How Much Does SOC 2 Type Compliance Cost?

One of your biggest questions regarding a SOC 2 audit is whether it fits in your budget. There is no clearcut answer to this question, and a host of factors will determine your SOC 2 certification costs. We will lay out some baseline costs and ranges in this blog. 

Being prepared with this information will help your audit contract negotiations run smoothly. In addition to price estimates, we’ll supply you with some great tips to reduce your SOC 2 compliance costs. With this information, you can feel at ease with potential auditors, knowing your needs and your budget. 

How Much Does SOC 2 Type Compliance Cost?

Factors Affecting SOC 2 Certification Cost

  • Complexity of audit Scope
  • Size of your organization
  • CPA firm you choose
  • Type of SOC 2 report (Type 1 or Type 2)
  • The Trust Services Principles (TSC) included
  • Employee time and energy expended

What are Trust Service Criteria (TSC)? 

The Trust Services Criteria are control criteria utilized to evaluate and report on the suitability of the design and operating effectiveness of controls relevant to the Security, Availability, Processing Integrity, Confidentiality, or Privacy of an organization’s information and systems. The Trust Services Criteria are established by the Assurance Services Executive Committee (ASEC) of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

The SOC 2 audit process evaluates how effective your security controls are regarding the Trust Service Principle categories, explained below. In order to be compliant with SOC 2, organizations need an external audit whose process includes an evaluation of the Trust Service Criteria. Of all five TSCs, only the Security criteria, is mandatory. The additional four-  Availability, Processing Integrity, Confidentiality, and Privacy, are optional, and obtaining a report for each one is a separate cost. 

Once you decide which categories are in-scope, control testing will ensure which of the selected criteria is achieved. Since the Common Security Criteria are required for all SOC 2 reports, your organization will be audited against 33 mini-control objectives at a minimum. As you add more, the level of effort increases, and so will your cost. 

  1. Security (also known as “Common Criteria”)

The ‘Security’ audit is an obligatory section of the SOC 2 audit. You can pick and choose between the others, but this one is not optional. The ‘Security’ category covers the protections in place to guard data throughout its lifecycle. 

  1. Availability

This is the first of the optional categories. A choice will be made whether you want to audit any of categories 2-5 according to your business activities and needs. The ‘Availability’ audit ensures information and systems are available for operation and use to meet the organization’s commitments to its customers and partners. Each organization will vary in the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ of information availability, so this audit focuses on controls to support accessibility for operation, monitoring, and maintenance. This is where your data backups and disaster recovery plans will play a large part.

  1. Confidentiality

If your organization works with confidential information, you’ll be concerned with showing your customers how invested and committed you are to keeping that information confidential. The ‘Confidentiality’ audit covers controls that affect data from its creation, processing, and storage, through to its ultimate disposal and removal. Your need to audit this category may come from contractual obligations or may be necessary for particular laws and regulations.  

  1. Processing Integrity

The clue is in the name. This audit is primarily involved with ensuring all your controls are in place and operating optimally to ensure data processing meets completeness, validity, accuracy, timeliness, and authorization requirements to meet your company’s objectives. Are your systems achieving their aims? Do you provide data processing services? Do customers rely heavily on your system’s accuracy? 

  1. Privacy

You may ask how this is different from confidentiality. ‘Privacy’ applies to personal information whereas confidentiality applies to various types of sensitive information. If you handle personal information or PII, this audit will evaluate how you collect, use, retain, disclose and dispose of it. The SOC 2 Privacy audit has much in common with Europe’s GDPR, with many overlapping controls, but neither is a replacement for the other. (One is a legal requirement and the other is voluntary, not to mention they cover different jurisdictions.) 

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Bottom Line: What Does a SOC 2 Report Cost?

In the face of a huge undertaking like SOC 2 compliance, we understand your need to steady yourself with hard numbers. From our industry knowledge, here’s a brief list of what you can expect to spend on a SOC 2 audit. 

  • SOC 2 Type 1 Audit

$12,000 – $25,000

  • SOC 2 Type 2 Audit

$30,000 – $60,000

Type 1 vs. Type 2 Audit

  • The SOC 2 Type 1 Assessment looks at the design of your security controls at a specific point in time. The SOC 2 Type 1 report is a great starting point to prepare for SOC 2.
  • The SOC 2 Type 2 Assessment looks at how effective your controls are over a 6-month+ period. The SOC 2 Type 2 audit will measure your ongoing compliance annually.

Why are the costs so different for these two audit types? Let’s put it this way. The SOC 2 Type 2 audit extends over at least half a year, with ongoing testing and monitoring of your controls and their effectiveness. That takes a lot of resources and will logically add costs to your point-in-time Type 1 audit.

How To Reduce the Cost of SOC 2 Compliance?

Aside from the actual audit costs, other components inevitably will add to your final audit cost. These include readiness tests, employee training, and the need for regular assessment to uphold your certification like penetration testing.

A good rule of thumb is to start your SOC 2 compliance journey in small measures. By narrowing your scope and focusing on your most important assets, your process will be simpler and more financially attainable. 

Keeping your evaluated controls to a minimum, and assessing only third parties that pose a present risk will reduce your overhead costs and not overwhelm corporate resources. 

Arguably, the most effective way to cut compliance costs is to invest in a compliance automation platform that will help your audit and compliance efforts for the long haul. A scalable system will be able to grow and streamline the compliance journey as you add frameworks and new regulations.

How Centraleyes Helps with SOC 2 Compliance

Automation and Technology

There are an incredible array of innovative tools and platforms out there to help you streamline the SOC 2 process. Choose a GRC platform capable of compliance automation to automatically identify, monitor, remediate and report. Keep in mind that compliance with SOC 2 will involve an annual audit, so use a platform that is easy to update and that will easily scale up with your company as you need.

Cutting-edge technology should help you to centralize evidence collection, allow multiple team members to collaborate and contribute, and keep you updated on the situation in real-time. Look out for features that simplify the complex & tedious process of SOC 2 audits and take out some of the manual labor.

And don’t create dual labor or waste the opportunity to map controls to other compliance audits! Use software that automatically maps controls you fulfill for SOC 2 with controls required for other regulations to save hours and work most productively and effectively.

SOC 2 is a marathon, not a sprint. Pace yourself, plan and prepare. 

Check out how Centraleyes Risk & Compliance Management platform can get you through SOC 2 and to the finish line. Schedule a demo today to see our specialized SOC 2 pathway and pave the way for next-gen automated compliance management.

Start Getting Value With
Centraleyes for Free

See for yourself how the Centraleyes platform exceeds anything an old GRC
system does and eliminates the need for manual processes and spreadsheets
to give you immediate value and run a full risk assessment in less than 30 days

Does your company need to be compliant with SOC 2?
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