Series 27 - Financial and Operations Principal Exam (FN)

The Series 27 exam—the Financial and Operations Principal Qualification Examination (FN)—assesses the competency of an entry-level financial and operations principal (FINOP) candidate to perform his or her job as a FINOP. The exam measures the degree to which each candidate possesses the knowledge and understanding of the financial responsibilities, rules and recordkeeping requirements of broker-dealers.

The Series 27 consists of 145 scored questions and an additional ten unscored pretest questions. Candidates have three hours and 45 minutes to complete the exam. The passing score is 69 percent.

Please see NASD Rule 1022(b) Financial and Operations Principal for more information.

Content Outline

The Series 27 - Content Outline provides a comprehensive guide to the range of subjects covered on the exam, as well as the depth of knowledge required. It includes sample questions to acquaint candidates with the types of multiple-choice questions on the exam.

The outline consists of five functions.

  • Function 1 - Financial Reporting
  • Function 2 - Operations, General Securities Industry Regulations, and Preservation of Books and Records
  • Function 3 - Customer Protection
  • Function 4 - Net Capital
  • Function 5 - Funding and Cash Management

Download:  Series 27 - Content Outline


The Series 27 does not have a prerequisite exam. Please see Register a New Candidate for more information on the registration process.

Permitted Activities

Covered supervisory activities include the following.

  • Back office operations
  • Preparation and maintenance of a member firm’s books and records
  • Compliance with financial responsibility rules that apply to self-clearing broker-dealers and market makers

Taking the Exam

The table below lists the allocation of the exam questions for five supervisory functions.

Function Number of Questions
Function 1 - Financial Reporting 25
Function 2 - Operations, General Securities Industry Regulations, and Preservation of Books and Records 42
Function 3 - Customer Protection 24
Function 4 - Net Capital 41
Function 5 - Funding and Cash Management 13

Learn more about exam protocols and logistics here: On the Day of Your Exam.

Key Questions

1. What is the difference between the Series 27 and Series 28?

The Financial and Operations Principal Examination (Series 27) and the Introducing Broker/Dealer Financial and Operations Principal Examination (Series 28) are required by FINRA for the individual who prepares and maintains the books and records of the member as required under securities industry rules and regulations.

Broker/dealers that have a minimum net capital requirement of $250,000 and municipal securities brokers that have a minimum net capital requirement of $150,000 under SEC Rule 15c3-1, must register as Series 27s.

The Series 28 on the other hand is an abbreviated version of the Series 27. All other broker/dealers may use Series 28.

[NASD Membership and Registration Rules 1022(b) and 1022(c) - Limited Principal Financial and Operations and Limited Principal Introducing Broker/Dealer Financial and Operations]

Using Reference Material

The test administrator will provide whiteboard/dry erase marker and basic electronic calculators to the candidates, which must be returned to the test center administrator at the end of the testing session. Some test questions involve calculations. Only the provided calculators may be used during the examination.

The examination may contain questions that require the use of exhibits (e.g., charts, graphs, tables). If so, the questions will indicate when to refer to an exhibit.

Candidates are not permitted to bring any reference materials to testing sessions. Severe penalties are imposed on candidates who cheat or attempt to cheat on FINRA administered examinations.

To learn more about logistics and protocols for your exam day, please see On The Day of Your Exam.