SOC 2 – The Importance of Leadership Buy-In

In our experience, there is one key factor that almost always leads to a successful SOC 2 audit— leadership buy-in. So why is leadership buy-in so important to SOC 2 audits?

Without it, the SOC 2 audit will be a very unpleasant experience for both the CPA firm and the client personnel involved with the audit. Here are some key reasons having supportive leadership sets your SOC 2 report up for success:

  • Multiple teams will be involved – leadership will need to communicate to team leaders that participation from them will be valued.
  • New processes/controls – leadership will need to communicate the importance of changes to the organization.
  • Potential increase in security spend – you may need additional funding for products, tools and people.
  • Audits take time to do right – SOC 2 audits can take anywhere from 6 to 12 months to complete. Leadership should understand this, so the audit isn't rushed to meet customer/prospect demands.
  • External communication – leadership will need to ensure communication with external parties on progress and completion is consistent.
  • Prioritization – leadership will need to prioritize the audit so that personnel are given the necessary time to prepare and work on the audit.
  • Culture shift – SOC 2 audits are the first step in your journey to a strong culture of security. If leadership doesn't believe this, then the audit will become an annual "check the box" exercise.

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 www.schneiderdowns.com/soc

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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The Schneider Downs Our Thoughts On blog exists to create a dialogue on issues that are important to organizations and individuals. While we enjoy sharing our ideas and insights, we’re especially interested in what you may have to say. If you have a question or a comment about this article – or any article from the Our Thoughts On blog – we hope you’ll share it with us. After all, a dialogue is an exchange of ideas, and we’d like to hear from you. Email us at [email protected].

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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