What is a Certified Internal Auditor?

The Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) is a qualification issued to accountants in the field of Internal Auditing. It is issued by the Institute of Internal Auditors and is the only globally recognized internal audit certification. Positions in the field of Internal Audit include audit managers, risk managers, internal audit staff, etc. Internal auditors ensure that financial statements comply with the laws and regulations of the country in which they carry out business. They also identify financial risks faced by a company and work to reduce them. To learn more about the responsibilities and duties of CIA holders, you can check our blog on the functions of a Certified Internal Auditor. Internal auditing is an interesting field to work in and those interested in this field can greatly benefit from a Certified Internal Auditor certification. We have discussed below in detail the reasons to pursue the CIA designation.

Why become a Certified Internal Auditor?

1. Increases your skills and competency in Internal Audit

The CIA exams are made up of 3 parts. Essentials of Internal Auditing, Practice of Internal Auditing, and Business Knowledge for Internal Auditing. These 3 exams help develop a deep understanding of the Internal Auditing profession and help candidates greatly improve their skill levels. The CIA part 1 focuses on the candidate’s knowledge and skill related to the CIA’s professional practices framework while part 2 tests their abilities in performance standards. Level 3 focuses on the business skills needed for internal auditing. In this way, the CIA designation helps internal auditors develop their skills by covering several topics relevant to the internal audit profession and therefore provides a well-rounded but also specialized approach to Internal Auditing.

There are a number of Internal Audit Training courses that can help potential candidates train for and pass the exam. Additionally, the CIA exam requirements are more flexible than other certifications. Candidates do not need a master’s in accounting to sit the exam, a bachelor’s degree in any field can fulfill these requirements. For those that don’t hold a bachelor’s degree, alternate paths are available for potential candidates to meet entry requirements.

2. Higher salary and better job opportunities

The CIA certificate equips candidates with a wealth of knowledge. With this knowledge comes the ability for candidates to request higher salaries. Studies show that CIA certificate holders earn on average 40% more annually than non-CIA holders. In addition to having a CIA, professionals with years of experience have even better opportunities available to them with even higher salaries. This is because CIA certificate holders have a globally recognized credential to carry out Internal Auditing and have been given specialized training for Internal Auditing. This is why many CIA holders are often given more responsibilities and often rise to leadership positions within companies.

3. CIAs are in-demand.

As technology advances all over the world, it has also brought about challenges with it. To prevent malpractices and global crises, governments all over the world are constantly increasing or changing legislation and legal reporting requirements. This has led to a complex accounting environment for businesses to navigate. This is where Certified Internal Auditors come in. CIA certificate holders, with their specialized knowledge, are well-equipped to navigate this complex environment. Not only do they ensure that their company is in compliance with laws but they also study the potential risks faced by an organization. As globalization increases, the stakes are even higher now and so CIA qualification holders are even more crucial to the success of an organization.

4. Credibility and Respect in the Internal Audit profession

The CIA certificate is the most important designation in Internal Auditing and is globally recognized in more than 150 countries with over 185,000 members worldwide. Not only does this show the popularity of this certification but the value of the certificate is also the same worldwide. This means that candidates will not have to retake the exam to meet different geographical requirements and the certification will not be considered less worthy in different countries. Additionally, CIA credential holders have specialized knowledge in the field of Internal Auditing and so are highly demanded by companies. This is because CIA qualification holders have a high level of credibility in the Internal Auditing world and the certification is highly respected and considered the gold standard of Internal Auditing.

5. Networking Opportunities

CIA designation holders are invited to conferences and workshops covering the latest accounting practices and compliance procedures for businesses to conform to. Thus, it provides great opportunities for candidates to network and build alliances with other CIA professionals while also increasing their skills. They are also provided with special internship and volunteering opportunities within the field of Internal Auditing. While CIA certificate holders have to maintain Continuing Professional Education (CPE) requirements and pay certain fees for the same, IIA members are given certain discounts for fees and are waived CPE hours reporting fees. However, even without becoming a member of the IIA members have to follow the IIA’s International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing and their Code of Ethics.


Finally, the CIA certificate is the only globally recognized certification in Internal Audit and thus is an excellent qualification for those interested in this field. It has a variety of benefits that are discussed above in detail. Internal Auditors are crucial to all kinds of businesses since they ensure that a company complies with the law. Modern Internal Auditors are moving more towards risk-based auditing that focuses on assessing the potential risks faced by an organization to further strengthen it. In such an environment, gaining a worldwide recognized Certified Internal Auditor designation can greatly advantage candidates. To learn more about this internal auditor certification, check out our blog on CIA. Join Delphi’s CIA Certification Course Online, become a Certified Internal Auditor, and give your career a huge boost!