Pursuing a SOC 2 audit brings value to your organization in a number of ways. The in-depth audit provides you with increased insight into your security posture and gives you a better understanding of your opportunities to improve controls and processes. A SOC 2 audit also provides a competitive advantage and boost to your organization’s reputation — customers and prospects can rest assured knowing your organization takes security seriously.
A SOC 2 audit isn’t just a one-time exercise. The audit must be renewed yearly. Consistently renewing your SOC 2 audit builds continuity with your controls and processes and helps to ensure that everything you put in place continues to function as needed.
The renewal process may sound time consuming at first, given how in-depth the initial SOC 2 audit process can be for an organization. But renewals don’t have to be a burden.
Here are some tips and tricks to help navigate the renewal process so you can save time and money, and use internal resources strategically.
1. Work with the Same Auditor
If you were happy with your service during the initial SOC 2 audit, work with the same vendor for the renewal process. Working with the same auditor year after year will create efficiencies in the audit process. The vendor will become familiar with your environment and internal processes, and you’ll avoid the time-consuming task of onboarding a new audit firm each year — which can take weeks.
If the vendor uses compliance automation software to streamline the evidence collection or audit process (like A-SCEND), you may also benefit from rollover features within that technology. Rollover features automatically collect and update information based on what was collected into the system in past efforts. This speeds up the evidence collection process and can condense your renewal timeline greatly.
2. Consider a Multi-Year Bundle
Oftentimes auditors will offer a multi-year bundle package, allowing you to pay upfront for a certain number of SOC 2 renewals. It’s a great way to save money in the long run — and plan your budget ahead of time. With a multi-year bundle, you lock into a certain price per renewal. Otherwise, renewal prices may increase year over year as your business scales and the economy changes.
At A-LIGN, we offer a three-year bundle package for customers. The bundle includes access to our SOC 2 certified experts, as well as use of our compliance automation software, A-SCEND, which streamlines the audit process for your team. With A-SCEND, you’ll have access to automated readiness assessments, automated evidence collection, continuous monitoring, policy center, and more, making your audit process more efficient.
3. Allocate Internal Resources
Continuity on the auditor side is great — as is continuity within your organization. It’s helpful to utilize the same internal resources each year (when possible) to manage the SOC 2 audit and renewal process.
The initial SOC 2 review process requires a lot of heavy lifting. But subsequent years tend to be more efficient because your team has a better understanding of what is required based on the prior year. Each year gets easier and the more consistency you can create within your internal SOC 2 leads, the better.
Renew Your SOC 2 with A-LIGN
A-LIGN is the top issuer of SOC 2 reports in the world. We combine industry expertise and a leading compliance automation software platform to make the SOC 2 audit and renewal process seamless for your team.
Contact us today to speak to a SOC 2 expert about the SOC 2 renewal process and our multi-year bundle options.