SAS 70 Compliant? Prepare for SSAE 16!

Board meeting with two men presenting to everyone

While it’s a fact of life for financial and IT services organizations to keep an eye on evolving regulatory standards, new standards nonetheless have a way of sneaking up on even the most experienced firms.

One such major accounting standard change about to take place is the move to SSAE 16, replacing SAS 70 under United States accounting law, starting June 15, 2011. In other words, in less than six months, this important new set of controls for third-party services organizations, which mirrors the international standard ISAE 3402, will be the rule of the land in the US.

Just as we have with SAS 70, Sarbanes-Oxley, and the pre-work clients seek to get ready for other financial and IT controls audits, Bridgepoint Consulting can provide the advice and resources your company needs to transition to SSAE 16 compliance.

SSAE 16 regulation calls for new reporting sections, additional organizational responsibilities, and additional requirements for “inclusive” reporting methods, among other changes. Depending on your organization’s policies and goals, the regulation will affect you in different ways. Chris Shelman, contributor to Accounting Today, notes:

The majority of service organizations appear poised to undergo a final SAS 70 audit and use the next 12 months preparing for the transition. During this time, service organizations will have to assess whether they are going to have an assessment performed in accordance with SSAE 16, ISAE 3402, or both, based on their customers’ needs.

While not a radical overhaul, these changes are significant and your organization should be prepared: either, as a service provider, implementing (and being audited against) the new standards, or, as a user of third-parties, understanding the changes and passed through implications, if any, on your own operations.

As your highly responsive partner, Bridgepoint will help you navigate these choices with sound research and a detailed plan for implementation. There’s no reason to leave room for error; we’ll make sure you can adapt quickly and avoid potential miscues, all in the most efficient, cost-effective way.

Stay tuned for additional resources coming soon on SSAE 16 and other updates to the regulatory environment. For the latest news, follow @BPCAustin on Twitter, subscribe to our e-mail newsletter, or check our LinkedIn and Facebook pages.