Communication is essential in completing a SOC report and it starts in the planning process. Our planning begins with a kickoff call. The kickoff call is used to make introductions, identify key players, and points of contact. We also begin the process of understanding the services on which we will be providing an opinion. Where a readiness assessment has been requested, we establish the dates for the readiness work (for first-time SOC reporters) and/or fieldwork (for recurring clients). In readiness, we assess the data flow of the services, identify controls, and provide a gap analysis of controls that may need implementation or improvement. The planning and readiness process is critical to creating open communication designed to obtain maximum efficiencies that will be realized in the Type 2 reporting process.