Case study

In control: How a large fintech company improved oversight and compliance

Strong System and Organization Controls drive successful risk management

Jul 24, 2023
Risk consulting Business risk consulting Financial services Fintech

Oversight is essential

The complexity of today’s business and IT environment isn’t lost on anyone, and proving to partners and customers that a company has mastered challenges related to reliability and risk is an always-on proposition.

Central to building trust around digital risk are System and Organization Controls (SOC) reports, which play a critical role in validating and providing transparency into how organizations are managing governance and compliance. Based on detailed attestation audits, including a high-level review of business and technology controls, they assess risks and controls surrounding a variety of topical areas including security, operations, finance and data management.

Today, obtaining SOC reports is critical. Without them, teams may end up filling out highly detailed questionnaires from customers and partners. In some cases, these reviews involve hundreds of questions that span across stakeholders in the organization and myriad processes and can also require an on-site inspection.

When dozens or hundreds of customers demand SOC reports, an organization can quickly find itself buried by customer accountability issues. It should come as no surprise that the overhead related to these tasks can burn through time, money and other critical resources. What’s more, without the right tools in place, an organization can find itself mired in poor data and subpar results.

A key to success? The ability to achieve efficient and independent validation through a SOC report. Organizations with this essential piece of the puzzle in place can efficiently and effectively respond to customer and prospect questions and build trust and confidence across a business ecosystem.

A fintech firm gains control

No industry is exempt from the need for robust controls and governance. Yet it’s also clear that financial firms face extraordinarily burdensome compliance requirements. One major fintech company recognized the criticality of the situation a couple of years ago. It turned to RSM to take SOC reporting to a best practice level.

A thorough review and audit of its processes was essential because the fintech firm had previously struggled with reporting accuracy and the completeness of information. In the highly regulated financial services industry, an inability to quickly view the right data undermined its ability to make key business decisions, but it also put the company at risk for fines and penalties.

Three factors were crucial: data accuracy, automation and security. The fintech company understood that business relationships—and success—spin a tight orbit around assurance, which hinges on trust and confidence. As a result, the company provides customers with highly detailed SOC reports on an annual basis. Yet executives correctly recognized that the process cannot be a simple check-the-box proposition.

RSM tames complexity

Seeking a best practice framework, executives at the firm knew they had to work with an SOC report provider that could address the task holistically. This included a broad and deep understanding of the business, flexibility and scalability and a commitment to excellent customer service. The company wasn’t willing to compromise on its values.

A handful of factors guided the decision-making process. These included a recognition that business leaders at the firm had limited time and resources for managing the SOC process, IT and security teams have more strategic goals to manage and fast, affordable high-quality audits were vital.

The company selected RSM for its general consulting knowledge, but its leaders recognized that RSM could help it achieve critical goals—and reduce risk. This included the fact that RSM has considerable experience providing SOC reporting services to companies. Not only have these businesses improved their auditing and reporting processes, RSM has continually enhanced its product—and the controls built into the software.

RSM also stays current with SOC control best practices and ensures that its client—in this case the prominent fintech firm—applies them strategically and seamlessly and with zero latency. The cloud-based nature of RSM’s offering ensures that clients gain access to the latest and greatest features at all times.

Finally, there’s the issue of technical acumen. Today, a surface-level review framework helps the fintech firm fix problems before it generates an SOC report. This proactive approach leads to improved outcomes. RSM also helps the fintech company continually and steadily improve its SOC framework.

The fintech cashes in

The fintech company has achieved several vital benefits from advanced SOC reporting:


Today, a surface-level review process helps the company fix problems before releasing an SOC report. This ultimately leads to improved results—and helps reinforce the concept that the fintech firm is a trusted provider.


With best-in-class SOC reporting in place, the firm has reduced errors and produced higher quality reports—all while reducing the time required to generate a report. This communicates a lower risk environment for partners that depend on the reports to gauge their level of risk.

Strategic insights

The reporting tool also has provided strategic input about how to structure business and security processes, particularly surrounding complex financial regulations. This has helped the company streamline regulatory compliance tasks.

Risk reduction

With RSM’s advanced software, the fintech has adopted a highly automated best-practice framework that revolves around pre-assessment as well as formal assessment.

Pitfalls, problems and business risks no longer fly beneath the radar. The fintech provider is ready to handle whatever SOC accounting challenges appear. In fact, the company has transformed what was formerly an onerous chore into a strategic advantage.

Making SOC add up

This strategic approach to SOC reporting delivers value beyond basic data and information. For the fintech firm and others across a wide spectrum of industries, a more strategic framework leads to process improvements that unlock greater efficiency and better controls—typically at a lower price point.

In the end, these companies gain a competitive advantage through a more robust outsourced framework for SOC reporting. In fact, there’s a growing recognition that a comprehensive and scalable SOC auditing and reporting framework when used effectively, is more than a valuable tool; it’s actually the foundation for a successful business.

Related solution

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