What’s the most direct way to become a Certified Internal Auditor? Here are the 10 steps.
Stop looking up the application form.
The more important question is… why do you want to be a Certified Internal Auditor in the first place?
The CIA certification is granted by the Institution of Internal Auditors, and is the only global qualification for internal auditors. While it adds great value to many professionals in this field, you want to make sure the benefits apply to you as well.
There are many choices in terms of accounting and finance qualifications. Is CIA the most suitable for your career? Is it better to get a more general designation (e.g. CPA) or a more specialized one (e.g. CISA)?
The CIA exam pass rate was 40% last year. Can you make it?
This 3-part exam costs around $1,000-1,500. The total investment is typically around $2,000 when you include the study materials as well as the travel and accommodation cost.
The rule is relatively straightforward: the candidate is required to have a bachelor degree in any discipline from an accredited university. It can be partially or fully waived with 2-7 years of working experience in internal audit.
Candidates have to accumulate and verify (by your supervisor) 2 years of internal audit experience. Related professions, such as external audit, internal control, compliance, and quality assurance can normally be accepted.
A master’s degree in relevant field can substitute 12 months of work experience.
Once you have provided proof on your education, you can apply and register online using IIA’s candidate management system.
There are three parts for the CIA exam. Most candidates take Part 1 first, but you can choose to take the parts in any sequence.
The exam site is available in 500+ Pearson VUE centers around the world and there are 17 languages to choose from. You can practically take the exam any time of the year.
Most candidates study on their own using self-study review materials. The best providers now have their courses available online for candidates to study at the comfort of their home, in anywhere around the world.
Part 1, Part and Part 3 of the exam takes 2.5 hours, 2 hours and 2 hours respectively. The exam itself fully comprises multiple choice questions, which means that you can get your score right after the exam. The official score report is available a few days afterwards.
Once you pass the exam and fulfill all the experience requirements, fill in the work verification form and you will be a fully minted Certified Internal Auditor in a couple of days. Best of luck to your CIA journey!
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I am the author of How to Pass The CPA Exam (published by Wiley) and the publisher of this and several accounting professional exam prep sites.
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