Source: AccountingWeb

For accountants or tax experts seeking to broaden their knowledge or to start establishing a foundation in the securities industry in a move that might help their clients, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is offering a new introductory-level exam in October.

The Securities Industry Essentials (SIE or Essentials) Exam, which will be available from Oct. 1, is a new exam for prospective securities industry professionals.  The test, according to FINRA, assesses a candidate’s knowledge of basic securities industry information including basic concepts, regulatory agencies and their functions, and prohibited practices.

But what sets this apart from other FINRA exams is that an applicant need not be required to be associated with a firm.

Still, FINRA states that passing the Essentials exam doesn’t entitle the participant for registration with FINRA or to engage in securities business. To become registered to engage in securities business, an individual must pass the Essentials exam and a qualification exam appropriate for the type of business the individual will engage in, according to FINRA. And that person must be associated with a member firm to take a qualification exam, among other requirements.

For candidates who are associated with firms and are planning to be certified, FINRA recently released areas of focus on its 2018 exam. These priorities include focusing on perennial target areas of fraud, elder financial abuse, cybersecurity and sales practices. It also features six new rules.

Here’s a snapshot of what they include and their applicable effective dates: