System and Organization Controls (SOC) examinations were designed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) to assist organizations of any size, industry and scope in protecting the personal assets of their potential and existing customers. Learn about the different SOC report types and how you can use them to elevate your organization and build trust with your customer base.
These internal controls reports provide valuable information that users of outsourced services need to assess and respond to the risks over services provided by service organizations. Key issues like security, availability, confidentiality, processing integrity and privacy are reported and documented.
SOC 1 audits (SSAE No. 16) are designed to examine and validate internal control over financial reporting (ICFR). A SOC1 gives great insight into the accuracy and completeness of both financial transactions and monetary reporting to ensure that internal operations are running smoothly and customer and client data is being securely gathered and protected.
There are two main types of SOC 1 audits. SOC 1 Type 1 and SOC 1 Type 2 reports both provide information about service organization controls and processes related to financial reporting. The main distinction between the two is that a SOC 1 Type 1 provides an attestation of controls at a specific point in time, while a SOC 1 Type 2 provides information for a period of six months or more. Both can give insight into the quality of the controls’ design and implementation, but a Type 2 also gives a clearer picture of their historical effectiveness.
A SOC 2 audit has to do with non-financial information about a service organization’s reporting controls, this time related to Trust Services Criteria, which we listed above as security, availability, confidentiality, processing integrity and privacy. A SOC2 ensures that the controls at a service organization are protecting all other forms of customer and client data.
There are two main types of SOC 2 audits. SOC 2 Type 1 and SOC 2 Type 2 are distinguished from each other in the same way that SOC 1 audits are: Type 1 is related to the quality of the organization’s controls at a specific point in time while Type 2 provides historical data on their effectiveness. But, instead of reporting on financial controls, SOC 2 Type 1 and SOC 2 Type 2 will provide insight on the many other forms of Trust Services Criteria.
In addition to SOC 2 reports, a SOC 3 can be requested. A SOC 3 is typically a redacted form of a SOC 2 report, which removes any proprietary and/or confidential information so it can be made publicly available (for example, on a website).
The key difference between a SOC 1 and a SOC 2 audit is that SOC 1 is an examination of controls at a service organization that are likely to be relevant to a user entity’s internal control over financial reporting, while a SOC 2 examines controls relevant to security, processing integrity, confidentiality, availability and privacy. Having both SOC 1 and SOC 2 compliance goes a long way toward elevating your organization.
Related to our SOC service portfolio, we have extensive experience that includes:
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