SOC examinations, also called SOC audits, are generally seen as a required exercise for various forms of compliance. Although this is true, they can also provide organizations with a tremendous amount of value beyond their innate compliance benefits. For one, SOC exams can be a great way to help grow your business.
What is a SOC exam?
A SOC exam, whether it is a SOC 1 or SOC 2, is designed to test the design and operating effectiveness of the internal controls. These internal controls are business processes that enable service organizations to provide accurate and secure services to their clients. A SOC exam will not only show that an organization has the right controls in place, but also that they have procedures in place to make sure that they are actually working.
The added benefits of a SOC exam
When a service organization commits to having a SOC exam, they are committing to maintaining a strong internal control environment. This commitment will result in a consistent, higher level of service to their clients. Providing a high level of customer service is one of the best ways to grow your business.
Plus, during the SOC audit process, there is commonly a separate deliverable known as a management letter that accompanies the SOC exam report. A management letter is a tool used by the SOC exam team to communicate best practice recommendations to the service organization’s management team. These recommendations are outside the scope of the SOC exam but will give the management team value-added feedback that can help to improve business processes and align with industry best practices.
How a SOC audit gives you a competitive advantage
SOC exams can also help in the sales process to acquire new clients. Companies in many industries now require a SOC exam as part of their new vendor due diligence activities. In these cases, a SOC exam is obviously essential.
However, a SOC exam can also be helpful in winning new business even when it is not contractually required. Often times new business is won as part of an RFP or a competitive bidding process. Organizations that have a SOC exam will have a distinct advantage over competitors that don’t have one. This is due to their willingness to commit to transparency on how their client’s data is treated. In the eyes of the potential customer, this commitment will allow the organization to stand out against their competition.
How Wipfli can help
Wipfli’s SOC exam team specializes in a variety of different industries. Contact us to learn more about how you can use your SOC exam to not only stay compliant but also help grow your business.
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