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SAS 70 is an acronym for Statement on Auditing Standard 70; it was developed and is maintained by the AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants). Specifically, SAS 70 is a "Report on the Processing of Transactions by Service Organizations" where professional standards are set up for a service auditor that audits and assesses internal controls of a service organization.
SAS 70 is an extremely thorough audit that is used chiefly as an authoritative guidance. In today's market, it is a very helpful and substantial audit that shows transparency to the businesses that a service organization works with. In addition, it shows the service organizations prospective clients that the service organization has been thoroughly checked and deemed to have satisfactory controls and safeguards either when hosting specific information or processing information such as data belonging to customers that they do business with.
It should be noted that there are two different types of SAS 70 reports. The first type commonly referred to as Type I includes an opinion written by the service auditor. Type I reports describe the degree in which the service organization fairly represent its services in regards to controls that have been implemented in operations and its inherent design to achieve objectives set forth. Type II reports are more thorough, because the auditor gives an opinion on how effective the controls operated under the defined period of the review. Type I only lists the controls, but Type II tests the efficacy of these controls to reasonably assure that they are working correctly.
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