Which Accounting Certification Exam is Best for Me?

Not all Accounting Certification exams are made the same. You have several choices and knowing a bit about each one will help you decide the best one for your specific situation. The choices are CPA, CFA, CMA, CIA, and CAIA.

The first is Certified Public Accountant which covers lots of different types of accounting. Some of these are financial accounting, corporate finance, and general business. It has the highest requirement for education with five years required plus experience. The Certified Management Accountant is similar with a focus on cost accounting and analysis and works the best for corporate accounting goals.

The Certified Internal Auditor is specifically for internal auditing. The Chartered Financial Analyst only covers finance and investment. The Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst is a newer certification that focuses on alternative investments and you need a bachelor’s degree and experience for this one as well.

Do a little research on each type of certification and make sure you know the type of accounting you are interested in. Then figure out the education required to take each certification. Once you figure out the right test you can start working on the accounting certification exam review for you.

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How Often Can I Take The CIA Exam?

If you’re preparing for the CIA exam, you may be wondering how often you can retake an exam, or complete the next part in the series. Understanding how testing works and the rules laid out by the IIA can help you better prepare for the exam, know what to do if you fail, and better manage your time.

The 4-Year Period

Once your application has been approved, you will have 4 years to complete all of the program requirements and become certified. This includes both examination documentation requirements. If you’re unable to complete all the requirements in four years, you will forfeit all of the parts that you passed and the fees that you paid. At this point, you will have to reapply into the program and will be treated as a new candidate.

The good news is, you will be able to see your test results immediately at the testing center, so you’ll know whether you need to retake an exam, or move on to the next exam section.

Keep in mind that you have the option to schedule more than one part at a time, and if you pass a part, you can move onto the next one immediately if you wish.

How Often Can I Retake the Exam?

While you’re able to move onto the next part of the exam series immediately, there will be a waiting period for retakes. So, if you fail part three, you will have to wait a certain amount of time before you can retake the exam. Using the ExamMatrix CIA exam review can help reduce the need to retake the exam.

The IIA imposes a 90 day waiting period to all exam retakes. This means that you’ll have to wait approximately three months before you can take the exam again. Use this time wisely to prepare for the exam and hopefully, avoid having to take another retake.

After registering for an exam, you will be required to take it within 180 days, or you’ll need to register again.

There are no limits on how many times you can retake an exam, and you will be required to pay an application fee for each retake.

But remember, you’ll need to pass before the 4 year window is up, so allot yourself plenty of time if you’re struggling with one part of the exam.

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Advantages to Getting Your CIA Certification

The CIA exam is highly sought after not only by potential auditors, but also by big businesses and organizations. When professionals successfully pass the CIA certification exam, they expand their career options and potential.

Many auditors will choose to earn their certified internal auditor designation as a way to bolster their resume. The main advantages to this prestigious certification are:

  • The CIA exam is globally recognized around the world. This allows a professional to work in a variety of environments that all recognize the individual’s credentials.
  • The certification demonstrates that an auditing professional understands and is able to apply the best practices of auditing to meet today’s challenging business environments.
  • Auditors can benefit from certification no matter their current position. All stages of orders are able to bolster their resume with a CIA exam, including:
    • Chief audit executives
    • Audit staff
    • Risk management staff
    • Audit managers
  • All auditors are able to enhance the credibility in the field by obtaining their certification.

Certified internal auditors also make a much higher salary the non-certified auditors. CIAs, in 2013, had an income that was $29,000 higher than their counterparts in the United States. In Canada, this number is $25,000 higher.

The earning potential after passing the CIA exam is much higher, which is a major benefit for anyone entering into the field. Call ExamMatrix today at (303) 768-0929 to learn more about the CIA exam review!

This information is derived from a study that was conducted by The Institute of Internal Auditors.

Businesses are looking for employees that have the credentials and certifications needed to propel their business’s growth and earnings. Auditors are in high demand, and having the designation that the CIA exam provides is a major bonus when looking for jobs. Not only do these professionals land higher-paying positions, they’ll also be in much higher demand and are more highly sought after than non-certified auditors.

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What Does a Certified Internal Auditor Do?

A certified internal auditor (CIA), is responsible for evaluating financial operations records of an organization, or various organizations. While an auditor does look over financial records, they are a separate entity that is not part the normal accounting team.

These professionals will monitor the company’s finances, and make recommendations on better management policies and financial decisions. Working a regular 9-to-5 job, a certified auditor must obtain a certification and have several duties:

  • Reviewing current financial records
  • Conducting tests and reports of current internal data
  • Examine financial statements and inventory
  • Examine payroll and related records
  • Analyze current financials for illegal activities
  • Examine current financials to reduce costs and increase profitability

A CIA will conduct all of these internal audits and provide reports to management. The goal is to overview the work of the financial department in an attempt to save money, find any fraudulent activity that may be occurring, help boost profitability, and ensure that taxes are filed correctly. 

Many certified internal auditors will specialize in a certain area of expertise rather than a broad area. A CIA can choose to specialize in a variety of areas, including:

  • Information systems
  • Compliance
  • Environmental policy

These professionals have been trained and taught to conduct audits to uncover fraudulent accounting practices. Businesses will often employ these professionals full-time, but there is also the option of working on a contract basis. It’s not uncommon for a CIA to work for many different companies wherein they conduct audits ensuring that the financials are properly filed by the current accounting team.

An internal audit may also be conducted when a business is planning on being sold or purchased to ensure that all of the financial information and inventory is properly filed. Auditors will not conduct the original filing, but will instead overlook the work that is done by a business’s accounting team to ensure that all the proper practices and figures exist.

Call ExamMatrix today with your questions about the certified internal auditor exam at (303) 768-0929!

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