SAS 70 pricing is much like that of a roller coaster ride. I’ve personally seen the wild swings in the market within the last 3 to 5 years. How volatile has pricing been? Quite a bit and it’s based on a number of issues currently facing the market. Thus, the more informed you are, the more information you will have to make an informed decision on who to use and why.
As recently as three years ago, the number of providers were relatively small, thus fees were at a level where not much compromise was given by CPA firms in regards to pricing. Well, the SAS 70 fanfare is alive and now well, with dozens and dozens of firms providing these audits. And truthfully, its justifiable to see prices come down as more competition results in lower fees. Hey, it is capitalism, right?
Please be aware though that there are a number of CPA firms practicing in states without licenses. Additionally, many of these CPA firms never actually do the work; rather they use outsourced personnel. In short, if you receive a low fee, be cautious because they may not of gone through the licensing requirements for a respective state and may simply be outsourcing the work to I.T. contractors at greatly reduced rates. These conditions, and more, affect the quality of the report and the validity of the report, so buyer beware. This is just an introduction to the pricing issue. Stay in touch, as I will have much, much more to say on this issue regarding SAS 70 audits.