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NDNB provides fixed-fee SOC 1 SSAE 18 Type 1 and Type 2 audit reports for the title & escrow marketplace, which often includes assessing against the prescribed American Land Title Association (ALTA) best practices.

Mounting Audit Pressures for the Title & Escrow Marketplace

First off, it’s important to note that the entire real estate finance, banking and financial services industry has come under immense regulatory pressure in recent years, ultimately resulting in thousands of businesses having to perform annual compliance assessments. The default assessment reporting mechanism is none other than SOC 1 SSAE 18 audits for the title & escrow marketplace, and with added pressure placed on the industry from the CFPB Bulletin issued in 2013 for “Service Providers”, big compliance changes have taken place.

ALTA Best Practices and SOC 1 SSAE 18 Reporting

Bottom line, the title & escrow marketplace is now one of the more notable recipients of annual SOC 1 SSAE 18 reporting. But one of the bigger challenges is how to report compliance with the CFPB Bulletin, along with other industry specific requirements. Enter the ALTA “Best Practices” framework, a comprehensive list of security and operational policies, procedures, and processes that has now been readily adopted for purposes of testing of internal controls for SOC 1 SSAE 18 reporting for the title & escrow marketplace.

What’s important to note about the ALTA Best Practices is that they can be encompassed into the control objectives for a SOC 1 SSAE 18 report for both Internal Controls Over Financial Reporting – a concept known as ICFR – and into Information Technology General Controls (ITGC). But not all title & escrow companies are the same, and it’s why you need a proven firm with years of industry experience to help customize the scope of your SOC 1 SSAE 18 report, and ultimately, the associated ICFR and ITGC control objectives. NDNB is that firm. Contact Chris Nickell, CPA, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to learn more.

Why NDNB for SOC 1 Reporting for the Title & Escrow Marketplace?

Because we have years of experience working directly in the title & escrow marketplace, having performed a large number of SAS 70, SSAE 16 – and now, SOC 1 SSAE 18 – reports. The title & escrow marketplace is complex indeed, requiring auditors with the necessary skills in understanding all facets of an organization’s operations. Our expertise allows us to develop and perform SOC 1 SSAE 18 audits in a highly efficient manner, and with fixed-fees.

Sample SOC 1 SSAE 18 Control Objectives

NDNB’s recommendation for developing scope – and ultimately the control objectives for SOC 1 SSAE 18 for the title & escrow marketplace – consists of the following measures:

  1. Identify business-specific controls unique to YOUR business that need to be assessed and tested.
  2. Identify any specific requests from clients, prospects, regulators, etc.
  3. Incorporate all relevant ALTA Best Practices as necessary, those that would ultimately fall under ICFR and ITGC control objectives.

With that said, here’s just a small sample of control objectives that can be readily used for SOC 1 SSAE 18 audits for the title & escrow marketplace:

  • Controls provide reasonable assurance that the service provider has established and also maintained current licensure requirements necessary for conducting business operations for title, escrow, and settlement services.
  • Controls provide reasonable assurance that the service provider maintains adequate documented policies, procedures, and processes for safeguarding funds throughout the entire title, escrow, and settlement services lifecycle.
  • Controls provide reasonable assurance that the service provider maintains adequate privacy policies, procedures, and processes for ensuring the safety, security, and confidentiality of consumer (i.e., non-public personal information) throughout the entire title, escrow, and settlement services lifecycle.

Those are just a few examples of the literally dozens of control objectives that can be possibly developed and used for assessing and testing of controls. It’s important to note that an experience firm – such as NDNB – has the experience and expertise in helping put together an audit scope that considers all aspects of the title/escrow marketplace. This means testing against criteria from the CFPB, ALTA, SEC, and other regulatory bodies and best practices.

NDNB - The Leading Provider of SOC Audits for the Title/Escrow Marketplace

This is an industry within the broader financial services that we know very well. What does that mean? Simple. We can put in place a highly efficient audit process from beginning to end, all at fixed-fees and with an audit report that is comprehensive indeed. Contact Chris Nickell, CPA, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to learn more.

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