More service providers recognize the importance of obtaining a System and Organization Controls (SOC) Report. SOC reports provide independent assurance that your service organization has the right controls in place to address the risks related to security and business. Created by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), a SOC report is a thorough audit of a service organization’s (SO) controls (systems, processes and policies). Service providers recognize a SOC report can be the difference between winning and losing a client. Think about it: If a prospect is considering two equal vendors, but only one has obtained independent testing of its controls, which do you think the client will choose?
However, embarking on the SOC audit is not for the faint of heart. It shouldn’t be approached lightly, as it requires attention to detail, good resources and time. Depending on your level of readiness and the report type, the process can take anywhere from a few months to a year or longer from start to finish for organizations new to the process. Mature organizations can expect a shorter timeline – assuming they already have the necessary controls, processes and technologies in place.