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AICPA Guides are developed and updated to provide guidance and discussions specific to current industry developments and trends. This guide Reporting on Controls at a Service Organization Relevant to Security, Availability, Processing Integrity, Confidentiality, or Privacy (SOC 2SM) provides “how-to” guidance for service auditors performing examinations under AT section 101, Attest Engagements (AICPA, Professional Standards), to report on a service organization’s controls over its system relevant to security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, or privacy, commonly referred to as a service organization controls (SOC) 2 engagement.
Updated as of March 1, 2012, the guide includes relevant guidance contained in applicable standards and other technical sources. It explains the relationship between a service organization and its user entities, provides examples of service organizations including those that provide cloud computing services, identifies the criteria in Trust Service Principles and Criteria as the criteria to be used to evaluate the design and operating effectiveness of controls, explains the difference between a type 1 and type 2 SOC 2SM report and provides an overview of the three reporting options for CPAs reporting on controls at a service organization. It describes the matters to be considered and procedures to be performed by the service auditor in planning and performing the engagement to test (1) the fairness of the presentation of management’s description of the service organization’s system; (2) the suitability of the design and operating effectiveness of the controls included in the description; and (3) in a SOC 2 engagement that addresses the privacy principle, whether the service organization complied with the commitments in its statement of privacy practices. It also covers the service auditor’s responsibilities when reporting on a SOC 2 engagement.
This guide update includes a new comprehensive illustrative type 2 SOC 2 report which contains all of the components of a type 2 SOC 2 report. In addition, it includes expanded information on unique challenges and risks service auditor will encounter in performing SOC 2 or SOC 3SM engagements for cloud computing service organizations.