CIA India: Becoming a Certified Internal Auditor in India

cia india

Accountants and auditors in India have a good number of accounting certification options that they can use to enhance their careers. But if you want to pursue the professional life of an internal auditor specifically, only one certification is best: the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) certification. The benefits of the CIA India are many, and the process of earning the certification is one of the less intensive among accounting certifications. So, if you’re ready to distinguish yourself with the most widely-recognized auditing designation in the world, then learn more about how to become a Certified Internal Auditor in India.

Benefits of Becoming a CIA in India

Currently, no other international professional qualification for internal auditors is as popular or prestigious as the CIA. But what specific career advantages does the CIA offer internal auditors in India? Well, the specific yet global benefits of becoming a CIA in India include:

Higher earning potential

All around the world, the trend for compensating certified individuals is to increase their pay. For example, according to the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), CIAs make as much as 51% more than non-certified internal auditors in the U.S. Therefore, you can expect such improved financial treatment when you earn the CIA in India.

More job opportunities

Similarly, the CIA opens up more opportunities for advancement. Specifically, leadership roles such as Chief Audit Executive, Vice President of Internal Audit, Internal Audit Director, and more will be in your line of sight once you’ve taken the steps to become a CIA. You can also venture into different fields and industries such as transportation and logistics, healthcare, information security and tech development, biotechnology and healthcare research, green energy, and more.

Greater job security

The regulatory environment around the world is becoming increasingly more complicated. Furthermore, the demand for qualified internal auditors is rising due to their ability to detect IT security breaches, internal and external fraud, and inefficiencies in processes. Therefore, in the next few years, corporations will be hiring more internal auditors, and CIAs will be the most valued of these. And when a company really wants to hire and keep you, you can count on your job being very secure.

Increased skills and abilities

Internal auditors are responsible to improve an organization’s operations. They should also add value to the company by using a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control, and governance processes. Internal auditors assess exposure to risk, provide recommendations for improvement, and supply assurance of effective internal controls. And in order to become a CIA, you must demonstrate that you perform these functions by presenting a certain level of education and experience and passing a rigorous exam. Therefore, you will elevate your internal auditing skills and abilities by earning the CIA.

Heightened respect and admiration

In recent years, the role of an internal auditor has shifted from a traditional financial audit role to that of a risk-based audit. Therefore, internal auditors now play a critical part in protecting and enhancing the value of an organization. Consequently, the industry views internal auditors as change agents and business partners, and industry esteem for internal auditors only grows when these individuals become certified. The CIA qualification demonstrates a great knowledge of and commitment to the field, so people’s respect for CIAs is extremely high.

Certified Internal Auditor Salary in India

The Certified Internal Auditor salary in India exemplifies the benefit of higher earning potential that comes with the CIA. For example, PayScale reports the average Certified Internal Auditor salary in India as Rs 783K. Furthermore, the range of this salary differs by location:

Certified Internal Auditor Salary in India

Indian City

CIA Salary Range (Rs)

Mumbai

236,718 – 1,939,723

Bangalore

266,382 – 1,749,791

Pune

240,000 – 1,729,520

Chennai

270,000 – 1,932,993

Hyderabad

170,297 – 781,079

Comparatively, PayScale denotes the average salary of a regular internal auditor as Rs 404,521 and the average salary of an auditor as Rs 320,000. And without the CIA, even an experienced internal auditor has an average salary cap of Rs 800,000. Therefore, having the CIA in India clearly enables you to benefit financially.

Certified Internal Auditor Jobs in India

Moreover, the variety and quality of jobs available to CIAs in India demonstrate the certification benefits of more job opportunities and greater job security. Once again, PayScale supplies the proof you need by revealing that CIAs in India can hold the following positions and make these average salaries:

Certified Internal Auditor Jobs in India

CIA Job

CIA Salary (Rs)

Quality Assurance Manager

950,000

Internal Auditing Manager

1,190,396

Auditing Manager

1,200,000

Internal Auditor Director

4,000,000

Chief Internal Auditor

6,344,188

The companies in India that most CIAs report working for include Tata Motors, Ernst & Young, HCL Technologies, and J.P. Morgan Chase.

Certified Internal Auditor India Eligibility

So, having the CIA in India is definitely advantageous. But what do you have to do to be eligible for the CIA? Well, you must meet the CIA requirements.

CIA candidates in India must meet the same requirements as most other global candidates. The IIA India does not have any country-specific procedures or policies. Therefore, to become a CIA in India, you must fulfill the following obligations:

Education

You must have an associate’s degree or higher in order to earn the CIA. Common associate’s degree equivalents that the IIA accepts include a Foundation Degree, Diploma of Higher Education, Higher National Diploma, or 3 A-level certificates with a grade of C or higher. You can also apply for the CIA program if you are a full-time student in your senior year at your college or university.

To prove that you’ve met the education requirement, you must submit a copy of your degree, official transcripts, or A-level certificates, a letter from your university confirming your degree, or a letter from an evaluation service confirming your degree level.

Alternatively, you can seek the IIA’s approval for substituting 7 years of verified experience in internal audit or its equivalent for the education requirement. To do so, you must download and fill out a form.

You must submit any document related to the education requirement using the IIA’s Certification Document Upload Portal (CDUP).

Character Reference

As evidence of the high moral character that the IIA expects of CIAs, you must have a CIA, CGAP, CCSA, CFSA, CRMA, or your supervisor sign a Character Reference form. You must then upload your form to the CDUP.

Proof of Identification

The IIA wants you to present a current (not expired) copy of your official passport or national identity card to meet the identification requirement. When you scan and upload your document to the CDUP, the photo must be clear.

CIA Exam

After you’ve met the character reference, proof of identification, and education requirements, you can apply for the CIA program and take the CIA exam. To earn the CIA, you must pass all 3 parts of the CIA exam.

Confidentiality

The CIA exam is non-disclosed. Therefore, once you pass the exam, you must agree to keep the contents of the exam confidential. Doing so means refraining from discussing the specific exam content with anyone except the IIA’s Certification Department. If you disclose the exam’s content, you will have breached the Code of Ethics, and the IIA may disqualify you.

Work Experience

The IIA India wants CIA candidates to have a number of years of experience that involves audit/assessment disciplines such as external auditing, quality assurance, compliance, and internal control.

The number of years of internal auditing experience that you need depends on the level of education you have. Therefore, the work experience for CIA candidates include:

CIA Work Experience Requirements

Education Level

Years of Work Experience Required

Master’s Degree (or equivalent)

12 months – internal auditing experience or its equivalent

Bachelor’s Degree (or equivalent)

24 months – internal auditing experience or its equivalent

Associate degree, 3 A-Level Certificates, grade C or higher (or equivalent)

60 months – internal auditing experience or its equivalent

Your current or former supervisor or a CIA, CCSA, CGAP, CFSA or CRMA must verify your work experience.

Eligibility Period

In order to become a CIA, you must meet all of the CIA requirements within the CIA eligibility period of 4 years. This period begins when you receive approval for your CIA program application. If you don’t meet all of the requirements within 4 years, you will forfeit all exam fees and credits.

Continuing Professional Education (CPE)

Once the IIA has awarded you the CIA certification, you must start meeting the continuing professional education (CPE) requirements. Earning CPE allows you to maintain your knowledge and skills and stay informed of developments in the industry. However, the IIA will credit you with 40 hours of CPE during the year you earn the CIA and another 40 hours the following year for a total of 80 CPE hours. Therefore, you don’t have to start meeting the annual CPE requirement on your own until the third year after earning the CIA.

When you’re officially responsible to earn CPE, the number of hours you must earn each year will vary based on your reporting status. In this chart, you can see what your reporting status options are and the appropriate number of annual CPE hours you will need.

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 accept your CPE if you earn your CPE from educational programs that meet the Professional Certification Board’s (PCB) established guidelines. And, whether you are a practicing or a non-practicing CIA, you must commit 2 of your CPE hours each year to the subject of ethics.

Code of Ethics

Finally, when you accept the CIA certification, you are agreeing to abide by the IIA’s Code of Ethics. Failure to do so could result in disqualification.

Experience and Education Waivers

If you hold the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) qualification or the U.S. Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license, you can qualify for CIA education and experience requirement exemptions. The PCB waives the education and work experience requirements for ACCA members and the education requirement for U.S. CPAs.

To be considered for these exemptions, you simply must complete the relevant fields on your CIA program application. The IIA will then place your application into a pending status until their certification administrators can verify that your membership/license is active.

CIA Exam India

As mentioned, the CIA exam has 3 parts. The 3 CIA exam parts are:

These 3 parts cover a comprehensive range of internal auditing topics within a specific number of 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%)

The CIA exam parts test your knowledge of these topics through multiple-choice questions (MCQs). No other question type appears on the CIA exam. Furthermore, total testing time for the CIA exam parts varies according to the number of MCQs presented. So, you can see the number of questions and the time limit for each exam part in this chart:

CIA Exam Testing Time and Question Counts

Exam Part

Duration Number of Questions

Part 1

2 ½ hours 125

Part 2

2 hours

100

Part 3

2 hours

100

Additionally, the CIA exam tests candidates understanding of the internal auditing topics at 2 different cognitive levels or depths of knowledge. The CIA exam syllabus explains that the exam uses the following cognitive levels in order to ensure that candidates possess sufficient understanding of the most critical concepts.

  • Basic Level: Candidates retrieve relevant knowledge from memory and/or demonstrate basic comprehension of concepts or processes.
  • Proficient Level: Candidates apply 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
Part 1 14

16

Part 2 14

21

Part 3 32

3

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

The CIA exam is fully computerized. And combining this quality with the fact that the exam only uses MCQs means that candidates can receive an unofficial score reporting immediately after they complete the exam. So, you won’t have to wait weeks to get your results, but you can also find your official score report in your candidate profile at the IIA website.

Pearson Vue administers the CIA exam in over 800 testing centers around the world. Furthermore, the CIA exam is available in 19 different languages including Arabic, traditional Chinese, simplified Chinese, Czech, English, Estonian, French, German, Hebrew, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, and Thai.

Certified Internal Auditor Exam Cost in India

To become a CIA in India, you not only need to meet the requirements, but you must also pay the price. You’ll need to account for several CIA exam fees, so learning about each Certified Internal Auditor exam cost in India is important for establishing your budget.

The 4 main CIA exam fees you must address are the application fee and the 3 exam part fees. However, you can reduce the amount you must pay for these fees by becoming a member of the IIA India.

IIA India Membership

As an individual member of the IIA India, you are also recognized as a member of the IIA and can therefore enjoy connections with an international network of peers, access to the updated and universally accepted internal audit standards and guidance, participation in webinars, training, events, and information about job and volunteer leadership opportunities. Last but not least, you’ll also receive discounts on CIA exam fees. Therefore, though IIA India membership is not mandatory for the CIA program, it is definitely worth considering.

The IIA India offers individual and corporate membership to these chapters:

  • Bangalore
  • Mumbai (Bombay)
  • Calcutta
  • Delhi
  • Hyderabad
  • Madras

The individual membership follows this fee structure:

IIA India Individual Membership Costs

Fees

Registration/Application Fees (applicable only in the first year of membership) – After Discount (Rs) Annual Membership Fee (Rs) Total (Rs) GST @ 18% (Rs) Total Amount (Rs)

Continuing Members

0 3,750 3,750 675 4,425

New Members/Reinstated Members

1,500 3,750 5,250 945

6,195

The IIA India website states that entrance fees will be charged @50% of actual if application is received after Sept-18 and will be charged @25% of actual if application is received after Dec-18.

To become a member of the IIA India, you must be a graduate with a degree from any recognized university or institute and have some working experience in accounts, finance, and internal audit. You can email memberservices@iiaindia.org with any questions.

CIA Exam Fees in India

Whether or not you pay for IIA India membership, you must pay the following fees to earn the CIA. But as you can see, you’ll save big on each CIA exam fee if you do become a member of the IIA India – even more than you would save if you were an IIA Global member.

Certified Internal Auditor Exam Costs in India

Pricing Non-Members Global Members IIA India Members
Application Fee $230 / ~ Rs 15,904 $115 / ~ Rs 7,952 $86 / ~ Rs 5,947
CIA Exam Part 1 $395 / ~ Rs 27,313 $280 / ~ Rs 19,361 $209 / ~ Rs 14,451
CIA Exam Part 2 $345 / ~ Rs 23,856 $230 / ~ Rs 15,904 $173 / ~ Rs 11,962
CIA Exam Part 3 $345 / ~ Rs 23,856 $230 / ~ Rs 15,904 $173 / ~ Rs 11,962

The special pricing applies to members of the Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Bangalore, Madras, and Hyderabad chapters.

With such discrepancies between the cost of the application and exam part fees for IIA India members and non-members, the total for CIA exam costs in India proves that IIA India membership is definitely worth it.

CIA Exam Costs in India

Fee Non-Member (Rs) IIA India Members (Rs)
Membership N/A 6,195
Application ~ 15,904 ~ 5,947
CIA Exam Parts ~ 75,025 ~ 38,375
Total ~ 90,929 ~ 50,517

So, not only does your IIA India membership help you save a lot of money on the CIA certification process, but it affords you a wealth of knowledge and experience by allowing you to interact with the entire IIA organization and its international members. So, the IIA India confirms that membership is a great professional investment.

And as you recall, the CIA is also worth the time, effort, and money you put into securing it due to the higher salaries and better job opportunities it brings. With the average CIA earning almost double what the average non-certified internal auditor makes annually in India, the CIA pays for itself with dividends.

How to Become a Certified Internal Auditor in India

So, if you’re ready to become a CIA in India, what steps must you take to earn the certification?

1. Purchase a CIA review course

If you’re confident that you can meet the education, character reference, and proof of identification requirements, then the first step you should take is purchasing a CIA review course. You’ll want to buy your course as soon as possible so you can study throughout the CIA application and exam registration process. That way, you can become a CIA much sooner!

Purchasing a Certified Internal Auditor Course in India is essential for passing the CIA exam because a CIA review course covers and explains the exam content, enables you to develop your knowledge and skills, and provides you with an exam support system.

A CIA review course accomplishes these tasks by including textbooks, video and audio lectures, practice test questions, flashcards, practice exams, candidate support, access until you pass, and more, all within one convenient online platform.

So, with a CIA review course, you can be certain that you’ve reached the depth of knowledge the CIA exam expects about each testable topic. You can also get the guidance you need to create an effective study schedule, stay on track, and progress past tricky exam concepts.

Best Certified Internal Auditor Training in India

The only way to make the most of your investment is to choose one of the top CIA exam review courses on the market. You’ll find a lot of great course options available, including the most widely used CIA review course. And, you can also save big on your preferred exam prep with CIA review discounts.

If you’d like more help finding the best CIA review course for you, just contact me.

2. Apply for the CIA program

When you’re ready to apply for the CIA program, you need to create an account in the IIA Certification Candidate Management System (CCMS) at the IIA’s website.

After you’ve successfully created and logged in to your account, you will have the option to fill out the CIA application form. Filling out the form will require you to submit proof of your education, your identification, and your character reference.

The final step will be paying the application fee. You can use a credit card, check, or wire transfer to do so. Once you’ve completed this task, the IIA will email you to confirm your successful application. You will probably receive an email from the IIA within 24-48 hours.

3. Register for the CIA exam parts

You can register for the CIA exam parts as soon as you receive CIA program approval from the IIA. To register, you must sign in to the CCMS again.

Within the CCMS, you’ll see the registration links for each CIA exam part. You must select the part(s) you want to register and then agree to the Pricing Provisions and Conditions statement. And again, the final step will be paying the CIA exam part fees.

4. Schedule your testing appointment

Once you’ve put your CIA exam registration into their system, the IIA will process it and then send you your authorization to test via email. This email will tell you how to go to the Pearson VUE website to schedule your testing appointment. At the Pearson VUE website, you can select your preferred testing appointment location, date, and time as well as your preferred exam language. Again, Pearson VUE offers the CIA exam at 800+ testing centers around the world, and they are open 5-6 days a week.

The IIA asks that you wait 48 hours after you receive your authorization to test before scheduling your testing appointment. But after that 48-hour period ends, you have 180 days to schedule and take your exam part.

5. Pass the CIA exam

If you’ve already purchased your CIA review course and started studying, then you should definitely be able to finish your exam studies before your testing appointment. The numbers of CIA exam study hours you can expect to spend on each part are:

CIA Exam Study Hours

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

Therefore, you should expect the duration of your CIA exam studies to fall within this study hour range. To study efficiently and effectively, you should stick to your study schedule and use your CIA review course to focus on your weak areas. You should also answer plenty of practice questions and complete a practice exam during your review. Following these CIA exam preparation tips increases your chance of passing the exam on your first attempt.

6. Complete the experience requirement

Again, you don’t need to complete the experience requirement before you take the CIA exam. But you must finish all of the CIA program requirements within 4 years. And as you recall, the amount of experience you need relates to your education level.

If you have a master’s or bachelor’s degree, you should be able to acquire your 1-2 years of experience during your 4-year eligibility period. However, if you have an associate’s degree, A-Level Certificate, or an equivalent, you must accumulate 5 years of experience. Therefore, you’ll need to start working on the experience requirement before you enter the CIA program.

7. Receive the CIA certificate and start earning CPE

For many CIA candidates, the last step in the certification process is submitting the work experience form. And thankfully, just a matter of days after you’ve done so, you should receive the CIA certification from the IIA. Then, 2 years after you’ve secured the CIA, you must start meeting the CPE requirements.

Free Help for Becoming a Certified Internal Auditor in India

If you’d like more information about the CIA process, including tips on how to pass each exam part the first time, you’ll find it in my free CIA e-course. This course tells you how to become a CIA and how to achieve CIA exam success. So, get my Certified Internal Auditor course details in India or sign up below!

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About the Author Meghan D

Accountant and blogger - I love to help you pass your exams!

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