How To Scope a SOC 2 Audit

One of the most common questions we hear from clients and colleagues is how do you scope a SOC 2 audit? Based on our experience, here are some best practices for determining the scope of your audit.

First, choose the services that will be in scope.

  • For small organizations and startups, there is usually one umbrella service for the audit and the entire company will be in scope.
  • For large organizations with multiple service lines, there may only be a few service lines that need to be included. Only include the services that will be relevant to the needs of the users of the report.
  • The audit can also be limited to specific business units or subsidiaries if service lines are clearly defined.
  • Office locations may need to be considered if service lines are location-dependent.

Next, for each included service, determine the following components that make up the boundaries of the system:

  • Infrastructure
  • Software
  • People
  • Data
  • Procedures

Third, determine which SOC 2 Categories (Availability, Confidentiality, Processing Integrity, Privacy) should be included in addition to the Security Category.

  • For most organizations, Security, Availability, and Confidentiality will be the most appropriate ones to include.
  • Finally, determine the as of date for a Type 1 or the audit period for a Type 2 that will be covered.
  • Typically, your customers will expect a Type 2 period to cover six to 12 months in order to rely on it.

Schneider Downs employs a unique approach to SOC reports, integrating the expertise of information technology, internal audit and external audit professionals. By combining cross-disciplinary knowledge and project management expertise, we are able to effectively deliver on our clients' expectations. If you are interested in learning how we can assist your organization, please contact us to get started or learn more about our practice at

About SOC 2 Reports

With SOC 2 reports, organizations decide which categories to include in the scope of the examination. This flexibility means reports are unique to each company, while providing a consistent framework to evaluate whether organizations meet the criteria for the categories included in the examination. These examinations are designed for a broad range of users that need information and assurance about the controls at a service organization relevant to security, availability and processing integrity of the systems the service organization uses to process users’ data, and the confidentiality and privacy of the information processed by these systems. The use of this report is restricted. These reports can play an important role in oversight of the organization, vendor management programs, and internal corporate governance and risk management processes.

Schneider Downs SOC Resources

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Material discussed is meant for informational purposes only, and it is not to be construed as investment, tax, or legal advice. Please note that individual situations can vary. Therefore, this information should be relied upon when coordinated with individual professional advice.

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