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There are many factors in your SOC 2 compliance journey that can influence the time it takes for you to get your final SOC 2 report. How long it takes for you to get your SOC 2 will depend on how many of the SOC 2 controls you need to implement, the type of audit you choose, and how well you’ve prepared for your audit. 

In this article, we’ll go over the factors that will impact your SOC 2 audit timeline, break down the time frame for each of the steps, and give some tips for accelerating your SOC 2 timeline. 

SOC 2 audit timelines

There are two types of SOC 2 reports: SOC 2 Type 1 or SOC 2 Type 2. A SOC 2 Type 1 report attests to the security posture of the design and implementation of your controls at a single point in time, the time of your audit. A SOC 2 Type 2 report attests to your security posture over a period of time to assess the operating effectiveness of your security controls. The audit window for a  SOC 2 Type 2 is between three months to a year depending on the length you choose. After the audit window, your auditor will take an additional six to eight weeks to finalize your SOC 2 report. 

While a SOC 2 Type 1 report will take less time, a SOC 2 Type 2 report will provide additional details about the operating effectiveness of your security protocols and strengthen your security posture. 

‍SOC 2 Type 1 audit timeline

In most cases, a SOC 2 Type 1 audit will take between five weeks and two months to complete. The auditor you choose and how well you prepare for your audit will impact your SOC 2 Type 1 audit timeline. Here are some additional factors that will also impact your timeline:

  • How easily your auditor can access your evidence
  • The size of your organization
  • The complexity of your infrastructure
  • How quickly you follow up on requests and questions from your auditor

A SOC 2 Type 1 provides a point-in-time look at your compliance at the time of your audit. A SOC 2 Type 1 is the most cost-effective option because it is less time-intensive than a SOC 2 Type 2. 

SOC 2 Type 1 timeline.

Pre-audit preparation | 1-3 months

Before your audit, you’ll need to address areas of non-compliance within your information security systems and apply SOC 2 best practices to your controls. This step includes implementing security controls like access management and data encryption, creating business-wide security policies, monitoring for software vulnerabilities, screening vendors, conducting risk assessments, and collecting evidence of your compliance. Once you’ve prepared your controls, you’ll need to hire an AICPA-accredited auditor. 

The time this phase takes will depend on how many of the relevant SOC 2 controls you already have in place and how many you still need to implement.

Official audit | 2-5 weeks

After you’ve hired an auditor and they understand how your information security system works, they'll start their audit. The auditor will spend days or sometimes longer reviewing your evidence and investigating your controls to better understand your information security posture. It’s important that you respond promptly to the auditor’s questions and requests during the period to accelerate the audit process.


Report creation and delivery | 2-6 weeks

Once your auditor has completed their investigation, they’ll generate your SOC 2 Type 1 report that will detail your information security practices and controls and include their determination of whether they meet SOC 2 criteria. You can present this report to prospects, customers, and partners to show them what measure you have in place to protect their data. 

SOC 2 Type 2 audit timeline

SOC 2 Type 2 audits evaluate your compliance over a long period of time. You choose the length of this audit window with the minimum being three months and the maximum being a year. A SOC 2 Type 2 shows how effective your security controls are over a period of time. The added detail in SOC 2 Type 2 provides stakeholders reassurance that you’ll protect their data. 

SOC 2 Type 2 timeline.

Pre-audit preparation | 1-3 months

Much like a SOC 2 Type 1, you’ll also need to implement the appropriate SOC 2 controls to address areas of non-compliance for a SOC 2 Type 2 report as well. The length of your preparation phase will depend on how many of the applicable controls you already have in place and how many you still need to add. Once your controls are ready, you’ll need to hire an AICPA-accredited auditor to conduct your SOC 2 Type 2 audit. 

Compliance observation period | 3-12 months

The biggest difference between a SOC 2 Type 1 and SOC 2 Type 2 audit is how long the audit window is. Your observation phase is a period of time during which your auditor closely monitors your security controls and tests how effective they are.

You get to choose how long your observation period is, commonly ranging from three, six, nine, to twelve months. Early-stage organizations often opt for a shorter observation window to get their SOC 2 report back faster, while larger and more established organizations tend to choose a one-year audit window. After companies finish their first SOC 2 Type 2, the following attestations will be set to a 12-month window.

Official audit | 1-3 weeks

For a SOC 2 Type 2 audit, your auditor will review your documentation and controls to determine if you meet the requirements for SOC 2 compliance. Your auditor will have months of information to review, so their audit period will take longer depending on how long your observation window was. During this period, it’s important to respond promptly to the auditor’s requests and questions to accelerate the audit process.


Report creation and delivery | 2-6 weeks

Once your auditor has completed their audit, they will compile their findings into a SOC 2 Type 2 report. This report will detail your information security posture, the SOC 2 controls you have in place, and how effective they are. This report will also include the auditor’s assessment of your verified security practices against the Trust Services Criteria. You can show this report to prospects, customers, or other stakeholders when they ask for your SOC 2 Type 2.

How long does it take to get a SOC 2 report?

From scoping your report to implementing the controls to undergoing a SOC 2 audit, the entire SOC 2 compliance process can take anywhere from a few months to a year to complete. Your SOC 2 timeline will vary based on the structure and size of your organization, the type of data you process or manage for your customers, the type of SOC 2 report you pursue, and whether you use compliance automation to streamline the process. 

Speed up your SOC 2 timeline with automated compliance

Getting a SOC 2 tends to be a long and complicated process, but it doesn’t have to be. With compliance automation, you can get your SOC 2 faster. Vanta’s trust management platform with compliance automation capabilities can help you streamline your SOC 2 and get your completed report in half the time. 

Here’s what an automated SOC 2 process can look like with Vanta: 

  • Connect your infrastructure to the Vanta platform with our 200+ built-in integrations.
  • Assess your risk holistically from one unified view.
  • Identify areas of non-compliance with in-platform notifications.
  • Get a checklist of actions to help you make the needed changes. 
  • Automate evidence collection and centralize all your documents in one place.
  • Find a Vanta-vetted auditor within the platform. 
  • Streamline reviews by giving your auditor the information in your Trust Center
  • Complete your SOC 2 in half the time. 

By using Vanta, you can save your business valuable time and money during your SOC 2 audit process. Learn how you can get your SOC 2 faster by requesting a demo

Preparing for a SOC 2 audit

How long does a SOC 2 audit take?

A black and white drawing of a rock formation.

There are many factors in your SOC 2 compliance journey that can influence the time it takes for you to get your final SOC 2 report. How long it takes for you to get your SOC 2 will depend on how many of the SOC 2 controls you need to implement, the type of audit you choose, and how well you’ve prepared for your audit. 

In this article, we’ll go over the factors that will impact your SOC 2 audit timeline, break down the time frame for each of the steps, and give some tips for accelerating your SOC 2 timeline. 

SOC 2 audit timelines

There are two types of SOC 2 reports: SOC 2 Type 1 or SOC 2 Type 2. A SOC 2 Type 1 report attests to the security posture of the design and implementation of your controls at a single point in time, the time of your audit. A SOC 2 Type 2 report attests to your security posture over a period of time to assess the operating effectiveness of your security controls. The audit window for a  SOC 2 Type 2 is between three months to a year depending on the length you choose. After the audit window, your auditor will take an additional six to eight weeks to finalize your SOC 2 report. 

While a SOC 2 Type 1 report will take less time, a SOC 2 Type 2 report will provide additional details about the operating effectiveness of your security protocols and strengthen your security posture. 

‍SOC 2 Type 1 audit timeline

In most cases, a SOC 2 Type 1 audit will take between five weeks and two months to complete. The auditor you choose and how well you prepare for your audit will impact your SOC 2 Type 1 audit timeline. Here are some additional factors that will also impact your timeline:

  • How easily your auditor can access your evidence
  • The size of your organization
  • The complexity of your infrastructure
  • How quickly you follow up on requests and questions from your auditor

A SOC 2 Type 1 provides a point-in-time look at your compliance at the time of your audit. A SOC 2 Type 1 is the most cost-effective option because it is less time-intensive than a SOC 2 Type 2. 

SOC 2 Type 1 timeline.

Pre-audit preparation | 1-3 months

Before your audit, you’ll need to address areas of non-compliance within your information security systems and apply SOC 2 best practices to your controls. This step includes implementing security controls like access management and data encryption, creating business-wide security policies, monitoring for software vulnerabilities, screening vendors, conducting risk assessments, and collecting evidence of your compliance. Once you’ve prepared your controls, you’ll need to hire an AICPA-accredited auditor. 

The time this phase takes will depend on how many of the relevant SOC 2 controls you already have in place and how many you still need to implement.

Official audit | 2-5 weeks

After you’ve hired an auditor and they understand how your information security system works, they'll start their audit. The auditor will spend days or sometimes longer reviewing your evidence and investigating your controls to better understand your information security posture. It’s important that you respond promptly to the auditor’s questions and requests during the period to accelerate the audit process.


Report creation and delivery | 2-6 weeks

Once your auditor has completed their investigation, they’ll generate your SOC 2 Type 1 report that will detail your information security practices and controls and include their determination of whether they meet SOC 2 criteria. You can present this report to prospects, customers, and partners to show them what measure you have in place to protect their data. 

SOC 2 Type 2 audit timeline

SOC 2 Type 2 audits evaluate your compliance over a long period of time. You choose the length of this audit window with the minimum being three months and the maximum being a year. A SOC 2 Type 2 shows how effective your security controls are over a period of time. The added detail in SOC 2 Type 2 provides stakeholders reassurance that you’ll protect their data. 

SOC 2 Type 2 timeline.

Pre-audit preparation | 1-3 months

Much like a SOC 2 Type 1, you’ll also need to implement the appropriate SOC 2 controls to address areas of non-compliance for a SOC 2 Type 2 report as well. The length of your preparation phase will depend on how many of the applicable controls you already have in place and how many you still need to add. Once your controls are ready, you’ll need to hire an AICPA-accredited auditor to conduct your SOC 2 Type 2 audit. 

Compliance observation period | 3-12 months

The biggest difference between a SOC 2 Type 1 and SOC 2 Type 2 audit is how long the audit window is. Your observation phase is a period of time during which your auditor closely monitors your security controls and tests how effective they are.

You get to choose how long your observation period is, commonly ranging from three, six, nine, to twelve months. Early-stage organizations often opt for a shorter observation window to get their SOC 2 report back faster, while larger and more established organizations tend to choose a one-year audit window. After companies finish their first SOC 2 Type 2, the following attestations will be set to a 12-month window.

Official audit | 1-3 weeks

For a SOC 2 Type 2 audit, your auditor will review your documentation and controls to determine if you meet the requirements for SOC 2 compliance. Your auditor will have months of information to review, so their audit period will take longer depending on how long your observation window was. During this period, it’s important to respond promptly to the auditor’s requests and questions to accelerate the audit process.


Report creation and delivery | 2-6 weeks

Once your auditor has completed their audit, they will compile their findings into a SOC 2 Type 2 report. This report will detail your information security posture, the SOC 2 controls you have in place, and how effective they are. This report will also include the auditor’s assessment of your verified security practices against the Trust Services Criteria. You can show this report to prospects, customers, or other stakeholders when they ask for your SOC 2 Type 2.

How long does it take to get a SOC 2 report?

From scoping your report to implementing the controls to undergoing a SOC 2 audit, the entire SOC 2 compliance process can take anywhere from a few months to a year to complete. Your SOC 2 timeline will vary based on the structure and size of your organization, the type of data you process or manage for your customers, the type of SOC 2 report you pursue, and whether you use compliance automation to streamline the process. 

Speed up your SOC 2 timeline with automated compliance

Getting a SOC 2 tends to be a long and complicated process, but it doesn’t have to be. With compliance automation, you can get your SOC 2 faster. Vanta’s trust management platform with compliance automation capabilities can help you streamline your SOC 2 and get your completed report in half the time. 

Here’s what an automated SOC 2 process can look like with Vanta: 

  • Connect your infrastructure to the Vanta platform with our 200+ built-in integrations.
  • Assess your risk holistically from one unified view.
  • Identify areas of non-compliance with in-platform notifications.
  • Get a checklist of actions to help you make the needed changes. 
  • Automate evidence collection and centralize all your documents in one place.
  • Find a Vanta-vetted auditor within the platform. 
  • Streamline reviews by giving your auditor the information in your Trust Center
  • Complete your SOC 2 in half the time. 

By using Vanta, you can save your business valuable time and money during your SOC 2 audit process. Learn how you can get your SOC 2 faster by requesting a demo

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