Certified Information Systems Auditor

Certified Information Systems Auditor

Systems and IT auditors adhere to the same ethical and independence criteria as financial auditors, except that their emphasis is on the governance of IT systems and processes. With audits and projects ranging from business continuity to development processes to information security, these practitioners assist their organizations with a wide range of topics.

To demonstrate one’s competence to prospective employers, a candidate aspiring to be an IT auditor should obtain the internationally recognized certification called CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor). Gaining this certification will provide the IT audit candidate with a strong systems infrastructure and audit foundation.

Overview of CISA

ISACA’s® Certified Information Systems Auditor® (CISA®) is the most globally recognized designation for experienced IS audit, control and security professionals. More than 87,000 professionals in over 150 countries have earned the CISA designation since its inception in 1978. It is consistently ranked as one of the highest paying and sought-after IT certifications and is considered a pre-requisite by many companies and governmental agencies.

It is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) under ISO/IEC 17024, an international accreditation.

Being CISA-certified showcases your audit experience, skills and knowledge, and demonstrates you are capable to manage vulnerabilities, ensure compliance and institute controls within the enterprise.

It is designed for IS/IT auditors, IS/IT consultants and audit managers, security professional, as well as non-IT auditors.

To find out more about the CISA certificate, visit www.isaca.org/Certification/CISA-Certified-Information-Systems-Auditor/.

Certified Fraud Examiner

Overview of the CFE Credential

CFEs have a unique set of skills in resolving allegations of fraud, examining data and records to detect and trace fraudulent transactions, obtaining evidence, taking statements, writing fraud examination reports, testifying to findings, and assisting on the improvement fraud prevention and detection.

Fraud examiners are thoroughly inclined to decipher not only how fraud occurs, but why.

Being highly-regarded as the “gold standard” in the area of fraud, companies worldwide continue to acknowledge the demand for anti-fraud professionals and give utmost preference to those with the CFE credential.

How To Qualify as a CFE

Candidates aspiring to earn the CFE designation must meet certain minimum qualifications:

  • Be an Associate Member of the ACFE in good standing
  • Meet minimum Academic and Professional requirements
  • Be of high moral character
  • Agree to abide by the Bylaws and Code of Professional Ethics of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners
  • Successful completion of the Uniform CPE Examination

Minimum academic and professional requirements may be satisfied through:

  • A bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) in any field of study from an institution of higher education. Two years of professional fraud-related experience can be substituted to each year of college.
  • At least two years of professional fraud-related experience in the areas of accounting and auditing, criminology and sociology, fraud investigation,  loss prevention or law – all of which are recognized by the ACFE as qualified professional experience

To maintain their proficiency, CFEs are required to obtain at least 20 hours of Continuing Professional Education (CPE) annually, or an average of 60 hours within three years.

Before taking the CFE exam, an accomplished CFE Exam application with supporting documentation should be submitted. An individual must then pass the rigorous 500-item exam administered by the ACFE, which tests your knowledge on the four major disciplines of fraud examination.

Fraud Prevention and Deterrence

Financial Transactions and Fraud Schemes

Investigation

Law

Topics include crime causation, white-collar crime, fraud prevention, occupational fraud, fraud risk assessment, and the ACFE Code of Professional Ethics

Concepts include basic accounting and auditing theory, fraud schemes, internal controls to deter fraud and other auditing and accounting matters.

Includes questions about interviewing, taking statements, obtaining information from public records, tracing illicit transactions, evaluating deception and report writing.

Covers the legal ramifications of conducting fraud examinations, including criminal and civil law, rules of evidence, rights of the accused and accuser and expert witness matters.

CFE Exam General Information

The CFE Exam is available in CD-ROM, electronic download or online format, which can be taken any time during the year.

Each section, which contains 125 questions, should be accomplished in a maximum of 2.6 hours and each question has a time limit of 75 seconds. Although total exam time is approximately 10 hours, CFE applicants have 30 days from initiation of the exam program to finish.

All four sections are not required to be completed at once and can be taken at their own convenience, but each section must be accomplished in one sitting.

Certified Internal Auditor

Imagine owning a key that is capable of unlocking vast opportunities for career and professional advancement. Earning the CIA designation is like owning such key that takes your career opportunities to a whole new level. Candidates who complete the course equip themselves with educational experience, knowledge and skills that can add value in any organization or business entity.

The CIA program may be taken in various languages, like Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Polish, and Thailand, apart from English. Earning the CIA designation is a valuable accomplishment and a professional advantage for auditors at all stages of their careers, including chief audit executives, audit managers, audit staff, risk management staff, and also students enrolled in an accounting or other business or financial degree program.

Exam Syllabus

Click on the links below to find out what you can expect during the exam and how long each part of the exam is.

How to Quality as a C.I.A

Candidates aspiring to earn the CIA designation must meet certain minimum qualifications:

  • Holder of at least a bachelor’s degree, or equivalent, from an accredited institution prior to registration.
  • Some professional designations (like Chartered Accountant) might be deemed as the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree but work experience alone will not. Candidates who think their educational background might be the equivalent must select “Other” on the CIA® application’s Education section and clearly provide all relevant info and documentation.
  • In certain circumstances full-time final-year university students can enroll and take the CIA® exam parts.
  • Must have worked for at least 24 months in the area of internal audit, or audit/assessment, external audit, quality assurance, compliance and internal control.
  • A Master’s Degree or business related work experience can count towards 12 months, or half the required experience.
  • Candidate must exhibit high moral and professional character and agree to abide by The IIA’s Code of Ethics.
  • Candidates may be admitted into the program provisionally prior to satisfying the professional experience requirement, but certification shall only be granted upon compliance of all program requirements.
Certified Public Accountant

Overview of the Uniform CPA Examination

The Uniform CPA Examination is a grueling 14-hour examination with four sections.

They are:  FAR (Financial Accounting and Reporting), AUD (Auditing and Attestation), REG (Regulation) and BEC (Business Environment and Concepts). Candidates may sit for any section in any order they so desire.

Upon passing any first section, candidates have until 18 months to complete the remaining three sections. Otherwise, applicants who do not pass all four examination sections within the 18-month period shall lose credit for each section passed outside the period and must retake the section(s). With the proper planning and strategy candidates will not have to worry about this rule.

Section Content and Breakdown

There are two types of questions given in the examinations, i.e. the multiple choice questions (MCQ) and the task-based simulations (TBS). For BEC, written communication task replaces the TBS.

Both FAR and AUD sections consist of 4-hour exam, while candidates complete the REG and BEC parts each over 3 hours.

How to Quality and Earns the Title

Eligibility requirements vary from state to state. It is, therefore, important to know state requirements (education, residency, work experience, etc.) to be able to choose where candidates may be eligible to earn their CPA license. Visit the NASBA website to know more about this.

Score Release

After the Examination, candidate responses are forwarded to the AICPA for scoring. The AICPA does not receive or have access to candidate identities. The responses are identified by the examination section identification number only. When advisory scores become available, the AICPA forwards them to NASBA, who then matches the scores to individual candidates. NASBA then forwards the scores to boards of accountancy for approval and subsequent release to candidates.

Testing Window
and Exam Schedules

Each quarter of the calendar year consists of a testing window, where the first two months are called “testing windows”. The examination is not given during the third month of each calendar quarter to allow for systems and databank maintenance.

International Applicants

International administration of the CPA Exam is currently offered in Brazil, Japan, Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates. If you live in one of these testing locations, or other select countries, you may be able to take the Exam without traveling to the U.S. The Exam is only offered in English, and is the same computerized test as the one administered in the U.S. You are required to meet the same eligibility requirements and complete the same licensure requirements as your U.S. counterparts.