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What are considered suitable audit Criteria?

Suitable criteria exhibit all of the following characteristics:

  • Relevance. Criteria are relevant to the subject matter.
  • Objectivity. Criteria are free from bias.
  • Measurability. Criteria permit reasonably consistent measurements, qualitative or quantitative, of subject matter.
  • Completeness. Criteria are complete when subject matter prepared in accordance with them does not omit relevant factors that could reasonably be expected to affect decisions of the intended users made on the basis of that subject matter.

The relative importance of each characteristic to a particular engagement is a matter of professional judgment.

What are Criteria?

Criteria are the various factors that provide a frame of reference to be evaluated by a practitioner. Without having defined criteria, any conclusion is open to individual interpretation and misunderstanding.

What is SSAE 18 (formerly SSAE 16)?

The SSAE 18 audit standard is a framework for reporting on an examination of controls at a service organization relevant to user entities’ internal control over financial reporting.

How many updates to SOC 1 have their been?

SOC 1 stemmed from the original SAS 70 report, which, once SSAE 16 was issued in April 2010, the formal report name was changed to being a SOC 1 report (but issued under the SSAE 16 guidance) and effective as of June 2011. SSAE 18 was then issued May 2017 and will be effective as of December 2018, and apply to all SOC 1 reports issued thereafter.