The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) wants to see collection agency oversight over their vendors and affiliates. In the CFPB’s mind, you are as responsible for a compliance issue with a business partner as you are for compliance issues in your own shop. In fact, as far as the CFPB is concerned, there’s no difference, really, between a business partner and your own shop.
Companies in the financial services industry are being required to show adequate oversight of service providers – and an SSAE-16 Audit (formerly known as an SAS-70 Audit) – is one such mechanism to document this oversight.
SSAE stands for Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements. It’s an exam, conducted by a service auditor CPA, to report on controls at organizations that provide services to those companies.
SSAE-16 Audits are used not just by potential clients; the CFPB uses them to gain an understanding of the control environment of outsourcing companies. SSAE-16 Audits are a part of the CFPB’s examination process.