What Is SEC Form NSAR-A?

SEC Form NSAR-A was a semi-annual filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that registered the financial information of investment management companies at the end of the first six months of their fiscal year as part of their NSAR form filing requirement. The NSAR, which was specific to registered investment management companies, required those companies to disclose financial information (i.e., sales of shares, portfolio turnover rate, etc.) included in the company's annual or semi-annual shareholder reports.

Key Takeaways:

  • SEC Form NSAR-A was a semi-annual filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
  • The form registered the financial information of investment management companies at the end of the first six months of their fiscal year.
  • The form included financial information such as sales of shares, portfolio turnover rate, and other data included in the company's shareholder reports.
  • As of June 1, 2018, Form N-SAR has been replaced by Form N-CEN.

Understanding SEC Form NSAR-A

SEC Form NSAR-A and all of its related filings were covered under Section 30 of the Investment Company Act of 1940 (1940 Act) and Sections 13 and 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. This requires investment companies and trusts to file semi-annual and annual reports with the SEC.

In addition to financial information, the form also provided some details on an investment management company’s leadership, advisors, underwriters, and affiliations. The form was instituted to protect investors by providing basic information so that they could choose a company they trust with their investments.

Modernization of Investment Company Reporting

In October 2016, the SEC proposed changes intended to modernize investment company reporting; it revised those proposed changes in December 2017. As of June 1, 2018, Form N-SAR and its associated filings are no longer required to be filed by investment companies, although the SEC accepted Forms N-SAR, and amendments to previously filed Forms N-SAR, until June 1, 2019. Form N-SAR has been replaced by Form N-CEN.

Who Is Required to Submit Form N-CEN?

Form N-CEN replaces or eliminates outdated items found on Form N-SAR but includes much of the same content as the long-considered-obsolete Form N-SAR and its related filings. All registered investment companies will be required to file Forms N-CEN in XML format.

When Should Form N-CEN Be Submitted?

Form N-CEN must be filed within 75 days of the fiscal year-end date for the fund in question. However, funds with a fiscal year-end date prior to Form N-CEN’s compliance date (June 1, 2018) do not need to make their first Form N-CEN filing until the end of the next fiscal year.

Thus, for example, if a fund’s fiscal year-end date is May 31, it needn’t file its first Form N-CEN filing until within 75 days after May 1, 2020. But if a fund’s fiscal year-end date is June 1, it needs to file its first Form N-CEN within 75 days after June 1, 2019, because June 1 is the compliance date. Unlike Form N-SAR and its related filings, Form N-CEN should be filed annually.