Who is a Certified Internal Auditor?
A certified internal auditor (CIA) is an accountant who earns the recognition of a certified internal auditor conferred by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) in internal audits after passing CIA exams and upon completing the required work experience. The certification is recognized on a global level, and the certified CIAs are deployed by various critical organizations being government organizations, financial institutions, and other corporations to conduct their internal audits.
Requirements of certified Internal Auditor
If you are wondering how you can become a certified internal auditor, you must take note of the following requirements:
Complete the Educational Formalities
To be eligible for appearing for CIA exams, one needs to meet certain educational qualifications laid by the IIA. The candidates must be holding a graduation degree in any field along with a three to four years post-secondary or a higher degree or the associate’s degree before they appear for exams. However, IIA does provide some relaxations to those who don’t meet this criterion like if any candidate has only two years of post-secondary education but holds verifiable five years of work experience in internal audit domain then also such person may become eligible for CIA exams.
Meet the Requisite Work Experience
The requirements for work experience depending on the maximum educational qualifications of candidates and might differ from one candidate to another. For a candidate who holds a four years degree and no experience must attain two years of verified work experience in the internal audit or some similar domain. On the other hand, candidates having higher degree need to attain only one year verified experience.
Submission of Character Reference Documents
Candidates are under an obligation to submit character reference document duly signed by CIA, CGAP, CCSA, CFSA, CRMA or their supervisor with the IIA to reflect the level of their morality and professionalism.
Pass the CIA Exams
Candidates are required to clear the 3 phases of exams within a period of four years after which the CIA certification is allotted. In case the period of four years passes, the exam fees get forfeited by the institute and also the cleared exams lapse.
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Skillset and Education of Certified Internal Auditor
For becoming a Certified Internal Auditor, a candidate must have attained any of the following educational degrees:
- Master’s degree or any equivalent degree, along with one year of internal audit experience,
- Bachelor’s degree or any equivalent degree, along with two years of internal audit experience.
- Associate degree, along with five years of internal audit experience.
Apart from educational degrees, candidates are also required to possess some skills, such as:
- The ability for critical thinking
- Analytical skills
- Good verbal communication
- Ability to think and research
Exam Fees and Certification Costs
The fees structure for the CIA exam and certification for students is as below:
- Application fees: US $65
- CIA Exam Part 1: US $230
- CIA Exam Part 2: US $180
- CIA Exam Part 3: US $180
- Membership Fees: US $50
The membership fees vary for membership fees such as for professional membership the fee is the US $270, and so on.
Scope, Job Profile and Salary of Certified Internal Auditor
The scope of work of CIAs includes an examination of the internal processes of an organization to ensure and comment upon whether the organization’s internal processes, risk management procedures and controls and working effectively or not.
The job profile of a certified internal auditor normally includes taking care of the following tasks:
- To review the prevailing financial operations of the organization and report any discrepancies or shortcomings to the management.
- To conduct an independent assessment of the financial statements of the organization and ensure that the financial statements are prepared accurately and comply with the statutory requirements as may be applicable.
- To monitor the present risk management practices and controls in the organization and report any significant concerns that might be there with respect to risk management and operations.
- To analyze the operations and finances of the organization and suggest the management any ways of increasing the revenue and decreasing the costs.
The salary that a certified internal auditors draw depends upon the experience and the position been held by them. However, on an average, the salary drawn by the CIA ranges from $69,000 to $84,000.
The work experience that any candidate is required to possess for becoming a certified internal auditor can be summarized as below based on the educational qualifications possessed by the candidates –
|Educational Qualification||Work Experience Required|
|Master’s or Any Equivalent Degree||One Year of Experience in Internal audit or any similar Field|
|Bachelor’s or Any Equivalent Degree||Two Years of Experience in Internal Audit or any similar Field|
|Associate Degree||Five Years of Experience in Internal Audit or any similar Field|
|Any other Lower Degree||Seven Years of Experience in Internal Audit or any similar Field|
Eligibility of Certified Internal Auditor
Apart from the requirements that the candidates are required to meet for becoming eligible for CIA certification, there are some other requirements as well that the candidates must fulfil. These include:
- Abiding by Code of Ethics – The candidates must at all times abide by the requirements laid down in the code of ethics.
- Completing CPE Requirements – Even after the candidates attain CIA certification, they must keep their knowledge updated and must always be aware of the latest developments and improvements in the field of internal audit.
- Maintaining Confidentiality – The CIA exams are supposed to be confidential. Due to this reason, the candidates appearing for the exams are expected to keep the contents of the exam paper to themselves and not disclose the same with anyone. If any candidate discloses the same, the same will be considered a breach of the code of ethics.