The deliverable given to an organization at the conclusion of the SOC Report timeframe covers many elements. Among the most important information within the report is the auditor’s opinion. This supplies the organization with the overall belief of the auditor, after they have reviewed all findings.
In this blog, let’s look at those opinions and go over the basics of what they mean.
Unqualified: Should the auditor share this opinion; it means that they support all the findings outlined in the report. They pose no changes or further feedback. This opinion is usually simply stated within the deliverable and the auditor will not provide further notes.
Qualified: A bit more concerning of an opinion but not necessarily fully negative in nature, the qualified opinion translates to a neutral-type position from the auditor. The auditor is not in a position to issue the unqualified opinion, but at the same time does not feel as though the issues they see are overly persuasive or troublesome. With this opinion, the auditor will usually elaborate as to how they came to his conclusion.
Adverse: When this opinion is given, the auditor does in fact believe there are persuasive issues within the report. This opinion is not a favorable one and generally means the auditor does not feel as though the systems that have been reviewed should be trusted. Again, the auditor should provide additional information when issuing his opinion. The feedback of the auditor is crucial in this case and should be reviewed in great detail.
Disclaimer: Think of this opinion as the auditor throwing their hands up in the air. They are not able to form an opinion to issue currently. This could be due to lack of information, timing issues and more. It is important to review the auditor’s notes here so their indifference can be fully understood.
Should you have questions about the auditor opinions issues within SOC Reports, or about the SOC deliverable, please reach out to our team. We would be happy to assist you.