Those needing a SOC Report have more places than ever to turn to for assistance. But not all SOC providers are created equal. Before you embark on the search for the right provider for your company or organization, there is one critical fact about the entire process to keep in mind.
Not just anyone can conduct a SOC Report and give you a credible deliverable. Only a licensed CPA firm or agency accredited by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) can be of service to you when it comes to SOC. It must also be proven that the auditor or auditing firm is a completely independent CPA, meaning they have no relationship or special knowledge of the organization they will be servicing.
If a provider you are considering cannot show these credentials, it is time to run the other way. As the need for SOC services continues to rise, so does the presence of unethical practices by certain providers. The ability to perform the service tends to be enough for some organizations to not do their research when selecting a provider. Just because a SOC provider says they check all the boxes, it does not mean they truly do. Be advised that the AICPA requires credited firms and providers to have experience in certain areas. These include understanding the professional standards of the AIPCA and certain audit standards that allow the provider to conduct the report to the best of their ability. A credited provider will also have a team that can accurately evaluate controls, knowing the ways in which they should have been created and implemented as well as their effectiveness.
So, before you make your final decision on who will assist you on your SOC Report journey, find out if they are accredited by the AICPA. Bette yet, ask to meet or learn more about the CPA who will be signing the final SOC Report. This exercise is too much of an undertaking and investment to not go with the right team. Holbrook & Manter is that team. Contact us today to learn more about our SOC services.