In Part 1 of our SOC 2 software blog series, we took a look at what this kind of software can and can’t do for your organization. It’s important to understand the limitations of automated SOC 2 software, as they are often promoted as being able to save you time and money. But is that really the case?
When choosing a SOC 2 compliance software vendor, it’s important to keep a few considerations in mind, as your decision now might impact your business down the road:
- What kind of licensing or other cost implications are required for this tool?
- Will your vendor offer ongoing support and training for your organization?
- Are you able to customize the tool to the security concerns of your specific service organization and industry? Or does the tool simply use standardized controls?
- Are the policies and procedures processed by the tool templated? or do you have the option to customize them to your organization?
- How does the tool collect information necessary for management to review?
- How will the tool generate evidence? Will your organization have the ability to manage records?
It’s important to be familiar with the necessary requirements with it comes to your tool’s capabilities, as your organization will still have it’s own responsibilities to fulfill come audit time. Just because you have a software tool in place, it doesn’t absolve your organization of these key requirements:
- Your tool provider will not be able to be held responsible for any necessary SOC 2 examination duties.
- Your organization will be required to understand how your tool works and whether or not is it operating within expected parameters.
- Software tools can often pull in unnecessary information. Your organization will still be required to evaluate the completeness of any collected data.
- Does your tool of choice use templated policies? Your organization will still be required to produce unique procedures and materials that are tailored to your business.
- Your organization will still be responsible for the design and operating effectiveness of your controls. You’ll also be responsible for the collection of evidence, even if that is a function of your tool.
Believe it or not, a CPA auditing firm will still be required to sign off on a compliance report generated by an automated tool. Your service auditor will still need to review and confirm the information before completing the report to ensure that all responsibilities have been met. This could cause unwanted delays or an increase in cost that your organization wasn’t expecting.
Why would a service auditor need to complete these steps?
- Any policy, assessment, or procedure will need to be analyzed to ensure that it is fully tailored to your organization.
- Your organizations controls, as reported by the tool, will need to be fully reviewed and doublechecked to ensure all risks have been appropriately addressed.
- Management will still need to take responsibility for and be able to demonstrably operate controls while under audit. They will also need to be able to take responsibility of any data collected by your tool.
- All information collected and reported by the software will have to be reviewed for completeness.
As you can imagine, there is still a lot of work to be done, even if you are utilizing SOC 2 software, but SOC 2 reporting doesn’t have to be difficult. Eliminate the back-and-forth by ensuring that your examination is completed by a qualified auditor. If you’re ready to get started, contact Auditwerx today.