How To Speed Up Your SOC 2 Audit Without Breaking A Sweat

Wesley Van Zyl

Senior Compliance Success Manager


What’s the fastest way to pass a SOC 2 audit? Simple: you need to plan carefully and avoid taking any shortcuts. Hmmm…that might sound paradoxical but we’ve seen way too many businesses attempt to rush through the compliance process and suffer the consequences: delays, high costs and unsuccessful audits.

With a little planning and focus on what matters most, you can get the clean audit report you want without the headaches. So take a deep breath and keep reading – we’ll have you feeling audit-ready in no time.

Understanding the SOC 2 Audit Process

To speed up your SOC 2 audit, it’s important to first understand what’s involved. A SOC 2 audit evaluates your organization’s controls relevant to security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality or privacy of a system or service. The auditor will check that you have policies and procedures in place to meet the trust services criteria.

  • Documentation Review: The auditor will review documentation like system descriptions, security manuals, and operating procedures. 
  • Interviews: Auditors will interview key personnel and perform walkthroughs to confirm that controls are implemented properly. 
  • Testing: Auditors will test a sample of controls to ensure they are operating effectively. Provide any accounts, system access or tools needed to perform testing. 

Tips to Speed Up Your SOC 2 Audit Report

Prepare in Advance

The key to speeding up your SOC 2 audit is preparation. Gather all relevant documents like security policies, data flow diagrams, and access control matrices ahead of time. Review them to ensure they are up-to-date and compliant with SOC 2 audit requirements. The less time your auditor spends chasing down information, the faster the audit will go.

Designate a Point Person

Appoint a member of your team to be the main contact for the auditor. This point person should be knowledgeable about your security controls and available to provide information or clarification as needed. Having a single contact helps the auditor work more efficiently instead of fielding questions from multiple team members.

Know When to Ask For Help

The good news is that with effective planning and a methodical approach to implementing SOC 2, you can be assured of a fast and smooth SOC 2 experience, and that you’re on your way to a successful audit report. However, there’s an important caveat. All the planning in the world won’t take you very far if you lack real world experience with SOC 2 and are not 100% sure of SOC 2 best practices.  

But to be perfectly honest,  since SOC 2 is such a highly specialized and complex process, it’s rare to find teams that  know what to do right off the bat. With the right guidance and access to the appropriate tools though, SOC 2 compliance really can be fast and efficient.  

In short, you need a guide. That may sound like it adds another layer of cost and complexity to compliance. But actually, the right SOC 2 partner will assure SOC 2 success, while significantly saving you time and costs.

To appreciate why, let’s consider some of the ways the right SOC 2 partner can help your business.

soc 2 audit

Know Which Compliance Tools to Use

A big mistake when implementing SOC 2 is to rely on outdated manual processes which often leads to errors and wastes time. Automation to streamline the SOC 2 compliance process makes all the difference, but you need the right tools for the job. 

At Scytale, we developed software especially designed to overcome the SOC 2 compliance challenges we’ve identified in the real world, and to make compliance efficient and easier to achieve. We also guide our clients on which technologies and methodologies will best help them meet their objectives.

In a nutshell, automating your SOC 2 compliance reduces tons of workloads, and in return, cuts the hours spent on your SOC 2 project significantly.

Eliminate the Possibility of Oversights 

SOC 2 involves long, complex checklists and it’s easy to neglect something or get too focused on irrelevant points. 

Once again, your compliance partner should help you find that balance, making sure you don’t miss anything important while ensuring your attention isn’t overly focused on irrelevant details. 

At the same time, utilizing a smart compliance tool, eliminates the risks of human error and enables organizations to sufficiently track and manage the status of their SOC 2 workflows. Again, reducing time spent on compliance through ensuring simplicity in the process. 

Objective Assessments

Your SOC 2 partner isn’t just a compliance expert, they provide fresh objective perspectives on your planning and implementation, which is critical for SOC 2 success.

Scytale’s compliance experts understand exactly what the SOC 2 auditor will be looking for, and  therefore can help customers objectively assess whether they meet those expectations. For example, when performing a Readiness Assessment there are often differences of opinion across the organization. Our experts will be able to gauge your actual readiness and ensure you have the knowledge and tools to effectively prepare for the audit. 

Receiving hands-on advisory services ensures you utilize your time on relevant processes and tasks for your SOC 2 project.

Understanding the Costs of SOC 2 Audit

The cost of a SOC 2 audit can vary widely, depending on several factors such as the size of the company, the complexity of its systems, and the scope of the audit. Generally, businesses can expect to invest anywhere from tens of thousands to over a hundred thousand dollars for a comprehensive SOC 2 examination. This cost covers the auditor’s fees, the time spent preparing for the audit, and any potential investments in improving IT infrastructure and security practices. While the expense may seem substantial, the investment is invaluable for businesses looking to cement their reputation as trustworthy stewards of customer data.

What is SOC 2 For, Anyway?

We’ve now covered some of the fine details such as the tools and practical applications, as well as how a good partner makes compliance much more efficient.  But there’s also the bigger picture to consider. It’s not something that you can really distill into a few points. For example: What are your goals as a business? What is SOC 2 really for in the context of your organization? How will you continue to harness SOC 2 to create and sustain real value in your business over the long term?

These aren’t technical questions about implementation. They’re strategic business decisions. And to get them right, it’s important to have a strategic compliance advisor that understands SOC 2 inside and out, from a technical and a business perspective.

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