You’ve done a great job of building your service business to this point with hard work, trustworthiness, and client service leading to good referrals. But many current and potential clients need an additional level of assurance when it comes to outsourcing portions of their processes and services related to finances (such as payroll or billing), technology services, or any other service that requires you to have direct access to client data. Also, as your organization grows and as cybersecurity issues become more prevalent, clients are requesting an audit, certification, or completion of a security questionnaire—or even sending an auditor to your location.
And if the service you provide involves sensitive client data, such as personal private data from electronic patient health information or financial transactions, you may have to provide comfort to your clients for the Health Insurance Portability Act (HIPAA) or Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC). These customers will need to know how you address key issues such as security, availability, confidentiality, processing integrity, and privacy (also known as the Trust Service Principles).
If you are like many of our clients, you first heard about a SOC 1 report or SOC 2 report when one of your biggest clients or prospects requested that you provide one of these reports. Prior to that, you might not have even thought of your business as a “service organization”; you are simply running a company that helps other companies operate more efficiently and effectively. Suddenly, you learn that you need to undergo a new type of examination in order to maintain a valued client relationship or to win a critical new account.
Anxiety and questions are natural responses. What if your existing systems and processes are inadequate? Could you lose that client, or miss out on an opportunity to move upstream and work with a larger prospect? Do you have the resources to undertake this new examination? Where do you begin?
SOC REPORTING FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
At Auditwerx, we understand these fears, and we want to help alleviate them.
First, we answer your questions, such as:
- What is a SOC examination (referred to by some as a “compliance audit” or even by some as its predecessor “SAS 70 report”)?
- What are the differences between SOC 1, SOC 2, and SOC 3 reports? (Our Adding It Up Assessment Tool can help you answer some of your questions right away.)
- Which SOC report (or reports) do I need to provide the assurance my clients seek?
- How long will the SOC compliance audit process take?
- How much will the SOC 1, SOC 2, and/or SOC 3 report(s) cost?
- Establish your system boundaries,
- Identify controls for which your clients will be looking,
- Ensure your data will be maintained for the testing period,
- Identify gaps, and
- Allow you to resolve these gaps before testing begins.
This process makes the testing involved in the SOC 1, Type 2 or SOC 2, Type 2 reporting process efficient and effective—which translates into less time involvement for your valuable staff resources. In the end, the changes that result from the SOC report readiness assessment process help to ensure your SOC reporting standards make your business stronger and more marketable.
Auditwerx realizes that there’s never a convenient time to undergo a new compliance examination. Our team empowers service organizations by delivering clear and concise information that looks beyond compliance toward the bigger picture of building strong internal control processes that drive success for your business. Contact us below to to speak with our certified auditors today.