On July 31, the SEC approved a final rule that amends certain broker-dealer annual reporting, audit, and notification requirements. The amendments require, among other things, (i) that broker-dealers conduct audits in accordance with PCAOB standards, (ii) that broker-deals that clear transactions or carry customer accounts agree to allow the SEC or the broker-dealer’s designated examining authority (DEA) to review the documentation associated with certain reports of the broker-dealer’s independent public accountant and to allow the accountant to discuss the findings relating to the reports of the accountant with those representatives when requested in connection with a regulatory examination of the broker-dealer, and (iii) that broker-dealers file a new form with their DEA that elicits information about the broker-dealer’s practices with respect to the custody of securities and funds of customers and non-customers. Broker-dealers are required to begin filing new quarterly reports with the SEC and annual reports with the Securities Investor Protection Corporation by the end of 2013, and must begin filing annual reports with the SEC June 1, 2014. The SEC also approved amendments to the net capital, customer protection, books and records, and notification rules for broker-dealers. Those amendments take effect 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.