June 22, 2018 at 2:48 pm #1841891habitualParticipant
So I passed the CPA exam, and now I am looking into the next certification I can get. I have searched for threads over the CIA, but there are very few!! Has anyone in this forum taken the exam and can you compare it to the CPA? I don't want to underestimate the exams, but from the little I have gathered online, it appears that the CPA is much harder than CIA. Ideally I would like to pass all three parts by December.
For those who have experience with this exam, does this sound like a reasonable expectation?June 22, 2018 at 3:10 pm #1841905nrlew28Participant
You should have no problem with the CIA. I passed it, 1st time on parts 1 and 2 and 2 times for part 3. Parts 1 and 2 are all Internal Audit theory. Me personally, I used Geim CIA prep. They are great.June 22, 2018 at 3:11 pm #1841909alloveritParticipant
The most important consideration for any of the other certifications is professional experience. For example, there is no point to me taking the CIA or CMA exam because I would never actually receive the designation.
Even if I got every question on every test right, I would still be denied because I work outside the field (public accounting). I could probably get the CFE…but only because I do some auditing.
The CPA exam covers most areas of accounting. But the paths for licensure are much more forgiving than other certifications. I'd keep that in mind before taking other tests. If you don't work in internal auditing you may have limited paths to actually getting the license.
One more thing: Certificate stacking is often viewed negatively (outside of academia). It can lead some to question what exactly it is you want to do with your life.
Finally, there are some threads on this site for other certifications though I haven't read those for the CIA
Good luck.June 22, 2018 at 3:15 pm #1841915AnonymousInactive
I passed the CIA in 2009. The CPA is exponentially more difficult. Literally not even comparable in terms of difficulty and the amount of preparation you need. You also get your score immediately after finishing the exam, so that part is great.
From what I remember, Part 1 was a lot of specific IIA rules and procedures, part 2 was dealing with internal audit, and Part 3 had a lot of IT and ratio type questions, sort of like an easier version of BEC. The third part I felt was pretty difficult, but again not like the CPA exam.
Your timeline seems reasonable in terms of studying. Also, the tests are all MCQs, and in each of the exams I took 10+ of the 100-125 questions were word for word the exact same questions I had seen in my review materials.
I will say, on Part 3 some of the questions are paragraphs long, and you had to do multiple calculations to be able to solve some of them.
So I'd say you do need to study, but if you passed the CPA exam you will do fine on the CIA.June 22, 2018 at 3:27 pm #1841953nrlew28Participant
Good point about certification stacking. Getting the CIA now won’t hurt you. It’s when you see people with 8 certifications, but neither is the CPA, just looks silly. The CPA carries most the weight. So if you go into Internal Audit, you will have an advantage against an equally experienced candidate.June 26, 2018 at 10:27 am #1845550habitualParticipant
I have actually been working in internal audit for almost three years now, and I plan to stay here for a long time. No one in my department is a CPA, and we have several of the “certificate stackers” that you guys have mentioned. One guy here has 10+ designations, but he can't pass the CPA exam.
I just didn't want to underestimate it. My coworker lent me her CIA Part I study book and I was floored. It is literally the size of one or two chapters of the FAR textbook! I just applied to sit for the exam, and I am planning on taking it in two and a half weeks. Hopefully there will be a seat open. Thanks again!March 10, 2020 at 1:41 pm #2958962PuppykoalaParticipant
Revising this thread. I heard if you pass the CPA exam, you are excused for one part of the CIA exam. Is it true? Didn't find much information onlineMarch 10, 2020 at 5:00 pm #2959157Road2CPAParticipant
@Puppykoala when I took the CIA several years ago when it was 4 parts, that was the case for the 4th part was heavy on financial accounting. They might have changed that when they went to 3 parts. Just like you, I didn't find much information online.March 11, 2020 at 4:53 pm #2960045PuppykoalaParticipant
Thanks for confirming @Road2CPA. I was suspecting the same. Seems like the first 3 parts have been made more difficult. Regardless, should be a breeze comparing to CPA 🙂March 11, 2020 at 11:30 pm #2960447Jeff Elliott, CPAKeymaster
Just curious: why CIA vs CMA?