Regulatory Compliance, Governance and Security

May 4 2009   4:20PM GMT

SAS 70 Certification | Expert Advice on Type I and Type II SAS 70 Audits

Charles Denyer Charles Denyer Profile: Charles Denyer

SAS 70 Certification is everywhere these days, or so it seems. From small start-up organizations to large multi-national corporations, many people have been hit by the SAS 70 bug. What’s also interesting to note are the vast differences you can see when comparing two SAS 70 reports. In short, no two reports look the same. Is this a good thing or something wrong with the auditing industry? It’s actually a little bit of both, to be honest. The good thing is that it allows auditors to customize the reports as they see fit for the client. The bad thing is that many times a SAS 70 audit does not conform to an acceptable scope or standards of testing for control objectives.

Either way, what you need to know about SAS 70 Type I and Type II audits is that the SAS 70 certification process (and by the way, use the word “certification” is technically incorrect, as a SAS 70 audit does not certify anything, rather you have complied with the auditing standard, thus it should be called “SAS 70 compliant”) is highly flexible, this based in part on the rather “flexible” auditing standards that are in place. So, you need to properly identify the scope of the audit, and by doing so, you ensure that your organization ends up receiving a quality SAS 70 Service Auditor’s Report.

As for scope, you need to identify a number of parameters, such as:
1. Is my organization doing a Type I or a Type II?
2. If a Type II, what is the test period?
3. Are there any business processes or functions to be tested in the audit, or is it just a general controls SAS 70
4. Where are the physical locations that are included in the scope of the audit?
5. What third party outsourcing entities that my organization is using are to be considered part of the scope of the audit?
6. Has my organization developed control objectives that are considered acceptable for testing by the auditors?

To learn more about SAS 70 audits or to receive a free sample SAS 70 Type II audit in pdf format, visit the official SAS 70 Resource Guide.

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