Accounting Certifications

What Is A CIA (Certified Internal Auditor)?

CIA (Certified Internal Auditor)

Certified Internal Auditors (CIAs) are highly trained and well-paid professionals who usually work full-time at one corporation to ensure all their financial reports are compliant. Becoming a CIA is not easy, however, the status is recognized all over the world—read on to find out everything about this interesting career.

What Is A CIA In Accounting?

Certification as a Certified Internal Auditor, also known as a CIA, is available to accountants who work in internal auditing.

The Certified Internal Auditor qualification is the only certificate of its kind that is recognized on a global scale. It is awarded by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), which is the only organization of its kind.

Audit departments of government organizations, companies, or financial institutions are common places for CIA agents to get employment. They examine the financial records to search for problems with the company's internal controls.

Main Takeaways

  • Certified Internal Auditors are accountants who are qualified to do internal audits and have earned the appropriate qualification.
  • After completing all the necessary examinations, the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) members are granted the CIA designation.
  • CIAs are generally employed inside the auditing divisions of organizations, governmental agencies, and financial institutions.
  • Certified Internal Auditors (CIAs) are comparable to Certified Public Accountants (CPAs); however, CPAs are generally exclusively accepted in the United States, but CIAs are acknowledged worldwide.

What Are The Job And Tasks Of A CIA In Accounting?

Certified public accountants (CPAs) also get auditing training and can perform many of the same responsibilities as CIAs.

On the other hand, professionals who have earned the CIA certification will have a skill set that is more narrowly focused.

The Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certificate is often exclusively accepted inside the United States, but the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) qualification is acknowledged globally. This is a crucial distinction.

CIA vs. CPA: A Comparison

CIA vs. CPA Comparison

Although certified public accountants (CPAs) can be directly hired by a business to work as auditors for the business, it is far more typical for CPAs to be brought in from the outside (externally) to work as auditors for the business.

CIAs are, therefore, more likely to get hired by a corporation on a full-time basis. An accountant can get both a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) accreditation, albeit doing so is rare.

- Read more in detail about CPA.

The Importance Of CIAs: A Real-Life Example

In most organizations, employees who do internal audits are expected to abide by a code of ethics. The scandal that occurred at Lehman Brothers in 2008 is an illustration of internal auditors that did not adhere to such code.

Despite the fact that the firm was having financial difficulties, the executives continued to get hefty pay.

Furthermore, the accounting system could be manipulated since there were insufficient internal controls.

This allowed for the reporting of false numbers inside the balance sheets. The activities were not only unlawful but also immoral, prejudiced, and lacking in professionalism; they also violated the CIA's code of ethics.

How To Become A Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)

To be eligible for the CIA certification, accountants need to have a bachelor's degree and at least two years of experience working in a field related to an internal audit, such as internal control, compliance, or quality assurance.

In addition, they must pass a series of exams to demonstrate their knowledge of the subject. Other criteria include a character reference and confirmation of identity.

If you want to keep your CIA certification current, you will need to complete 40 hours of continuing education (CE) each year. This is a requirement to keep your CIA status.

CIA (Certified Internal Auditor) Careers In 2023

Career opportunities at the CIA are diverse and extensive. There are a variety of executive positions available to CIAs, including vice president, chief audit executive, and director, among others.

In addition, an individual working for the CIA can specialize in either investigative or information technology auditing, as well as internal auditing, compliance auditing, and audit management.

CPAs have a tendency to earn greater pay than CIAs. However, this might vary depending on the job title and function of the particular CIA.

Read more about 7 Best Paying Accounting Certificates In 2023.

Future Prospects Of Certified Internal Auditors (CIA)

It is anticipated that more auditors will be trained in the years ahead. It is almost certain that there will be an increase in the demand for auditors due to changes in legislation concerning financial reporting, corporate taxes, and mergers and acquisitions.

In addition, there will be a need for increased accountability in order to protect organizations and the stakeholders in those organizations.

The function of auditors continues to develop, which is expected to stimulate employment growth in the profession. Moreover, succession planning, retirement, and staff churn will develop new job vacancies in the business.

The Conclusion

To sum it up, Certified Internal Auditors (CIAs) are essentially globally recognized CPAs specialized in financial auditing. They usually earn well and work full-time for one corporation at once. CIAs must undergo a certain amount of education each year to keep their titles issued by the Institution of Internal Auditors. To become a CIA, one must successfully complete a specialized certification issued by the IIA.

If you’d like to know more about CPAs (Certified Public Accountants) or CMAs (Certified Management Accountants) check out our related articles now—see you there!

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