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What is a SOC Audit?

February 19, 2021

Preparing for you first System & Organization Controls (SOC) audit? Here’s what you should know.

Do you provide critical outsourced services to your customers? Your customers might expect you to have a System and Organization Control (SOC) report in place, which requires an audit. This is especially important if you’re a technology company. Let’s dive into the basics of SOC audits.

SOC Audits

A System & Organization Control (SOC) audit is a report on the internal controls at a service organization (a business who provides services to other entities). SOC audits are a great way for customers to ensure that service providers are practicing safe and secure controls and protecting personal data.

Trust is essential to building successful relationships between entities and their third-party business associates. To build and maintain confidence in the systems and controls that protect sensitive data, users of service organizations rely heavily on SOC reporting.

There are three types of SOC reports:

SOC 1- This report focuses solely on a service organization’s relevant internal controls over financial reporting.
SOC 2- This report addresses controls at the service organization related to operations and compliance using the Trust Services Criteria framework for the Security, Availability, Processing Integrity, Confidentiality and Privacy principles
SOC 3- This is a condensed version of SOC2, intended for general distribution

How do you get started with a SOC audit?

  1. Define your objectives. What is the purpose of the report? Is a SOC report the right report for you or is another IT Framework (ISO, CoBIT, NIST) also required ?
  2. Determine the scope of the audit. Do you need both a SOC 1 and SOC 2 or one or the other?
  3. Address regulatory compliance concerns. Healthcare companies, are you HIPAA and HITECH compliant?
  4. Write out policies and procedures. Your written rules and policies can help guide the auditor performing the audit.
  5. Conduct a ‘readiness assessment’. Are you prepared for a SOC audit?
  6. Contact a CPA at a trusted firm. When you are ready for a SOC audit, your CPA will help ease the process for you.

A SOC audit can help your organization reach maximum potential with respect to your operational, financial and clinical success. We can help you get started with a SOC Audit. Contact us today.

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