How to Obtain a Certificate for Internal Auditors

by Chris Snellgrove

Auditing is an important part of any corporation. Certified Internal Auditors are the professionals who conduct internal audits and evaluate the controls and effective risk management that should comprise a smoothly-running company. To obtain a certificate of internship for internal auditors -- also known as a certified internal auditor certificate -- you must get a bachelor's degree, complete two years of relevant work experience, and pass a four-part examination.

Complete your education. You need a bachelor's degree in order to pursue your certificate of internal auditing. While there is not a specific degree requirement, majoring in accounting or taking finance classes may give you an academic background that helps you pass the CIA examination. You can save money on an Institute of Internal Auditors membership if you obtain it while you are still a student.

Get work experience as an internal auditor. At minimum, you must have 24 months of internal auditing experience or something equivalent to internal auditing experience. Such equivalent experience typically includes external auditing, quality assurance, internal control, compliance or audit discipline. Having a master's degree in finance, accounting, or law -- or significant work experience in one of those fields -- can reduce the requirement for 24 months of specific internal auditing experience down to 12 months.

Keep a work record free of ethical and/or conduct violations. One of the requirements for a prospective certified internal auditor is to abide by the Institute of Internal Auditor's code of ethics. You must agree to this code when you sign up to take the CIA exam, and you will need to submit a character reference from either an existing CIA or your work supervisor before you can take your CIA exam.

Consider membership with the Institute of Internal Auditors. While this step is optional, the IIA is a great source of news and information for CIAs, and also offers free information on passing your CIA exam as well as discounted prices on printed review material. Standard membership costs $230, but if you are a full-time student, the cost is $70. If you work as an educator, membership is $120, and if you work with the government, membership is $125.

Register to take the Certified Internal Auditor exam through the IIA Certification Candidate Management System. The application alone costs $200 for non-IIA members and $100 for IIA members. It only costs $50 for students or professors. The cost of the four-part exam is $200 for non-IIA members and $150 for members. For students and professors, the cost is $105.

Study for and pass your exam. After successfully completing your exam, you will have a certified internal auditor certificate and be able to apply for CIA jobs.

About the Author

Dr. Chris Snellgrove is a writing specialist, and a veteran of everything from a book-length dissertation to a newspaper editor's desk. He has produced work for academic, business, creative, and non-profit endeavors.

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