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What is a Certified Internal Auditor?

Within many businesses, the need for the services of today’s certified internal auditor is greater than ever. It is through the daily dues of this mathematics-based discipline that companies can go on to completely understand the inner workings of their own financial picture. So, what exactly is a certified internal auditor, or CIA, and what do they do? Here’s the scoop.

Job Description

CIA’s are ultimately responsible for the deep review, or “audit” of certain areas of a company’s dealings. The audit may just focus on a particular subject such as numbers involving the shipping of sold goods or costs associated with supply storage. The audit may also be all-inclusive, taking a deep look at every facet of the business in which financial transfers take place.

In all cases, knowing the exact numbers is the goal. Enter the CIA. This professional, having previously been highly trained in math and business sciences, will harvest or be supplied the already-harvested information. From here, the CIA will apply their abilities to this information, creating understandable, factual data on the numbers.

Example CIA #1 – John

To better understand some typical, daily functions of the CIA, let’s look to a few hypothetical examples. First, we have John. John is part of a group of professional CIA’s employed by a pharmaceutical manufacturing company.

John has one, sizable, ongoing project at the moment. The project involves taking raw field data from employee costs and product gains and creating a presentation that shows the income-employee cost ratio. Company ownership needs these numbers in order to make important, future decisions regarding scale of operations. John will thus work exclusively on this project until it is complete – compiling the data, researching, creating the presentation, and more.

Example CIA #2 – Tia

Unlike our hypothetical CIA above, Tia has several ongoing projects to tend to within the freight shipping company she works for. One project requires her to verify that all shipping department costs are accurately and properly documented per company policy. This requires our CIA here to review shipping documentation compared to actual shipments and subsequently generate a report on the documentation’s quality for upper management’s review.

Tia’s other current project is that of reviewing all fleet maintenance costs. Her company utilizes a variety of transport methods in moving goods from one location to the next. All of this varied transportation has its attached costs and liabilities. Tia must take all of this information, from insurance policy costs to break-downs and mechanical parts costs, and generate an all-inclusive report for upper management’s use. This will give her company a complete view of fleet costs and other, related considerations.

Job Outlook and Educational Requirements

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, until 2024, we will continue experiencing a period of faster than average growth for this area of work. Professionals in this area can expect an overall, median pay rate of around $32.30 per hour. This median mark translates to around $67,190 per year in earnings.

To become a CIA, one must prove themselves through an approximate four years of intensive college coursework to attain a bachelor’s degree in the appropriate major. The courses required to achieve this involve mathematics, accounting, business analytics, visual presentation methodology, and more.

Once graduated, one must strike out to become an intern or other entry-level auditor within an auditing-based job environment. After two years of relevant experience, that person becomes eligible for the exam that ultimately decides whether they become certified or not. The Institute of Internal Auditors of North America, or IIA is the authority here, providing the examination and subsequent certificate to those passing. From that point forward, those certified are deemed official CIA’s.

These are the basics of today’s certified IA. For those who enjoy working with numbers and working with the crucial inner workings of business, this may very well be the ideal career choice. For more information regarding anything involving the certified internal auditor, visit the official Institute of Internal Auditors of North America.

See also: 20 Best Online Schools for Accounting Master’s 2016-2017