Certified Internal Auditor
Are you curious about becoming a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)? This article will explain the roles and responsibilities of this position, detail how you can earn your certification, and how you can use this designation in your career.
As a CIA, your role is to independently and objectively evaluate the operations within an organization. The role can vary depending on the industry or company needs, but in general, the auditor is tasked with maintaining relevant information flow between the company’s board of directors and/or senior management and making sure that operations and business processes are in compliance with company policy and legal regulations.
The biggest difference between an internal and external auditor is the type of information you are managing. As an internal auditor, you’re tasked with the holistic management of information, which is primarily non-financial information. As a hired external auditor, your job is to examine the financial condition or business dealings, as well as compliance with different laws within the industry. As an internal auditor, understanding the functionality of each kind of external auditor helps one better prepare for the documentation and requirements when an audit is required.
Who is an ideal candidate for the CIA?
Anyone who envisions a career in internal auditing is the perfect candidate for the CIA Certification. Being a CIA will offer auditors more opportunities for advancement as well as a higher salary. Students are excellent candidates for the CIA Exams:
- It is more affordable to take the exams with student discounts.
- Students usually have more free time than working professionals and/or individuals who have families.
- Students are already entrenched in and accustomed to the study process.
What is an Internal Audit?
An internal audit is a managerial tool that serves to improve processes and internal controls within a company. It consists of a department within a company that is mandated to provide an assessment of the organization’s risks, control environment, and operational effectiveness. The department reports to the board and senior management, which are within the organization’s governance structure.
What do Internal Auditors Do?
As an internal auditor, your role includes providing an in-depth dive into the company’s business dealings and processes and then analyzes and converts the information into meaningful and insightful data to improve operations. To do this, the auditor uses techniques such as:
- Consistently reviewing company business practices.
- Evaluating that risk management procedures are in place.
- Implementing controls to protect against fraud and theft of the organizational assets and money.
- Ensuring laws and regulations are compliant.
- Making recommendations on process improvement.
Responsibilities of Internal Auditors
Ensuring the success of an organization and bridging the gap between the board of directors and the corporate management team is a key performance indicator. Below are some of their specific responsibilities and duties:
- Evaluating risk management activities within the organization.
- Determining the organization’s compliance with relevant laws and regulations.
- Evaluating and making recommendations that can assist in improving internal control.
- Investigating fraud via a fraud risk assessment that uses fraud deterrence principles.
- Offering an objective source of independent advice to help reach the goal and achieve legality and validity.
- Performing audit assignments assigned to them
- Learning and studying the organization’s policy and guidelines.
- Identifying audit scope and developing annual plans within the organization.
- Gathering, analyzing, evaluating, and presenting accounting documentation, reports, data, and flowcharts.
- Following up the audits to monitor the managements’ intervention.
- Promoting ethics and identifying improper conduct within the company.
Qualities of a professional Internal Auditor
You must be objective, independent, and impartial when carrying out internal audits. Below are some of the qualities a professional internal auditor should possess.
- Integrity – High ethical work standards.
- Independence – Ability to work alone because auditors may travel far away from their team.
- Good communication skills – Ability to explain their findings and insights.
- Diversity – Ability to change with current trends and affairs.
- Persuasiveness – Ability to effectively communicate the necessary course of action.
- Assertiveness – Be confident during the audit process and take control of the agenda.
- Reliability – They must be ready to be available for all critical audit processes by investing their time and energy.
- Punctuality – The auditors need to hand in reports on time, and since a team is involved, a good auditor should be punctual in all meetings.
Becoming a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)
The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) awards the CIA certification. Becoming a CIA requires a University degree, two years of work experience, and passing a three-part exam. (There are some exceptions to education and work experience requirements.)
A CIA enjoys the following benefits and opportunities:
- Being part of a global organization for the Internal Auditor Profession, The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA).
- Gaining respect and credibility for top positions worldwide.
- Lucrative salary.
- Greater career opportunities.
Internal audits play a significant role in the company’s growth by ensuring that the company is moving in the right direction. As an aspiring CIA, you must possess qualities such as integrity, assertiveness, excellent communication, teamwork, and independence.
Do you think the role of Internal Auditor could be right for you? Learn more about how HOCK international can help you advance your career and succeed in achieving this prestigious credential.