Nobody likes the sound of the word, audit. It implies spending precious time gathering and providing information and trying to come up with answers to tough questions. Meanwhile, your everyday duties and responsibilities are piling up at your desk and in your inbox, just waiting for you to return to business as usual. So what would any service organization stand to benefit from a SSAE 16/SOC audit? Here are 5 benefits that will have you calling your accountant faster than you can say Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagement No. 16.
1. Establish Trust
When you’re working with other people’s financial data or sensitive information, what more can you offer besides trust to your clients? It’s one thing to say that the systems you have in place are secure, but your word will only go so far in earning the trust of clients. A SSAE 16 report performed by an independent auditor proves to clients that the systems and controls you have in place are secure and effective.
2. Save Time and Money
As I alluded to at the beginning of this post, audits can be time consuming and suck up valuable company resources. How then, will having a SSAE 16 report save your company time? Well, if you have a current report, it can be used any time an organization requests an audit. If you don’t, you could face multiple user organizations’ auditors individually, repeating the process with each and every request.
3. Identify and Correct Inefficiencies
Even though you likely have internal audit procedures in place, they might not be as thorough as an independent audit. Or, more likely, your internal auditors fall into the mindset of, Well that’s just how we’ve always done things. Sometimes processes or systems that are simply standard procedure or the way things have always been done are the processes that are most in need of updating. A third-party auditor will likely catch inefficiencies or areas for improvement within your service organization that will end up saving you time and money in the long run.
4. Expand Your Client Base to Public Companies
Publicly traded companies are required to use service providers that are SSAE 16 qualified. Public corporations have to answer to investors, who want to see that next level of security and control in their service providers. Having a SSAE 16/SOC audit will expand your market beyond privately held companies to include public corporations.
5. Become Best Friends with Your Auditor
This is a benefit, I promise! By the end of your SSAE 16/SOC audit, your auditors will know your business inside and out. You’ll be able to take advantage of this valuable resource long after the audit is complete. Any time you have a question you can refer to this trusted, knowledgeable resource to help navigate even the toughest business decisions.
If you think your service organization could benefit from a SSAE 16/SOC audit, be proactive and get the process started now. Yes, it requires a small investment of time and resources, but the benefits greatly outweigh the cost if you get a head start on the process.