What is SEC Form X-17A-5

SEC Form X-17A-5 is a financial reporting form that all broker-dealers who are registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) must complete. This form consists of three parts and contains an annual audit that must be performed by a certified public accountant (CPA).

Breaking Down SEC Form X-17A-5

SEC Form X-17A-5 must be filled out by all broker-dealers that are registered with the SEC, as mandated by Section 17 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 Rule 17a-10(a)(1). The form is used to report a broker-dealer's financial and operating conditions. Part I of SEC Form X-17A-5 contains general information about the registrant, along with operational capital charge items that are designed to measure certain economic and financial characteristics of the registrant. Part II contains the annual audit, and Part III contains identification information about the registrant and the accountant. 

The SEC calls this form a Financial and Operational Combined Uniform Single (FOCUS) Report, as it presents a combination of the financial and operational health of a broker-dealer who is registered with the SEC. As of 2017, broker-dealers, including those registered as over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives dealers, can voluntarily file these forms electronically through the SEC's Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval (EDGAR) system in lieu of filing paper reports.

Because Form X-17A-5 contains a number of schedules and amendments, broker-dealers should check the SEC’s website periodically for any changes such as exemptions, filing dates, requirements, or other amended information, but samples of the current form can be found here: