Is it possible for CPAs to share in investment advisory fees without becoming a Registered Investment Adviser (RIA) subject to audit by the SEC?
Yes. Many states allow Investment Adviser Representatives (IARs) to affiliate with RIAs, solicit business, provide service to clients, and share in advisory fees. To become IARs in most states, CPAs are required to pass the Series 65 or Series 66 exam, but not the more rigorous Series 7 or Series 6 exams. (Note: California is the major exception that does require IARs to pass a Series 7 or Series 6 exam.) In some states, CPAs who wish to offer fee-only financial planning are required to become RIAs.