How to Apply CIA Exam Knowledge to Your Internal Audit Career


I’ve got a great suggestion from fellow reader Hossam G. on how we can “link our knowledge in CIA exam with what we do in daily life”. In other words, how do we apply what we learn in our job?

Here are my thoughts. Your comments are most welcome.

Apply CIA Exam Knowledge

1. Understanding the Big Picture Early in Your Career

Candidates often mention how practical experience helps in their preparation and passing of Part 1 and 2. In fact, it helps the other way round as well.

The CIA exam covers all major concepts a junior internal audit professional is supposed to know. In reality, only a few aspects of IA is touched when we start working.

By taking the CIA exam, we get a macro view on the function of an internal audit, and we get to understand how our role (no matter how small, mundane or mechanical it seems) fits into the big picture. Without going through this exam, you probably won’t come to this realization until reaching the manager level.

2. Taking Pride in Your Job and Excel

With this new perspective, our job becomes a lot more interesting and meaningful. This in turn keeps the passion in what we do, and drives us to be better internal auditors.

3. Looking at the Standards in New Perspective

If you took internal audit classes in universities, chances are that you have read the Standards before, memorized a few of them even. To most of us, they were no more than a bunch of boring definitions organized in certain title and number.

We are forced to revisit the Standards while studying for the CIA exam. Now, after having some working experience (for most of you at least), these Standards should make more sense. They finally seem to carry some meaning and value applicable to your clients. Again, this realization helps you become a much better auditor.

Annette sums it up really well on her blog post here.

4. Upholding Ethics

The CIA exam puts a good emphasis on ethics. Ethics is something you know, but usually not fully appreciate as a young internal auditor. Going through the exam reminds you of the importance, as Lynnel experienced in one of her job interviews.

Setting the tone of strong ethics is critically important as you move up the ranks within internal audit.

What are Your Thoughts?

I would like to add more reasons why the CIA exam can be helpful to your career. The title is important for credentials, but we also want to get more out of this exam right? Please share any of your comments and stories below. Thank you!

For Your Further Reading

About the Author Stephanie

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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