Service organizations receive significant value from having an SSAE 16 examination performed. An SSAE 16 report with an unqualified opinion issued by an independent CPA firm differentiates your company from your peers by demonstrating that your company has achieved a defined set of control objectives relevant to your specific industry, your controls are effectively designed, and, in the case of a Type 2 report, that the controls are operating effectively over a period of time.
The SSAE 16 report will not only help your company build trust with existing customers, but it can also help you better position yourself in the marketplace to attract new clients. A clean SSAE 16 report can put small to mid-sized companies on a level playing field with some of their larger competitors. Today, most requests for proposals require service organizations to have the SSAE 16 examination. In fact, by not having the SSAE 16 examination, you face the likelihood of being eliminated from an opportunity before even having the chance to bid.
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires that publicly traded companies that outsource a portion of their processes obtain the SSAE 16 report from their service organization. The SSAE 16 report can effectively replace the need for a company to be subject to multiple audits from its customers and their respective auditors. Multiple visits from auditors can place a huge burden on a company’s limited resources. The SSAE 16 report ensures that all customers and their auditors have access to the same information. In many cases, this will satisfy the user auditor’s requirements.
The SSAE 16 may also help companies recognize significant efficiencies in their business processes as well as improvement in their controls and control environment through value added recommendations from the service auditor.