CIA Philippines: Becoming a Certified Internal Auditor in the Philippines 

cia philippines

Earning the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) certification can be a huge advantage to the careers of many auditors and accountants in the Philippines. As a CIA, you open the door to new job opportunities, greater job satisfaction, and a bigger paycheck. So, while you may be thinking about pursuing other accounting certifications, the CIA certification should be at the top of your list because the benefits of the CIA Philippines are vast. What’s more, the actual certification process is simpler than that of other certifications. So, if you’re ready to advance in your career, learn how to become a Certified Internal Auditor in the Philippines.

Benefits of Becoming a CIA in the Philippines

The CIA certification is the most well-known and highly regarded professional qualification for internal auditors. The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) administers the CIA certification. The IIA is an international organization with a local office in the Philippines. Because of this, the CIA offers global and local benefits to internal auditors in the Philippines. These benefits include:

Increased earning potential

Thanks to their certification, CIAs around the world enjoy increased earnings. For example, the IIA reports that CIAs in the U.S. earn up to 51% more than their non-certified auditor peers. As such, you can likely expect to see your own paycheck increase once you become a CIA in the Philippines.

New job opportunities

Likewise, a CIA certification can change the direction of your career. The CIA will put you in a better position to take on new job opportunities, including those with greater responsibilities. Furthermore, you can secure consideration for leadership roles such as Internal Audit Director, Vice President of Internal Audit, or Chief Audit Executive.

You can also use your CIA status to jumpstart a career in a new field or industry. For starters, a CIA in the Philippines can find work in the fields of healthcare, information technology, transportation and logistics, and government. 

Greater job security

The global regulatory environment is becoming more complex. As a result, organizations are searching for highly qualified internal auditors who can mitigate risk. These organizations need experienced internal auditors to find vulnerabilities in IT systems, detect cases of external and internal fraud, and identify opportunities for process improvements. In short, the demand for CIAs is rising. CIAs are the most valued internal auditors. Because of this, organizations seek them out and do everything they can to keep them on staff.

Valued skills and abilities

CIAs have numerous, important responsibilities. Organizations trust CIAs to improve efficiency and operations. CIAs also bring value to their company through their work approach. They use disciplined and systematic methods for analyzing and improving governance, risk management, and control processes. Commonly, CIAs have the following responsibilities:

  • evaluating risk exposure
  • recommending process improvements
  • giving assurance related to effective internal controls

To earn the CIA certification, you must show that you can successfully perform these types of tasks. The IIA will ask you to provide documentation related to your education and experience. You also must pass a rigorous, 3-part exam. So, when you become a CIA, your internal auditing skills and abilities will far surpass those of the average internal auditor.

Elevated respect and admiration

As an internal auditor, you’ve likely seen a few changes in the profession over the years. For example, the role of internal auditor used to be heavily based in financial auditing. Now, the role has shifted to become more focused on risk-based audit. As a result, organizations need internal auditors to protect and heighten their value.

Because of this role shift, the auditing industry views internal auditors differently. The industry sees internal auditors as change agents and business partners. And when internal auditors have the CIA certification, the respect and esteem for these individuals only grow. A CIA qualification shows that you have a great understanding of and commitment to the industry.

Certified Internal Auditor Salary in the Philippines

The Certified Internal Auditor salary in the Philippines demonstrates one of the advantages of earning the certification. For example, PayScale reports that the average Certified Internal Auditor salary in the Philippines as PHP 649,000. Average salaries can differ by location:

Certified Internal Auditor Salary in the Philippines

Philippines City

CIA Salary Range (PHP)

Makati City

247,554 – 1,089,086

Manila

183,831 – 1,515,459
Quezon City

758,000

Cebu City

344,400

Clark

468,000

Comparatively, PayScale shows the average salary of a regular internal auditor as PHP 383,693 and the average salary of an auditor as PHP 239,745. And without the CIA, even an experienced internal auditor has an average salary cap of PHP 576,000. Clearly, having the CIA in the Philippines allows you to benefit financially.

Certified Internal Auditor Jobs in the Philippines

As an added benefit, CIAs have choices in the variety and quality of jobs available to them. Again, PayScale backs up the financial advantages of a CIA certification. The chart below shows that CIAs in the Philippines can fill a wide range of good-paying jobs.

Certified Internal Auditor Jobs in the Philippines

CIA Job

CIA Salary (PHP)

Internal Auditing Manager

968,803

Internal Auditor

383,693

Senior Internal Auditor

376,000

Chief Audit Executive

3,215,000

Chief Financial Officer

4,140,000

Internal Audit Director

840,500

Accounting Manager

1,547,240

Certified Internal Auditor Philippines Eligibility

Clearly, having the CIA in the Philippines can provide internal auditors with significant career and financial advantages. So, naturally, the next question is, “How do I become a Certified Internal Auditor in the Philippines?”

Well, CIA candidates in the Philippines must follow their local certification process. The requirements the IIA Philippines (IIAP) has established are similar to the IIA’s global requirements but with notable differences.

To become a CIA in the Philippines, you must meet these country-specific requirements:

Education

For admission into the CIA program, you must show proof of education. The IIAP requires candidates to provide a certified true copy of their Transcript of Record. The IIAP does not accept photocopies.

Documentation and Proof of Identification

The IIAP will ask you to submit a few forms of documentation and identification. These include:

  • Original and photocopy of a government-issued I.D. card that shows your name, picture, and signature
  • A certified true copy of NSO-issued marriage contract (married females only)
  • 2 2×2 picture IDs with name tags

Character Reference

CIAs are responsible for handling sensitive and confidential data. What’s more, their clients and companies view them as trusted advisors. Therefore, the IIA holds all CIAs to the highest moral standards. For this reason, a qualified reference must sign a Character Reference form on your behalf. Your reference needs to be a CIA, CCSA, CFSA, CRMA, or your supervisor.

CIA Exam

The IIAP will review your submitted application and documents. If the IIAP approves you for candidacy, you will then be eligible to sit for the CIA exam. The exam consists of 3 parts. So, you must pass all 3 parts to earn the CIA certification.

Confidentiality

The CIA exam is confidential and cannot be disclosed. Therefore, once you sit for the exam, you must agree not to share any of its contents. You are only allowed to discuss specific exam content with the IIA’s Certification Department. If you disregard this confidentiality, the IIA will consider it a breach of the Code of Ethics and may disqualify you from earning the CIA.

Work Experience

The IIAP requires you to have 24 months of internal audit experience or its equivalent before you can earn your CIA certification. Work experience encompasses internal auditing, external auditing, quality assurance, compliance, and internal control.

Eligibility Period

CIA candidates have a 4-year window in which to meet all certification requirements. The clock starts when you receive approval from the IIA for your CIA program application. If you are unable to meet all CIA requirements within 4 years, you will forfeit all exam credits and fees. So, essentially, you will have to start over if you decide to continue with the certification.

Continuing Professional Education (CPE)

As a CIA, you will be expected to keep up with the auditing industry and continue to learn and grow in your role. For this reason, once you receive your CIA certification, you must meet certain continuing professional education (CPE) requirements.

The IIA will grant you 40 hours of CPE during the year you receive the CIA. You will also receive 40 hours the following year. Therefore, earning the CIA supplies you with a total of 80 CPE hours in 2 years. Consequently, you won’t have to worry about obtaining CPE credits until the year after earning the CIA.

Then, the number of CPE hours you must earn will depend on your reporting status. This chart outlines the number of required hours for each reporting status.

CIA CPE Hours

Reporting Status

Definition Use Certification CPE Hours for CIA

Practicing

Actively performing internal audit or related activities Yes 40

Non-practicing

Not actively performing internal audit or related activities No

20

The IIA will only approve CPE hours from educational programs that meet the Professional Certification Board’s (PCB) established guidelines. Both practicing and non-practicing CIAs must also commit 2 hours of CPE each year to an ethics topic.

Code of Ethics

Lastly, when you accept your CIA certification, you agree to abide by the IIA’s Code of Ethics. If you fail to do so, you could be disqualified from earning the certification.

CIA Exam Philippines

Again, the CIA exam has 3 parts. The 3 exam parts include:

1: Essentials of Internal Auditing

2: Practice of Internal Auditing

3: Business Knowledge for Internal Auditing

The 3 CIA exam parts represent a wide range of internal auditing topics within defined content areas.

CIA Exam Content

1. Essentials of Internal Auditing 2. Practice of Internal Auditing 3. Business Knowledge for Internal Auditing
I. Foundations of Internal Auditing (15%) I. Managing the Internal Audit Activity (20%) I. Business Acumen (35%)
II. Independence and Objectivity (15%) II. Planning the Engagement (20%) II. Informational Security (25%)
III. Proficiency and Due Professional Care (18%) III. Performing the Engagement (40%) III. Information Technology (20%)
IV. Quality Assurance and Improvement Program (7%) IV. Communicating Engagement Results and Monitoring Progress (20%) IV. Financial Management (20%)
V. Governance, Risk Management, and Control (35%)
VI. Fraud Risks (10%)

Furthermore, the CIA exam is a 100% multiple-choice question (MCQ) exam. So, testing time varies based on the number of MCQs in each exam part. The number of questions and the time limit for each exam part are as follows:

CIA Exam Testing Time and Question Counts

Exam Part Duration Number of Questions
1 2 ½ hours 125
2 2 hours 100
3 2 hours 100

Additionally, the CIA exam evaluates your knowledge of internal auditing topics at 2 cognitive levels or depths of understanding. According to the CIA exam syllabus, these levels are the basic and proficient cognitive levels. The IIA uses them in the CIA exam to ensure candidates have a sufficient understanding of critical concepts.

The IIA provides these descriptions for the cognitive levels:

  • Basic Level: Candidates recall relevant knowledge from memory and/or show a basic understanding of concepts or processes.
  • Proficient Level: Candidates use concepts, processes, or procedures; analyze, evaluate, and make judgments based on criteria; and/or put elements or material together to formulate conclusions and recommendations.

The CIA exam parts test the following number of topics at each cognitive level:

CIA Exam Cognitive Levels

Exam Part Basic Level Proficient Level
1 14 16
2 14 21
3 32 3

The CIA exam score ranges from 250 to 750. And, a passing score is 600. Currently, the overall CIA exam pass rate is 42%.

What’s more, the CIA exam is 100% computerized. This aspect of the exam combined with the fact that the exam uses only MCQs allows you to immediately receive an unofficial score report after you finish the exam. Therefore, you won’t have to spend weeks anxiously awaiting your results. Then, you can view your official score on the IIA website by logging into your candidate profile.

The IIA has partnered with Pearson VUE to administer the CIA exam. So, you can take the CIA exam at one of the 900+ Pearson VUE testing centers around the world. Moreover, the previous version of the CIA exam is available in Czech, Estonian, Hebrew, Indonesian, Italian, and Polish. The 2019 version of the CIA exam is available or will soon be available in English, French, Spanish, German, Turkish, Arabic, Russian, Korean, Portuguese, Chinese Traditional, Japanese, Chinese Simplified, and Thai.

Certified Internal Auditor Exam Cost in the Philippines

To earn your CIA certification in the Philippines, you need to meet the program requirements and pay all the CIA fees. Therefore, as you budget and plan, you’ll want to account for an application fee and the 3 CIA exam part fees. However, you can reduce these fees by becoming a member of the IIAP.

IIA Philippines Membership

You don’t have to be a member of the IIAP to earn your CIA certification. But, IIAP membership has numerous benefits.

For example, as an individual member of IIAP, you are also a member of the IIA. Therefore, you can connect with an international network of peers, stay up-to-date with universally accepted internal audit standards, gain career guidance from the experts, and participate in learning events such as webinars, seminars, conferences, and hands-on training. You’ll also be among the first to hear about job and volunteer leadership postings. And last but not least, you’ll get discounts on CIA exam fees. So, an IIAP membership is certainly worth your consideration.

You can apply for a regular IIAP membership or an educational associate membership. The IIAP classifies educational associates as educators, students, and writers who work in the fields related to internal auditing and who do not qualify as regular members.

The membership fee structure for each type of membership is:

IIAP Membership Costs

Fees New Member Fee (PHP) Renewal Fee (PHP)
Regular Member 2,300 2,300
Educational Associate Member 1,500 1,500

To become a regular member of the IIAP, you can apply online or download and submit a completed application. To become an educational associate member, email membership@iia-p.org or call 9409551 loc.13 for more information.

CIA Exam Fees in the Philippines

You must pay certain fees to become a CIA, regardless of whether or not you decide to become an IIAP member. However, as an IIAP member, you will incur substantial savings on these fees.

Certified Internal Auditor Exam Costs in the Philippines

Pricing

IIAP Members (USD)

Non-Members (USD) IIAP Members (PHP)

Non-Members (PHP)

Application Fee

115

230 5,911.35 1,822.69

Exam Part 1

280

395 14,392.84

20,304.18

Exam Part 2

230

345 1,822.69

17,734.04

Exam Part 3 

230

345  1,822.69

17,734.04

Total

855

1,315 23,949.57

57,594.95

As you can see, your IIAP membership saves you a significant amount of money on the CIA program. Additionally, it gives you a wealth of knowledge and insight by connecting you with the entire IIA organization and your international peers. For these reasons, IIAP membership is truly a sound professional investment.

Furthermore, the average CIA earns nearly double what the typical non-certified internal auditor earns. So, the money you spend to earn your CIA certifications pays dividends in your bank account.

How to Become a Certified Internal Auditor in the Philippines

Are you ready to become a CIA in the Philippines? If so, then you must take certain steps to earn the certification. These steps cover the CIA exam requirements but also include the necessary steps for being able to pass and maintain your certification.

1. Select and purchase a CIA review course

In your CIA exam journey, you want to find a CIA review course sooner rather than later. So, once you’re confident you can meet the IIA Philippines requirements for the CIA program, your next step should be purchasing a CIA review course. By purchasing a CIA review course early on in the certification process, you leave yourself plenty of time to study as you complete the CIA application and exam registration procedures. Then, when you are able to schedule and sit for your exam, you’ll be very ready.

Purchasing a Certified Internal Auditor course in the Philippines is essential to passing the CIA exam. A CIA review course gives you crucial insight into the exam content. Moreover, it also enables you to build your skills and knowledge and provides you with an important support system.

Additionally, a CIA review course gives you access to valuable study materials in one, convenient platform. These materials include textbooks, practice exams, video and audio lectures, and flashcards. Typically, you have access to these materials until you pass the exam.

But a CIA review course gives you more than study aides. It also helps you create an effective study plan, stay on schedule, and master even the trickiest of exam concepts.

For these reasons, I highly suggest purchasing a CIA review course. With a CIA review course, you’ll get a better idea of what to expect on exam day and gain a deeper understanding of the exam content.

Best Certified Internal Auditor Training in the Philippines

A CIA review course is an investment. So, to make the most of that investment, you should choose one of the top courses in the industry. Fortunately, you have plenty of fantastic courses to pick from, including the most popular CIA review course. And, you can save on your preferred course by using my CIA review course discounts.

You can also contact me for additional help finding the best CIA review course for you.

2. Apply for the CIA Philippines program

To apply for the CIA program, you must make an account in the IIA Certification Candidate Management System (CCMS). You’ll find the CCMS at the IIA’s website.

Creating and logging into your account allows you to fill out the CIA application form. To complete the form, you must provide proof of your education, identification, and character reference.

Lastly, you have to pay the application fee, and you can do so using a credit card, check, or wire transfer. After you’ve submitted the application, the IIA will email you to confirm you did so successfully. You can expect to receive the IIA email within 24-48 hours.

3. Register for the CIA exam

Once the IIA Philippines accepts your application and enrolls you into the CIA program, you are ready to schedule your CIA exam.

The exam registration is simple. You’ll log into the IIA’s CCMS, select the appropriate exam part(s), complete the registration form, and pay the CIA exam part fees.

4. Schedule your exam appointment

CIA exam registration is a 2-part process. First, you’ll register for the exam through the IIA’s CCMS. The IIA will then process your registration and send you an email with the subject line, “Authorization to Test.” The email will include instructions for the second part of the registration process: signing up with Pearson VUE.

Again, the IIA has partnered with Pearson VUE to administer the CIA exam. So, you must follow the instructions in the email to visit the Pearson VUE website and schedule your exam appointment. You’ll be able to select your preferred testing date and location as well as your preferred exam language. Most Pearson VUE testing centers are open 5-6 days a week.

The IIA will ask that you wait 48 hours after receiving your email to schedule your testing appointment with Pearson VUE. However, once that 48-hour window ends, you will have 180 days to schedule and sit for your exam part.

5. Sit for and pass the CIA exam

If you purchase a CIA review course before you complete the program application and exam registration process, then you should be well prepared to take your exam come test day. In this time, you should aim to meet the recommended number of study hours for each CIA exam part. So, keep these numbers in mind as you create your study plan and schedule your exam.

CIA Exam Study Hours

Exam Part Minimum # of Study Hours Safe # of Study Hours
1 30 65
2 30 70
3 50 95

CIA exam success often comes down to studying and preparation. So, stick with the guidelines above, abide by your study schedule, and use your CIA review course to identify and focus on your weak areas. As you prepare, you’ll also want to account for time spent taking practice exams. Consequently, if you follow these CIA exam prep tips, you’ll increase your chances of passing the CIA exam on the first try.

6. Fulfill the experience requirement

The IIA does not require you to meet the experience requirement before you take the CIA exam. However, you must complete the CIA program requirements within 4 years. Again, the IIAP requires CIA candidates to have 24 months of experience in a relevant field.

7. Earn the CIA certificate and start accumulating CPE

As a CIA candidate, the last step you’ll likely need to take in earning your certification is submitting the work experience form. Fortunately, you should receive the CIA certification from the IIA just a few days after submitting the form. From that point, you’ll have 2 years before you need to start earning annual CPE.

Free Help for Becoming a Certified Internal Auditor in the Philippines

Want even more information about the CIA process, including tips on how to pass each exam part the first time? Well, you can find it all in my free CIA e-course. The course provides insight and advice on how to successfully pass the exam and become a CIA. So, get my Certified Internal Auditor course details in the Philippines or sign up below!

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About the Author Lynnel

Lynnel is a recent graduate, with a BSBA Major in Internal Auditing in the Philippines. Lynnel passed Part 1 and 2 on the same day, and Part 3 on her first attempt.

  • John Johnell says:

    San po mkakakuha ng mga free materials for cia exam preparation.Thank you po and congratulations.

  • Dan says:

    How much in total did you pay for the overall cost of gaining the CIA designation? Congrats!

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