Internal and external forces such as globalization, global interconnectivity, automation, and other technological advancements are making today’s supply chains highly sophisticated and complex. For organizations that produce, manufacture or distribute products, there’s often a high level of interdependence and connectivity with their suppliers and their customers and business partners.
Although the interconnectedness of these organizations can be beneficial (increased revenues, expanded market opportunities, and cost reduction), the ability of organizations to meet their goals is often increasingly dependent on events, processes, and controls that are not visible and are often beyond their control – such as a supplier’s controls. That’s why the demand for transparency in supply chains is now higher than ever before, and why this is the perfect time for you to help organizations assess their supply chain risks, evaluate the system controls within their manufacturing, production, or distribution systems, and communicate their supply chain management efforts to those with whom they do business.
Accountants and financial managers can also increase the credibility of the supply chain information communicated by the organization by providing an opinion on the organization’s supply chain efforts. This guide enables the accountant and financial manager to examine and report on the description of a system for manufacturing, producing and distributing goods as well as on the controls within that system using a dynamic, proactive, and agile approach. It will show how to conduct this examination in accordance with the attestation standards. The guide may also be helpful when providing readiness assessments to clients, who are not quite ready for an examination level service and need help to get there.
The guide also includes excerpts from the two distinct, but complementary sets of criteria developed by the AICPA to assist practitioners with SOC for Supply Chain engagements: the description criteria and the 2017 trust services criteria.