Organisations increasingly focus on their core competencies and outsource functions which are not core to their business. While this is a great thing for cost and efficiency, it also exposes the organisation to risk due to the uncertainty and lack of transparency over the outsourced processes and controls.
System and Organisation Controls (SOC) reporting seeks to provide greater transparency and comfort to the user organisation and its stakeholders. It involves an independent service auditor to test controls and provide an independent assurance opinion in accordance with a recognised standard. The report can then be shared with current and prospective clients as well as auditors and regulators.
Whether your organisation uses outsourced services, or you provide outsourced services to clients, SOC reporting is integral to provide transparency across all dimensions. SOC reports give companies confidence that service providers are operating in an ethical and compliant manner.
As a company who uses outsourced services, you may look to SOC reporting when:
- You are considering entering into an outsourced arrangement with a third party provider
- Assurance is required by external auditors or stakeholders
- You are unable to get assurance over controls operated on your behalf. This could be due to privacy, inability to perform site visits or not having the required skills in-house
As a company who provides outsourced services, a SOC report can:
- Provide an assurance mechanism by demonstrating the rigour of your control environment to existing and new clients
- Considerably reduce time and costs spent on responding to the need for assurance from multiple stakeholders. For example, when you have multiple requests from clients to allow them to perform their own reviews
- Retain privacy. This is particularly important when there is commercially sensitive data involved
SOC reports establish credibility and trustworthiness for a service provider — this means peace of mind if you’re the client, or an excellent marketing tool if you are providing services. Either way, SOC reports are incredibly useful and provide a competitive advantage that’s worth the investment.
At Mazars we are passionate about SOC reporting and have many years of experience working with clients requiring SOC reports, both as recipients in an external audit capacity as well as in helping organisations deliver SOC reports.
Our approach is personable and robust while also being pragmatic. We recognise that controls cannot be readily evidenced in a traditional face-to-face setting, so we use technology extensively, such as Microsoft Teams, to work closely with you to provide a seamless SOC experience, even in these uncertain times.
Want to learn more about SOC reporting and how it can help your organisation? Download our overview of SOC reporting, or get in touch with a member of the team below.