Hello, my name is Stephanie and I am the first CISA exam blogger on this site (and as far as I know, anywhere on the Internet). In case you haven’t noticed, I am also the person running this site.
A bit about Me and My CISA Journey
I am an investment banker by training and started my career in the global mergers and acquisition team in New York. After working for a few years, I went to work for one of my clients in the financial accounting team where I specialized in corporate finance, strategic planning and special projects. During this time, I worked closely with financial and management accountants, as well as external and internal auditors. I also took the time to study and pass the CPA exam and became a CPA (currently in inactive status).
In 2010 I launched my CPA website, and over the years expanded the coverage in CPA, CMA, CIA and now CISA in order to effectively answer questions from readers.
I can see how the CISA certification taking off from the statistics of my site, and I have been looking for a CISA exam blogger for a year to give us a more personal feel about this up and coming certification.
So far, no luck.
I was thinking this morning — I might as well do it?
The first step is go through my own page on how to become a CISA. In any professional exams, I ask candidates to consider the “why” before the “how”. Because if you can’t give yourself a good reason why you need this certification, the how becomes unnecessary.
For me, I won’t actually get certified because I wouldn’t be able to accumulate enough IT audit experience to obtain the qualification. But it would be helpful to go through the exam myself. I strongly feel that I’d be in a much better position to provide value as an actual exam taker.
The logical next step is to check out the cost. I have another page here that breaks down the cost into membership fee, exam fee and miscellaneous expenses.
Interesting enough, when I actually had to go through the cost as a candidate, I found that my understanding on the cost structure was wrong.
For example, I thought the membership fee was $30 to $140 depending on location, but I missed a big $135 known as the “international dues” that applies to all candidates.
Now, the decision whether to join the ISACA membership is changed.
First, you need to know that the ISACA membership is not mandatory to take this exam. In the past, I recommended candidates to take up the membership anyway, because the discount more than offsets the membership fee.
Now with this additional $135, the benefit disappears. In fact, it is now slightly worse off for me considering where I live. This is likely the case if you live in big cities.
Since I don’t need the ISACA membership for professional and networking purposes, I decide not to join the membership. The non-member exam fee is going to be $710 (!) even with the early bird. I better pass on my first try!
Until Next Week…
I’ll take a closer look at the review courses and share my findings in the next post. In the meantime, you may want to see if the CISA certification is beneficial to you: