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Series 27 – Financial and Operations Principal Exam

The Series 27 exam — the Financial and Operations Principal Qualification Exam (FN) — assesses the competency of an entry-level principal to perform their job as a financial and operations principal. 

The exam measures the degree to which each candidate possesses the knowledge needed to perform the critical functions of a financial and operations principal, including the financial responsibilities, rules and recordkeeping requirements of broker-dealers.

For more information about the Series 27 exam, refer to FINRA Rule 1210 and FINRA Rule 1220(a)(4).


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. 

The outline is comprised of the five major job functions of a financial and operations principal. The table below lists the allocation of exam items for each major job function:

Major Job Functions Number of Exam Items
(F1) Financial Reporting 25
(F2) Operations, General Securities Industry Regulations, and Preservation of Books and Records 42
(F3) Customer Protection 24
(F4) Net Capital 41
(F5) Funding and Cash Management 13
TOTAL 145

Eligibility

Candidates must be associated with and sponsored by a FINRA member firm or other applicable self-regulatory organization (SRO) member firm to be eligible to take FINRA principal-level qualification exams. For more information on registration requirements, refer to FINRA Rule 1210.

The Series 27 does not have a corequisite exam. 

For more information on the registration process, see Register a New Candidate


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

Key Questions

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

The Financial and Operations Principal Exam (Series 27) and the Introducing Broker-Dealer Financial and Operations Principal Exam (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 pass the Series 27 exam.

All other broker-dealers are permitted to take the Series 28 exam, which is an abbreviated version of the Series 27.

[FINRA Registration Rules 1220(a)(4)]