Because they are often less involved and less time-consuming, SOC Type 1 reports are usually completed faster than SOC Type 2 reports. The additional 3-12 month review required in a Type 2 audit is the key factor increasing the timeline for the overall review. Internal preparation for the audit typically takes anywhere from 1-5 months depending on the size and scope of the company. After that, a rapid SOC 2 Type 1 report may be completed in as little as four weeks, and an expanded SOC 2 Type 2 audit takes as much as 18 months. How long it takes to get SOC 2 compliance is ultimately answered based on whether or not you choose Type 1 or Type 2 and the scope and size of the project, and can range anywhere from one month to over one year.
A Type 1 report — the snapshot audit, or test of design— generates a report just based on one date. The Type 2 audit, or test of operating effectiveness — carried out over multiple months — is an expanded report. Reports should include an opinion letter, management assertion, a detailed description of the system or service, details of the selected trust services categories, tests of controls along with the results of that testing, and other additional detail as needed. The audit also specifies whether or not the organization is in compliance with the AICPA SOC 2 trust services criteria. The length of the final report can range anywhere from 25-100+ pages, or even outside of that.
SOC 2 reports often begin with a Type 1 report and are followed up the next year and in subsequent years with Type 2 reports. It’s recommended that companies run a SOC 2 annually because any report older than one year is considered stale, and is not valuable for the company or their partners and vendors.
SOC 2 audit cost varies widely based on a company’s readiness assessment state, timeline, the size and scope of the company and whether they choose a Type 1 or Type 2 audit to reach SOC 2 compliance. Yet, the SOC 2 price is a worthwhile investment, as certification positions a company to be more attractive to partners and vendors in a competitive marketplace where maintaining customer data security and compliance is more important than ever.
Many businesses consider how to keep the cost of a SOC 2 audit down. One thing to consider is that a SOC 2 audit is different when companies use a cloud-based governance, risk management and compliance platform like AuditBoard. Companies can lower the cost of a SOC 2 audit with the benefit of integrated GRC software that helps companies accelerate their compliance goals, increase efficiency and improve overall compliance culture. See how AuditBoard can help position your company to kick off a readiness assessment and gear up to lock in a SOC 2 review.