Third-party Assurance services

Establish trust through transparency

Today's marketplace is crowded, and your customers—whether businesses or individuals—are more discerning than ever. For organisations to succeed, they need to be trusted. Building that trust is more than just good business practice. It's an important source of competitive advantage that will sustain your long-term growth. Customers and stakeholders need you to give them information that is relevant, reliable and provides them with assurance.

Our Trust and Transparency team explore every aspect of your business, increasing clarity and establishing confidence.

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Building commercial advantage from trusted processes

The need to do the right things—and to be seen to be doing them—is becoming a business imperative. All organisations need to take a proactive approach to understanding, managing and presenting their business. That way they can secure their reputation and maintain trust.

Giving assurance to third-party services

Companies who can report accurate information about their risk management and control framework can enhance their trustworthiness and transparency. Customers and auditors rely on these reports. They also provide the comfort and assurance your suppliers, regulators and other stakeholders need at a time of unprecedented challenges.

Through a range of assurance reporting services—including SOC 1, ISAE 3402, SOC 2 and Agreed-Upon Procedures—we can help you report on your control environment objectively and accurately.

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Ensuring oversight of third parties

External service providers are an increasingly critical part of an organisation's delivery model. Businesses stay competitive by using multiple customer and vendor relationships, accessing specialised solutions and skills they do not have in-house. But this creates challenges around the security of third-party data, as well as increasing their regulatory and compliance requirements.

Strengthening trust and transparency across your third-party relationships is vital, but proving their probity is about more than just receiving a report. You can outsource the activity, but not the responsibility.

Having the right oversight and control of your third-party relationships can provide greater confidence for your management, board and shareholders, as well as for your customers.

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Creating trust around sustainability

Sustainability is increasingly becoming the lens through which a business is judged. It is important to customers, workforce, society, governments and investors. Success in business is no longer only measured by how much is earned, but also by how that revenue is generated.

The growing number of standards, frameworks and regulations—such as the EU Non-financial Reporting Directive—can result in a fragmented and ineffective approach to sustainability for many organisations. As environmental regulations increase in number and scope, it's important that you understand their impact on your existing and planned business operations so you can make informed strategic decisions.

Our team helps organisations assess their sustainability reporting, measure it against best practice, and ensure what they are reporting is accurate and relevant to their stakeholders.

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Media insight and assurance

Is your organisation's campaign reaching the right audience and delivering real value? Demonstrating and receiving transparency is an increasing issue across the marketing ecosystem.

Organisations need to unlock savings from their media and advertising investments and better understand the return on investment of their marketing spend. They also need to understand how their advertising budget is spent.

Selecting a media agency and agreeing a contract is more complex than ever. Contracts should cover performance as well as pricing, and must be fair and reasonable if they are to be enforceable. Advertisers should expect price transparency, in return for paying agencies a fair fee.

Our team can support advertisers, agencies, ad-tech and media owners by delivering trust and transparency across your marketing activities.

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Agreed-upon procedures

Organisations can face challenges to provide assurances to third parties that do not fall under specific audit reports. Any company that is looking to prove something to a third party that is not covered by another type of report can seek an Agreed-upon procedure (AUP) report.

The value of an AUP report comes from its flexibility, cost, and objectivity. An AUP can be tailored very specifically to the needs of the parties involved.

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Regulatory assurance

When a regulatory inspection is carried out, it can reveal a problem which requires independent confirmation of its resolution.

As well as being a defensive activity, ensuring regulatory compliance offers an opportunity to consistently strengthen your business. Being proactive and strategic in this way can uncover value, even as it helps assure regulators you are adhering to their standards. Being able to show you are complying with regulations can also provide you with an advantage against your competitors.

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Our Trust and Transparency services

SOC 1 or ISAE 3402 reporting

A client or potential client may ask for a SOC 1 or an ISAE 3402 report. These allow them to understand and rely on the robustness of the internal controls in your organisation. Having these reports to hand provides considerable competitive advantage.

A SOC 1 or ISAE 3402 report is often requested as part of a contract for services or in response to an RFP. Sometimes it will be requested to allow your client to continue to outsource their business to you.

We can work with you to select the right reporting framework for your business and your stakeholders.

SOC 2 reporting

A SOC 2 report examines the IT controls in place in an organisation. Clients need to be able to trust service providers who hold their data, and a clean SOC 2 report delivers that assurance. It focuses on controls relating to security, processing integrity, confidentiality and privacy.

Organisations that hold client data or confidential information use SOC 2 reporting to give their clients reassurance that their data is safe and secure. This reporting is especially useful for SaaS and cloud-computing companies, and organisations who hold confidential client information.

Our Trust and Transparency team can assist your business as it works towards achieving SOC 2 certification and with creating Readiness Assessments for SOC 2.

Sustainability reporting

Our sustainability team helps organisations assess their sustainability reporting. They measure against best practice in the industry, and ensure what you are reporting is accurate and material to your stakeholders.

We can help your business to manage sustainability compliance risks, understand regulatory obligations such as the Irish Non-financial reporting requirements and develop policy to meet the relevant requirements. Our team has experience helping companies apply sustainability frameworks and standards including GRI reporting, implementing the TCFD recommendations and applying UN SDGs as a reporting framework.

Media insight and assurance

As a neutral independent party, PwC can be trusted to provide unbiased reports on audience data and campaign effectiveness.  We help organisations understand how efficient and effective their advertising campaigns are. The methods we use include:

  • Customer data analytics: How well do you know your customers? How should you best communicate with them?
  • Marketing effectiveness: What is your marketing ROI? How can you optimise your promotions, sponsorship, TV, digital, press, radio and out-of-home (OOH) spending?
  • Media spend management: How do you select the right media agency? How will you negotiate and contract with them, and manage them on an ongoing basis?

The Trust and Transparency team can help you with the following services:

  • Agency contract support: What needs to be right from the start?
  • Media assurance: How can you demonstrate transparency?
  • Campaign assessment: Did your campaign reach the right audience and deliver real value?

Agreed-upon procedures

An agreed-upon procedure (AUP) is a very specific audit of information or business processes. It is generally agreed between three or more parties:

  • The party or parties who want audit completed
  • The party who is being audited, and
  • PwC, as the auditor

Our Trust and Transparency team can work with your organisation to provide an AUP report that will best meet your needs.

Regulatory assurance

Our global network of specialists in regulation, operations and technology can help your business to capitalise on opportunities, navigate risks and deliver lasting change by helping to create a resilient business culture.

Your organisation can benefit from:

  • Reputational protection: Promoting trust and consumer confidence, engagement and belief
  • Stakeholder confidence: Fostering increased shareholder, investor and regulatory confidence in your organisation
  • Cost efficiency: Reducing remediation costs and avoiding fines, time and response efficiency and removal of duplication

Our Trust and Transparency team can help you to obtain independent assurance that your organisation is meeting regulatory requirements.

Contact us

Fiona Gaskin

Partner, PwC Ireland (Republic of)

Tel: +353 86 771 3665

Gemma Collins

Director, PwC Ireland (Republic of)

Lelia Quinn

Director, PwC Ireland (Republic of)

Deirdre Timmons

Director, PwC Ireland (Republic of)

Tel: +353 87 915 9296

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