Most accountants aspire to become a CPA, but doubts remain for other accounting qualifications such as the Certified Internal Auditor designation.
Is CIA Worth it? Let’s take a look.
3 Reasons Why You Want to Become a Certified Internal Auditor
1. Part of a Global Organization in the Internal Audit Profession
The IIA is an established and respected organization with 180,000+ members in 190 countries. You don’t need to be a CIA to become a member, but many do. It has a lot of benefits in terms of networking opportunities, getting the latest updates in your niche, and as part of a global voice in the field of internal audit and compliance.
Unlike the financial accounting and management accounting in which there are several certifications to choose from across the regions, there is only one single most important designation for the internal audit profession. The value of the CIA certification carries 100% when you move from one country to another.
2. Credibility and Respect in Your Organization
Many internal auditors are not required by their companies to be a CIA, but the designation gives you credibility within the organization. I like what this reader is saying:
Since you are in the field of audit and compliance, eventually you might end up in front of of either Business Unit Audit Committee and Board Audit Committee. When dealing with different levels of authority, or even people that report to you within the organization, there will be an IDIOT who will judge your opinion or recommendations based on your experience and qualifications. Once in a while I have to pull the list of my designations just to shut them up.”
3. Higher Earning Potential with the CIA Salary Premium
According to The IIA Internal Audit Compensation Study, the median salary of auditors who hold their CIA designation is as much as 40 percent higher than peers without the credential.
Compared to other accounting certifications, Certified Internal Auditors seem to benefit more quickly and tangibly after getting certified. Many of my readers have reported immediate promotion and salary increase after obtaining the CIA certification.
4. Relatively Flexible Eligibility Requirements
Unlike the CPA exam in which one pretty much needs an accounting master’s degree to get qualified, the IIA accepts everyone as long as he or she has a bachelor degree (in any field). There is an alternative path for those who have an associate degree or even no degree. For details please take a look at the CIA exam requirements here.
5. The Exam is Relatively Easy
Part 1 and Part 2 is 100% multiple choice in a specific niche. Part covers broader topics and so it could be tough for candidates strictly from the IA background, but it is doable after a few retakes.
If you have studied for the CPA exam before or you are an auditor (external or internal) by profession, it shouldn’t take you too much effort to get this done.
Here is a Summary in Video Format
See Why My Bloggers Go for the CIA Exam
Status: only Part 3 to go
Status: CIA certified
(after 7 attempts in Part 3)
That’s Great… But How Do I Start?
Here are your next steps:
- Understand the basics of CIA certification
- Explore how you can become a Certified Internal Auditor
- Check out our list of common readers’ questions