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Do You REALLY Need a SOC 2 Report?

Data service providers-- especially smaller companies and startups-- are usually on the lookout for ways to cut costs and accomplish more with less. Cost cutting represents a legitimate path to growth and business efficiency, and it seems clear that companies with a wasteful approach to ROI don’t thrive, or even survive, for very long. So as regulatory consultants, we often hear a common question from our efficient, growth minded clients: “Do we REALLY need a SOC 2 report?”

In other words, company decision makers want to understand the stakes. Are SOC 2 reports a legal obligation? Will non-compliance result in financial penalties? What happens if the company “fails” a SOC 2 audit? …And so on.

Our answers sometimes vary based on unique circumstances, but in most cases, we strongly advise SOC 2 compliance, even though the five “Trust Service Principles” that comprise a SOC 2 report are voluntary from a legal standpoint.

What are the benefits and returns of a clean SOC 2 report?

If SOC 2 reporting is voluntary, why make it a top priority? Here’s why: because cyber security and reliable data management are essential to strong client relationships. Customers rely on the strength of a company’s internal controls, for both their financial security and the protection of valuable data. And clients and partners are more likely to sign contracts with companies that can produce a clean report.

What are the auditing requirements applied to SOC 2 reporting?

Auditors follow guidelines from the AICPA, however each auditor uses his or her discretion when applying the five Trust Service Principles. This means that an auditor with a strong reputation will provide a report that holds more value for potential enterprise clients. 

For data management or cloud service providers, the riskiest path to success will involve foregoing an audit altogether. The path of least risk will involve obtaining a clean report from a highly rated SOC 2 auditor.  

How can we obtain an affordable process and a clean SOC 2 report provided by an auditor with high value?

Contact our team and arrange a consultation. We can help you map out the steps you’ll need to take to attain SOC 2 compliance, and we’ll review your current data management infrastructure so you’re prepared to move though the process with minimal expense and complications.