As with other professional accounting credentials, earning CIA certification clearly demonstrates your willingness to invest in your career and your commitment to the auditing profession. With more auditors choosing to pass the CIA exam and gain certification, internal auditing is quickly becoming an essential part of corporate risk management (“the third line of defense”). As more companies seek to fill these “must have” roles, internal auditors stand will enjoy expanded career opportunities in the years to come.
Benefits of CIA Certification
For most auditors seeking certification, there are three primary benefits to CIA certification:
1. Be Part of a Global Network of Auditing Professionals (the IIA)
The Institute of Internal Auditors (www.theiia.org) is an international professional association and the global voice, chief advocate, and principal educator of the internal auditing profession. It has more than 185,000 members globally across hundreds of local chapters, with 70,000+ member and 160+ chapters in North America alone. Unlike other accounting specialties, which often offer several certifications bestowed by different organizations in different regions, the auditing profession recognizes only one central designation, the CIA®. Its value translates across regions, countries and companies.
Also, by joining the IIA, which is required for certification, auditors can dramatically expand their professional networks and connections through a host of conferences, educational events, meetings and more.
2. Gain Credibility & Respect in Your Organization
Earning CIA certification is not a requirement for most internal auditors; it’s a choice. Going through the rigors of passing the CIA exam and meeting the ongoing education requirements of the IIA is a clear demonstration to your peers and your employer (current or future) of your passion for the internal auditing profession. It also shows that you’ve learned widely accepted “best practices” for carrying out audit functions and that your work meets a standard baseline for quality.
3. Improve Income Potential & Job Opportunities
Businesses are seeking employees with the credentials and certifications needed to propel their business’s growth and earnings. Auditors are in high demand, and having the CIA designation provides is a major bonus when looking for jobs. In fact, according to the IIA, the median salary of auditors with CIA certification can be a much as 40% higher than their non-CIA-holding peers. Payscale also puts the salary range for an auditor between $52,000 and $118,000, depending on the role and region.
Even though CIA certification is often a voluntary credential, its impact can be quite dramatic and quick for an auditor’s career. No matter their current positions, from entry level to executive, auditors can benefit from certification. CPA and CMA holders stand to benefit the most by dramatically expanding their skill set in a short amount of time and opening themselves up to an ever-wider option of career opportunities.
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