Benefits To Service Organizations
Service organizations can receive significant value from having a SSAE 16 examination performed. A Service Auditor's Report with an unqualified opinion that is issued by an Independent Auditing Firm differentiates the service organization from its peers by demonstrating the establishment of control objectives and effectively designed control activities. A Service Auditor's Report can also help a service organization build trust with its user organizations (i.e., user entities or customers).
Without a current Service Auditor's Report, a service organization may have to entertain multiple audit requests from its customers and their respective auditors. Multiple visits from user auditors can place a strain on the service organization's resources. A Service Auditor's Report ensures that all user organizations and their auditors have access to the same information and in many cases this will satisfy the user auditor's requirements.
SSAE 16 engagements are generally performed by audit, risk, and control oriented professionals who have experience in accounting, auditing, and information security. A SSAE 16 engagement allows a service organization to have its control policies and procedures evaluated and tested (in the case of a Type II engagement) by an independent party. Very often this process results in the identification of opportunities for improvements in many operational areas.