Glossary definition: SSAE 18
SSAE 18: Assurance for Service Organizations
Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements (SSAE) No. 18 is an attestation standard issued by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). It defines the requirements for attestation engagements performed by a service auditor, and is applicable to service organizations that provide services to user entities. The standard provides guidance for service auditors on how to plan and perform an attestation engagement, and how to report on the results of the engagement. It is intended to replace the Statement on Auditing Standards (SAS) No. 70, which is the previous standard for service organization attestation engagements. SSAE 18 requires a service auditor to obtain an understanding of the service organization's system and its controls, assess the risks associated with the system, determine the nature, timing and extent of the tests to be performed, and evaluate the design and operating effectiveness of the controls. The service auditor must also issue an opinion on the fairness of the description of the service organization's system and the suitability of the design and operating effectiveness of the controls. The opinion must include a description of the tests performed and the results of the tests.