In essence, the ISAE 3402 statement primarily delves into the processes underpinning financial statements, mainly for the benefit of accountants. Therefore, it’s crucial to establish a scope that adequately caters to the needs of users. While organizations may attempt to narrow the scope as much as possible, it’s important to strike the right balance. A broader scope may lead to increased testing by auditors, higher costs, and a greater risk of control failures.

Engagement from All Stakeholders
Regrettably, control frameworks are often seen as mere paperwork supported solely by the risk department. It’s imperative to ensure that employees and management are actively engaged and fully committed to the proper implementation of controls.

Continuous Control Maintenance
Frequently, organizations evolve, but the corresponding controls do not keep pace with these changes. This oversight is a recipe for findings during the ISAE 3402 audit. Therefore, it’s vital to ensure that the entire control framework remains consistently up-to-date.

Preliminary Control Testing
Introduce the practice of management testing controls and risk departments reviewing them. This fosters management commitment and allows for early identification of controls that may not be functioning correctly or are not being executed as intended.

Evidence Documentation
Demonstrable implementation of controls is of utmost importance. Consequently, it’s essential to clearly define the evidence that supports the implementation of controls and where this evidence is stored. Having these documentation processes in place is a significant step forward.

Appoint Control Ambassadors
Select a few individuals well-versed in controls to act as intermediaries between auditors and the business. This not only enhances communication but also helps prevent misunderstandings, reducing the burden on the business. Kick-off meetings with both the business and auditors can also be beneficial. These meetings allow the organization to convey the do’s and don’ts of communication with auditors to the business while providing the auditors with insights into organizational changes, paving the way for clear working agreements.

Securance is a leader in providing governance, risk, and compliance services. Since 2004, Securance has been a trailblazer in the Netherlands and a progressive organization when it comes to ISAE 3402 implementation and certification. In addition to ISAE 3402, Securance offers a wide array of services encompassing ISAE 3000, GDPR/AVG, ISO 27001, ISO 9001, and COSO ERM.

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