What’s the most direct way to become a Certified Internal Auditor? Here are the 10 steps.
Stop looking up the application form.
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.
You have to be committed to your work. Internal audit, whether it is the working part or the studying, requires a lot of time and hard work. Some days are good and some are terrible, just stay focused and keep going – it will be worth it in the end.
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 average CIA exam pass rate was 40.3% in the last 3 years. 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.
If you have a post-graduate education but not a bachelor degree, you can use 5 years of relevant and verifiable experience to waive the education requirement.
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.
General accounting experience may not be enough. You need at least 1 year of audit /compliance 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.
Here is the Step-by-step registration process if you can’t wait to start!
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.
There is a 90-day wait to retake the same part of the exam. Otherwise, one can take as many times as he likes within the 4 years of the program.
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.
Looking at the print out that said “PASS” was one of the best feelings ever. After all the hard work, worries, doubt, I conquer it through prayers and by believing in myself.
The journey can be long, but it’s worth it to many of us. Are you ready?
You are most welcome to sign up to my mini-course below. If you aren’t sure what this is, learn about what this free mini e-course can offer before signing up.
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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Latest CIA Exam Syllabus (plus Great Questions from Readers)
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