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Renewing Your SOC 2 Report: What You Should Know

February 01, 2024

A SOC 2 report is a critical asset for any organization as it shows your business’ commitment to security and compliance. Obtaining a SOC 2 is just the start…your existing and potential clients most likely will require you to renew the report every 12 months. Here’s what you should know.

Have you pursued a SOC 2 audit for your organization? If not, you really should consider doing so. A SOC 2 report gives you valuable insight into the controls and processes of your organization and identifies opportunities for improvement in the areas of Security, Availability, Processing Integrity, Confidentiality and Privacy.

Moreover, not having a SOC 2 report will likely result in your losing out on potential customers. The SOC report is requested by potential customers (third parties) as part of due diligence procedures. As a result, you will be automatically excluded from potential opportunities if one is not completed and current.

“Having a SOC 2 examination (1,2 or 3) performed every year is critical to an organization – clients and potential clients will look to you to provide evidence as part of their due diligence process. Internally, a SOC examination provides management with an assessment of their environment to provide a level of comfort around a control reporting framework." Daniel M. Andrea, Partner

Key tips for renewing your SOC 2

Obtaining a SOC 2 examination should be done annually; here are some tips for you to consider each year prior to commencement of the examination.

  • Resolve prior year issues/exceptions: It seems simple but validate that all issues and exceptions from the prior year examination have been addressed.
  • Schedule a check in session with your auditor: You should try to have an interim meeting (or 2) with your auditor to discuss preliminary planning items, significant changes or obtain an update on any changes to the SOC 2 framework. Ideally, this would happen well in advance of the period end date of the examination to allow you time to address as necessary.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of your current controls: Similar to reviewing the previous year’s issues, review current controls and processes to identify any gaps or areas requiring improvement. These improvements would typically be new controls implemented since the previous examination.
  • Update policies and procedures: Ensure that your policies and procedures align with the latest SOC 2 framework and update them to reflect changes in your systems or operations.
"Prepping for your annual examination? I recommend you do three key things: (1) ensure that issues from the prior year have been addressed, (2) update your system descriptions as necessary throughout the year &; most importantly, (3) maintain a constant dialogue with your auditor to provide guidance as circumstances warrant.” Daniel M. Andrea, Partner
  • Update the System Description: A common misconception amongst small service organizations undergoing the SOC 2 examination is that the Service Auditor is responsible for authoring the company’s System Description. This is not true. Although the Service Auditor often assist companies in preparing the System Description, this is the company’s responsibility. As such, make sure that you update your System Description to reflect any changes to the environment since the last examination.
  • Conduct a comprehensive risk assessment: to identify and address new risks that may have emerged since the last audit. This includes updating your vendor risk assessments. This is and will continue to be a point of emphasis as we continue to migrate services to cloud providers.
  • Internal testing: Verify the functionality and effectiveness of your controls through internal testing. This step helps identify and address issues before the external audit.
  • Choose a qualified SOC 2 auditor to conduct the external audit. Ensure the auditor is independent and possesses the necessary expertise in SOC 2 compliance. Also, discuss the auditor’s approach and experience with dealing with organizations comparable to yours.
  • Review the audit findings with the auditor after the audit: Although not a preparatory phase, address any identified deficiencies or areas for improvement and implement corrective actions as necessary with your Service Auditor.

Need help renewing your SOC 2 report? We can help.

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