Certified Internal Auditor (CIA):

CIA (Certified Internal Auditor) is a certification offered to the accountants who conduct internal audits. Becoming a CIA will help the candidate enhance his auditing career to the next level. It’s a designation conferred by IIA (Institute of Internal Auditors). CIAs work in the audit department of financial institutions, corporations and government agencies. 

Career Scope of CIA Certification:

Are you a professional accountant thinking of internal auditing as the best career? In the face of global regulatory changes, the profession of internal auditing is expanding. Internal Auditors are in high demand at both private and public companies, government agencies and non-profit organizations at all levels. Internal Auditors are responsible for contributing to business functions such as:

  • Risk management
  • Corporate governance
  • Operations
  • Fraud detection and prevention
  • Internal control

To take control over these tasks, the CIA professionals operate as independent agents within the company to remain objective in the evaluations. Suppose, in a publicly-traded company, internal auditors report to the board committee, which includes directors who stay independent from the company’s management. Most internal auditors have broad mandates who look into virtually every aspect of the company right from the evolution of operational efficiency and financial report reliability to confirm regulatory compliance and information security controls.

Internal Auditor Career Paths:

While Internal Auditors are in high demand by companies virtually in every category and industry, the CIA’s career paths are relatively linear because of the specialized role. Some internal auditors do cross-over to accounting roles and broader management.

Entry-level Internal Auditors: At the beginning of an Internal Auditor career, you should have the basic skills in reviewing the company’s operations, processes, goals, and also the ability to report your findings. Besides, you are almost certainly an auditing team member with the audit manager or the lead auditor at the helm.

Lead or Sr. Internal Auditors: After having five years of internal auditing experience, you’ll be demonstrated a firm understanding of audit participation and best practices of the industry. One way of demonstrating knowledge is to acquire Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) certification, which requires a few years of documented experience. 

Audit Supervisors or Managers: If you have a decade of internal auditing experience, you will be required to take on management and oversight of an auditing team. In general, it’s a good time to attain broader opportunities or seek promotion if you’ve proven in leading a team. 

Internal Audit Executives: High performing Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) professionals might grow up to executive ranks in leading audit organizations as a whole. This often changes the organizations and years of trust. As an Internal Audit Executive, you will be asked to participate in the execution of audit plans.

CIA Certification Benefits:

The benefits of the CIA course are listed below.

1. Higher Income:

The salary of a Certified Internal Auditor is one of the most appealing aspects of the CIA course. According to the IIA reports, CIAs earn an average of $38,000 annually. This shows that CIAs are getting more than 50% salary than non-certified peers. The CIA certification qualifies you for higher positions such as Internal Audit Director or Chief Audit Executive combined with years of experience. 

2. More Job Opportunities:

With the CIA certification, internal auditors can reach the top of the corporate ladder. Also, with this certification, entry-level internal auditors can be placed in roles such as:

  • Compliance auditor
  • Information systems auditor
  • Lead internal auditor
  • Auditing specialist
  • Financial analyst
  • Internal controls auditor
  • Risk assessment specialist

The experienced internal auditors with CIA certification will be up for promotions to higher internal audit supervisor positions like:

  • Internal audit director
  • Senior internal auditor
  • Audit manager
  • Risk manager
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Finance Director
  • Chief Audit Executive
  • Controller
  • Internal Audit Director

3. Job Security:

Internal Auditors are considered a hot commodity in the accounting and finance hiring market. Organizations improve their transparency and internal controls, which leads to higher demand for internal auditing professionals. CIAs are good at supply assurance on corporate governance, risk management, and internal controls in all kinds of business conditions. Hence, companies want to recruit and retain CIAs.

4. Heightened Respect and Admiration:

CIAs know how to improve the business; hence they can experience admiration and universal credibility. 

CIA (Certified Internal Auditor) is a certification offered to the accountants who conduct internal audits. Becoming a CIA will help the candidate enhance his auditing career to the next level. It’s a designation conferred by IIA (Institute of Internal Auditors). CIAs work in the audit department of financial institutions, corporations and government agencies. 

Educational Requirements:

CIA aspirants must meet the following educational requirements to sit for the CIA exam. 

  • The candidate must graduate with a 3 or 4-year degree (or higher) or should have an associate’s degree satisfying the requirements of IIA.
  • The degree is not needed to be in a specific field. It may be in the fields of applied science, business, health-care, or any other field. 
  • Candidates having seven years of experience of internal auditing or its equivalent can also be eligible for CIA exam.

CIA Exam Format:

The CIA exam is entirely computer-based, and it consists of 3 sections of MCQs (Multiple Choice Questions).

Part: 1 – Internal Audit Basics

  • Internal Control / Risk (25-35%)
  • Mandatory Guidance (35-45%)
  • Audit Tools & Techniques – Conducting Internal Audit Engagements (25-35%)

Part: 2 – Internal Audit Practice

  • Managing Individual Engagements (40-50%)
  • Managing the Internal Audit Function (40-50%)
  • Fraud Risks and Controls (5-15%)

Part: 3 – Internal Audit Knowledge Elements

  • Business Processes/Organizational Structure(15-25%)
  • Governance/Business Ethics (5-15%)
  • Communication (5-10%)
  • Risk Management (10-20%)
  • IT/Business Continuity (15-25%)
  • Leadership/Management Principles (10-20%)
  • Global Business Environment (0-10%)
  • Financial Management (10-20%)
Sections No. of Questions Exam Duration
Internal Audit Basics (Part -1) 125 2.5 hours
Internal Audit Practice (Part -2) 100 2 hours
Internal Audit Knowledge Elements(Part -3) 100 2 hours


Hope the above information helps you know more about the career scope of CIA certification right from CIA definition, job opportunities, CIA certification benefits, CIA exam format, educational requirements and so on. Still, you’ve any queries, feel free to comment below.

If you have any queries on the CIA Course, please feel free to Contact Simandhar Education @ +91 7780273388 or mail us at [email protected]


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