As for an SSAE 16 audit definition, look upon Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements (SSAE) No. 16 as the following:

Attestation standard put forth by the Auditing Standards Board (ASB) of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) addressing engagements undertaken by a service auditor for reporting on controls at organizations (i.e., service organizations) that provide services to user entities, for which a service organization's controls are likely to be relevant to a user entities internal control over financial reporting (ICFR).  In simpler terms, SSAE 16 is the attestation standard used for reporting on controls at service organizations, one that is part of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ Service Organization Control (SOC) reporting framework, which consists of SOC 1, SOC 2, and SOC 3 reports.

But there are numerous other items to learn about regarding SSAE 16, such as the following:

1.    SSAE 16 is part of the comprehensive AICPA Service Organization Control (SOC) reporting framework.

2.    SSAE 16 reporting – both Type 1 and Type 2 reports – require a description of its “system”, along with a written statement of assertion by management, both of which are critically important.

3.    SSAE 16 also brings to the light the relevancy of subservice organization reporting, the internal audit function, and the ICFR concept.

4.    SSAE 16 SOC 1 reporting, while the de facto standard for reporting on controls at service organizations - also has viable reporting options under the AICPA SOC framework, such as SOC 2 and SOC 3 reporting, which incorporate the Trust Services Principles (TSP).

5.    ISAE 3402 is the international standard (and equivalent) to the AICPA SSAE 16 attestation standard.

As for more technical and in-depth information regarding Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements (SSAE) No. 16, turn to the experts at NDB Accountants & Consultants (NDB), regulatory compliance experts in ISAE 3402, SOC 1 SSAE 16, SOC 2, and SOC 3 reporting.  We encourage you to visit the official SSAE 16 Resource Guide, developed exclusively by NDB for the purpose of educating all interested parties regarding SSAE 16.  There’s much to learn, and you’ll find a wealth of information at the official SSAE 16 Resource Guide.  Learn more about NDB's complimentary SOC 1 Policy Packets and SOC 2 Policy PacketsThey truly make a big difference in helping service organizations save thousands of dollars on SOC compliance.

If you’re looking to receive a competitive-fixed fee for SOC 1 SSAE 16 reporting, then contact Christopher G. Nickell, CPA, at 1-800-277-5415, ext. 706, or email him at

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