What Qualifications Do You Need to be an Internal Auditor?

Internal audit is an amazing job. You get to see tons of different parts of a business, travel a bit and the pay isn’t too bad, all things considered. We’re going to look at what qualifications you need to be an internal auditor and have a successful career ahead as one.

What Schooling is Required for an Internal Auditor?

internal auditor name plate on desk

While it’s common for external auditor or public auditors to have a degree in accounting, the same isn’t so true for internal auditors. Many backgrounds can work in internal audit including finance, business, engineering, law and logistics.

There are so many functioning parts to a large company that it is helpful to have an audit team with many different strengths. Over time, many auditors even increase their learning by gaining knowledge on the job. The other option is to get a qualification relevant to internal audit.

What Qualification Can You Get for Internal Audit?

 There are a few options for internal audit qualifications. The most common in order are-

The most popular qualification for internal audit is the CIA. It’s certainly relevant and companies look for it. It’s not as hard as the CPA so it is highly recommended you get this qualification if you want to move up in internal audit or want a long career in as an internal auditor.

The CPA exam is more difficult but if you want to be able to cross over between accounting and internal audit, this qualification will expand your career opportunities. It’s 4 parts and takes considerably more time to obtain as well.

The CFE is nice to have but generally speaking, won’t improve your skill set by leaps and bounds in internal audit. It can help you get jobs and look more knowledgeable but it starts to get into the alphabet soup of titles.

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How Long Does It Take to Get Your CPA? (Timeline to a CPA)

Are Any Qualifications Required for Internal Audit?

internal auditor emails

Unlike accounting which pushes people to get their CPA and has an up-or-out mentality, internal audit doesn’t require any qualifications. You can start out as a staff internal auditor with a business background, progress to senior, manager and director all based on years of experience.

It’s no doubt that a qualification is great to have and will springboard your career in internal audit but technically speaking, no further formal education is required beyond a degree and on-the-job training.

A normal progression without qualifications or even with them is spending a few years in each level. While a qualification like a CIA may help get a manager position, it isn’t a given.

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Are Accountants in Demand? (Market Demand of Accountants)

How Qualifications Can Improve Your Career in Internal Audit

So what is the point of spending time on a qualification for internal audit? There are a few convincing reasons:

  • Faster promotions
  • Higher pay
  • Job security
  • A better understanding of internal audit
  • Separating yourself from the crowd

They are all pretty important reasons but opening up new job prospects, being a more attractive candidate and higher pay are all very important. In just a year of studies for an extra qualification, you can improve years of your career to come in internal audit.

Most people would agree that they want to progress in their careers, especially as an internal auditor.

What Qualifications Do You Need To Be an Internal Auditor: Final Thoughts

By now you should know that you don’t need any qualifications beyond a wide variety of degrees that are suitable for internal audit. While qualifications are helpful, you can still work your way up in internal audit without taking exams and spending time on qualifications.

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