios, compliance, and internal controls.

January 24, 2019 | Article

ACA Compliance Group's Danielle Joseph and Anne Wallace contributed the following article to the January 24, 2019 Hedge Fund Law Report.

January 23, 2019 | Press Release

ACA Aponix is excited to offer a compliance assistance service that is designed to help assess your company’s readiness to comply with California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) requirements.

January 22, 2019 | Case Study, Blog Article

A private equity firm wanted to partner with a leading defense services contractor. The firm chose ACA's M&A diligence and advisory services to help verify their technology investment and necessary future spend by evaluating the target's IT systems, infrastructure, regulatory compliance, and resiliency. This case study explains ACA's material findings and strategic recommendations resulting from the diligence.

January 22, 2019 | Blog Article

As the government shutdown continues and uncertainty abounds, firms may be at a greater risk. In a recent article by Investment News, it was reported that investment fraud is on the rise,​ and with the SEC’s current skeleton crew, they simply can't do their essential job: protecting investors and markets. This unfortunately opens the door to bad actors and puts firms at increased risk.

January 18, 2019 | Compliance Alert

In December 2018, the federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York filed one of the first criminal charges against a U.S.-based broker-dealer for a violation of the Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”).

The broker-dealer failed to follow its procedures for adequately addressing previously identified suspicious activity. First, the due diligence process used during account openings raised several red flags about one of the firm’s customers. The firm also failed to address additional red flags raised by the customer’s activities after the accounts were open.

January 14, 2019 | Press Release

We're pleased to announce that ACA Aponix has been named Due Diligence Firm of the Year for the second year running by the M&A Advisor’s 13th Annual Turnaround Awards. The awards recognize the leading transactions, firms, and individuals in the distressed investing and reorganization industry.

January 8, 2019 | Cyber Alert

On January 7, the National Futures Association (NFA) announced amendments to its existing rules regarding Information Systems Security Programs (ISSPs) that members under its regulatory jurisdiction must follow. The amendments, which take effect on April 1, 2019, relate to member cybersecurity training, ISSP approval, and incident notification.

January 7, 2019 | Blog Article

Third-party risk management is rightfully a key priority for banking regulators like the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”). It should be considered as a material operational risk alongside business continuity, cybersecurity, and more. Some banks use thousands of vendors, including affiliates, to operate their businesses and deliver the solutions and convenience that the market demands. Every one of the many thousands of service providers a bank may use exposes them to different levels of risk - some of which can be serious and costly.