Since every SOC 2 (System and Organization Controls for Service Organizations 2) audit is different, the answer to this question is “it depends.” 

The cost of a SOC 2 audit depends on the scope of the audit, the size of the organization, how many locations are involved, the complexity of the processing and the maturity of the organization’s internal controls

The cost also depends on the method an auditor uses to perform the SOC audit. And the fee an auditor changes for a SOC report also varies widely from one CPA firm to another. 

There are three components that account for the total cost to get a SOC report after the audit has been completed:

  • Gap readiness assessment fees
  • Internal costs of compliance
  • SOC audit fees.

Organizations that use cloud service providers use SOC 2 reports to assess and address the risks related to third-party technology services. These reports, which are issued by independent third-party auditors, cover the principles of security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy.

Governed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), SOC 2 audits measure the effectiveness of organizations’ controls and practices. A SOC 2 audit doesn’t result in certification but rather in a CPA’s attestation report. 

There is actually no such thing as a SOC 2 certification report. SOC 2 reports are considered attestation reports.

SOC 2 is specifically designed for service providers, including just about every software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider, that store customer data in the cloud.  A SOC 1 audit, on the other hand, focuses on internal controls over financial reporting that a service provider has implemented to protect client data. 

Most B2B companies are asked to complete SOC 2 or ISO 27001 audits by their customers. 

The main difference between SOC 2 and ISO 27001 is that SOC 2 is mainly focused on demonstrating that a company has implemented internal controls to protect its customer data. On the other hand, ISO 27001 also wants to ensure that the organization has implemented an operational information security management system (ISMS) to manage its information security.

There are two types of SOC 2 audits: SOC 2 Type 1 and SOC 2 Type 2. When a service organization undergoes a SOC 2 audit, it specifies if it wants the auditor to perform a SOC 2 Type 1 or SOC 2 Type 2 audit.

The difference between SOC 2 Type 1 and SOC 2 Type 2 reports lies in the period of time each covers.

  • SOC 2 Type 1, often an organization’s first-ever SOC 2 report, looks at internal controls governing data security and privacy at the time of the audit.
  • SOC 2 Type 2 reports discuss the effectiveness of your organization’s information security and privacy controls since your last SOC audit, which typically means one year.

The two types of reports are used differently by organizations:

  • SOC 2 Type 1 takes a “snapshot-in-time” approach, setting a baseline for future audits of your service organization’s system.
  • SOC 2 Type 2 asks how well your data security and privacy controls have worked since your last SOC 2 audit.

So, the audit procedure most organizations follow is:

  • Type 1 for the first SOC 2 audit
  • Type 2 for subsequent SOC 2 audits.