For an organization planning to undergo a SOC1 or SOC2 service audit for the first time, it can be difficult to discern whether your IT control environment adequately meets the requirements necessary to receive an unqualified opinion. Considering the lengthy nature of a SOC engagement, most organizations invest upfront in a SOC Readiness Assessment to avoid or reduce the chance of receiving a reporting exception or qualified option.

 

Defining Scope

A major benefit that a SOC Readiness Assessment offers is in the identification of the “in-scope” services that will be subject to a SOC examination. Narrowing the focus to cover the areas wherein a user entity (i.e.  client) would be affected, while eliminating information not applicable to these services, focuses testing and saves company staff from spending time on items “out-of-scope”.

 

Gap Assessment

After “in-scope” services, including their processes and systems, have been discerned, the auditor begins to search for control gaps wherein controls are either lacking operational effectiveness or simply not in-place. These gaps, if undetected by an organization’s internal team prior to an audit, could have negatively impacted the opinion, but now that they have been pinpointed, they can be fixed prior to beginning the audit process in earnest.

 

Remediation Period

After the completion of the assessment, a client remediation period begins. The length of this process is dependent on the proactive nature of the company and/or the number of gaps identified that require internal adjustments to remedy them. It is important to note that, at least in advance of the audit, any detected gap will not be listed in either a SOC1 or SOC2 report as the audit has not officially started. A second remediation period may occur after the official audit depending on the findings of the auditor. In the event that a finding needs to be remediated, if a client takes appropriate action it will not be listed in a SOC1 report, but a SOC2 report will note the finding and any corrective action taken to fix it.

Finding the Right Help

Whether your customers are asking for your SOC1 or SOC2 or you are taking steps to secure future business, Boulay is ready to help you get there. Understanding the intricacies of the examination process, our Technology Risk Advisory team is committed to making the complex simple. Contact our team today to receive expert advice that promises to provide what you need without breaking the bank.