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Top 11 Audit Associate Certifications

This article provides an overview of the top audit associate certifications available to help individuals gain the necessary skills and qualifications for a successful career in auditing.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 18 min read

Certifications are a great way for audit associates to demonstrate their commitment to the profession and increase their value in the job market. Certifications provide proof of an audit associate's knowledge, experience and skill set. They also show potential employers that an individual is serious about the field and willing to put in the effort to stay up-to-date on industry trends and best practices. Additionally, certifications can open doors to new opportunities, such as higher salaries, promotions or more specialized roles. Ultimately, certifications are essential for audit associates looking to gain a competitive edge in today's job market.

The purpose of this article is to review the top certifications for Audit Associates and explain how they can help enhance an audit associate's career.

What are Audit Associate Certifications?

Audit Associate Certification is a specialized professional certification designed to recognize the knowledge and skills of audit associates. It is an internationally recognized credential that validates the competency of an individual in the field of auditing and assurance. The certification requires passing a comprehensive exam covering various topics related to auditing, such as internal control systems, financial statement analysis, and risk management.

The Audit Associate Certification can help professionals seeking to further their careers in audit and assurance by providing them with greater recognition in the industry. Having the certification demonstrates a commitment to excellence in one’s profession, showing employers that they have the necessary skills and knowledge for auditing and assurance roles. Additionally, having this certification may give individuals access to higher-level job opportunities or promotions within their current positions. Finally, it also provides individuals with a competitive advantage when applying for new jobs or other positions within their company. Ultimately, obtaining this certification can provide audit associates with a valuable tool for advancing their career prospects in the field of auditing and assurance.

Pro Tip: Make sure to stay up-to-date on the most recent audit associate certifications by attending professional development courses or webinars to ensure you are well-versed in the latest standards and regulations. Additionally, consider obtaining additional certifications to demonstrate your commitment to the profession and expand your knowledge base.

Related: What does an Audit Associate do?

Top 11 Audit Associate Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Audit Associates today.

1. Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)

The Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) is a professional certification offered by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA). It is a globally recognized credential that demonstrates an individual’s expertise in the field of internal auditing. The CIA is designed to provide assurance to organizations that its internal audit staff have the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to perform their duties effectively.

To become certified as a CIA, candidates must pass three exams administered by the IIA. The exams cover topics such as risk management, control systems, financial management, and information technology. Candidates must also complete at least two years of experience in internal auditing or related fields prior to taking the exams.

The entire process of becoming a CIA typically takes between one and two years depending on how quickly you can study for and pass the exams. It usually costs around $1,000-$2,000 for all three exams including registration fees and study materials.

2. Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)

Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) is a globally recognized certification issued by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA). It is designed to measure an individual’s knowledge, skills, and abilities related to information systems auditing, control, and security. It is a popular choice for those looking to expand their career opportunities in the IT audit field.

The CISA certification requires individuals to pass an exam that covers five domains of knowledge: Information Systems Auditing Process; Governance and Management of IT; Information Systems Acquisition, Development, and Implementation; Information Systems Operations, Maintenance, and Support; Protection of Information Assets.

It typically takes 3-6 months to prepare for the CISA exam. The best way to get ready for the exam is by studying with a combination of self-study materials such as books or online courses as well as taking practice exams.

The cost for the CISA exam varies depending on where you take it. In most countries, it costs around $700 USD. After passing the exam, there are additional fees associated with becoming certified which include a one-time application fee of $50 USD and an annual membership fee of $45 USD.

3. Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is a professional designation given to individuals who have completed the necessary education and licensing requirements to practice public accounting. CPAs are licensed by their respective state boards of accountancy and must adhere to a strict code of professional ethics.

It typically takes four years of college education, including at least 150 semester hours, to become eligible for CPA licensure. In addition, most states require that candidates pass the Uniform CPA Examination administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). The exam consists of four sections: Auditing and Attestation; Business Environment and Concepts; Financial Accounting and Reporting; and Regulation.

To get certified as a CPA, applicants must meet the educational requirements set by their state board of accountancy. This includes completing a certain number of college credits in accounting-related courses such as auditing, taxation, financial reporting, business law and ethics. Additionally, applicants must also pass the Uniform CPA Exam with a score of 75 or higher on each section.

The cost of becoming a CPA varies depending on the state in which you are applying for licensure. Generally speaking, it will cost between $200-$500 for application fees plus additional costs for exam fees ($150-$200 per section) and any other related expenses such as textbooks or study materials.

4. Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)

A Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) is a professional designation awarded by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE). The CFE credential is designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated expertise in fraud prevention, detection, and deterrence. Individuals who become CFEs are required to meet certain educational and experience requirements, pass an exam, and adhere to a strict code of ethics.

It typically takes between six months and one year to earn the CFE credential. To qualify for the CFE credential, you must have at least two years of professional experience in fraud examination or related fields such as accounting, auditing, law enforcement, or financial management. You must also complete at least 75 hours of specialized anti-fraud training from an approved provider and pass the four-hour CFE Exam.

The cost to obtain the CFE credential varies depending on the type of membership you choose with the ACFE. A basic membership costs $220 per year plus a one-time application fee of $50. This includes access to online resources, discounts on training materials and conferences, and more. The cost for taking the exam is $325 for members and $450 for non-members.

5. Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA)

Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) is a professional designation awarded by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). It is designed to recognize the expertise and experience of management accountants in the global economy.

The CGMA credential requires applicants to have a minimum of five years of professional experience in management accounting, finance, or related fields. In addition, applicants must pass an exam that covers topics such as financial reporting, budgeting, taxation, strategic planning, and performance measurement.

The process for obtaining the CGMA credential typically takes about six months. During this time, applicants must complete an application form and submit it along with supporting documents such as transcripts and letters of recommendation. After submitting their application materials, applicants will receive information on how to register for the exam. Once they have registered for the exam, they will be able to take it at a testing center near them.

The cost of obtaining the CGMA credential varies depending on where you live and what type of membership you choose. Generally speaking, it costs around $1,000 to become a CGMA member in good standing. This fee includes registration fees for both AICPA and CIMA exams as well as annual dues for both organizations.

6. Certified Government Auditing Professional (CGAP)

Certified Government Auditing Professional (CGAP) is a certification program offered by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA). It is designed to recognize and promote excellence in government auditing. The CGAP certification is an internationally recognized credential that demonstrates an individual’s commitment to professional development, knowledge, and expertise in the field of government auditing.

The CGAP certification requires applicants to pass a comprehensive exam that covers topics such as government accounting standards, internal control systems, audit techniques, financial reporting requirements, and fraud prevention. The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions and takes approximately four hours to complete.

In order to become certified as a CGAP, individuals must meet certain criteria including having at least two years of experience in the field of government auditing or related areas; having earned a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university; and passing the CGAP Exam with a minimum score of 70%. Additionally, individuals must maintain their certification through continuing education credits every three years.

The cost for taking the CGAP exam varies depending on your membership status with IIA. For non-members, the cost is $595 USD; for members it is $495 USD; and for students it is $395 USD.

7. Certified Financial Services Auditor (CFSA)

Certified Financial Services Auditor (CFSA) is a professional certification offered by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA). The CFSA designation is designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated expertise in auditing, control, and risk management within the financial services industry.

It typically takes approximately one year to complete the requirements for the CFSA designation. To be eligible for the CFSA program, applicants must have at least three years of experience in internal or external auditing, control, or risk management related to financial services organizations. Additionally, applicants must pass an exam that covers topics such as audit principles and practices; financial services regulations; risk assessment; and fraud detection.

The cost of obtaining a CFSA certification depends on several factors including geographic location and whether you are taking the exam online or in-person. Generally speaking, it costs between $1,000 - $2,000 to become certified. This cost includes registration fees for the exam as well as any study materials you may need to purchase.

8. Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation is a professional credential awarded by the CFA Institute to financial analysts who have successfully completed a series of exams. The CFA program provides advanced training in investment analysis and portfolio management, and is widely recognized as the highest standard of investment knowledge and expertise.

It typically takes four years to complete the CFA program, including three levels of exams. The first level requires approximately 300 hours of study, while the second and third levels require an additional 600 hours each. To become a CFA charterholder, candidates must also have at least four years of qualified work experience in the investment decision-making process.

To get started with the CFA program, you must first register with the CFA Institute and pay an enrollment fee. After registering, you will be able to access study materials and begin preparing for your exams. Once you’ve passed all three levels of exams, you can apply for your charter from the CFA Institute.

The cost of enrolling in the CFA program varies depending on where you live and how much support you need during your studies. Generally speaking, it can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000 USD to enroll in the program and take all three levels of exams.

9. Accredited Business Valuator (ABV)

Accredited Business Valuator (ABV) is a professional designation awarded by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Business Valuators (CICBV). The ABV designation is given to individuals who have demonstrated excellence in business valuation, financial analysis and consulting.

It takes approximately two years to obtain the ABV designation. To become an ABV, you must first complete the CICBV’s Core Curriculum which consists of six courses and one exam. Once this has been completed, you can then apply for the ABV designation.

To apply for the ABV designation, you must submit an application form and provide evidence of your professional experience in business valuation. You will also be required to pass a written examination as well as a practical case study assessment.

The cost of obtaining the ABV designation varies depending on where you take the courses and exams. Generally speaking, it can cost anywhere from $1,500 - $3,000 CAD to obtain the designation.

10. Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA Canada)

Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA Canada) is a professional designation for certified public accountants in Canada. It is the only national accounting designation recognized by the Canadian government and employers. To become a CPA, individuals must meet certain academic and experience requirements, pass a comprehensive exam, and adhere to a strict code of professional conduct.

It usually takes five years to obtain the CPA designation. This includes completing an undergraduate degree in accounting or business, obtaining practical work experience in the field of accounting, and passing the CPA Professional Education Program (PEP) exams. The PEP consists of three modules: Core 1, Core 2, and Elective 1. Each module requires approximately 150 hours of study time.

To get started on your path to becoming a CPA, you will need to register with CPA Ontario or another provincial body that offers the PEP program. You will then be required to complete specific courses and exams before you can move onto the next level of the program. After completing all three modules successfully, you will be eligible for certification as a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA).

The cost of obtaining your CPA designation varies depending on which province you are in and which body you are registered with. Generally speaking, it can cost anywhere from $3,000-$5,000+ in tuition fees alone for all three modules combined. Additional costs may include exam fees ($500+ per module), membership fees ($300+), textbooks ($100+), study materials ($200+), etc.

11. Certified Management Accountant (CMA).

Certified Management Accountant (CMA) is a professional certification awarded by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA). The CMA certification is designed to recognize professionals who have mastered the skills and knowledge necessary to manage organizations’ financial resources. It focuses on accounting, finance, strategic management, and decision-making.

It typically takes two years to complete the CMA program. To become certified, you must first meet the eligibility requirements which include having a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university and two continuous years of professional experience in management accounting or financial management.

Once you meet the eligibility requirements, you can begin your journey towards becoming a Certified Management Accountant by registering for the CMA exam. The exam consists of two parts: Part 1 – Financial Planning, Performance and Analytics; and Part 2 – Strategic Financial Management. You will need to pass both parts of the exam in order to receive your certification.

The cost of the CMA program varies depending on where you take it. Generally speaking, it costs between $1,500-$2,500 USD for tuition and registration fees. Additionally, you may need to purchase textbooks or other materials needed for studying for the exam.

Do You Really Need a Audit Associate Certificate?

The short answer is no, you do not need an audit associate certificate to become an auditor. However, an audit associate certificate can be beneficial in a number of ways. An audit associate certificate provides a potential employer with assurance that you possess the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively perform audit-related duties. It also demonstrates your commitment to the profession and may increase your chances of being hired for an auditing position.

In addition, having an audit associate certificate can help you stand out from other applicants and make it easier for employers to sort through resumes quickly. The certification also shows that you are serious about continuing professional development and staying up-to-date on the latest industry trends. This can demonstrate that you are committed to providing quality service to clients and will stay current on best practices related to auditing.

Although it is not required, having an audit associate certificate can give you a competitive edge when applying for auditing positions. It is important to note that earning a certificate usually requires passing exams and completing coursework specific to auditing standards, so it may take some time and effort before achieving certification status. Therefore, if you are serious about becoming an auditor, obtaining an audit associate certification could be worth the investment in terms of both time and money spent in order to gain valuable credentials that could lead to greater career opportunities in the future.

Related: Audit Associate Resume Examples

FAQs About Audit Associate Certifications

1. What is an Audit Associate Certification?

Answer: An Audit Associate Certification is a professional designation that demonstrates a high level of knowledge and experience in auditing processes and procedures. It shows that the holder has acquired the necessary skills to effectively identify, evaluate, and report on financial information.

2. How do I become an Audit Associate?

Answer: To become an Audit Associate, you must complete a recognized program such as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Certified Internal Auditor (CIA). You may also need to pass an exam and/or obtain additional certifications depending on your employer's requirements.

3. What are the benefits of obtaining an Audit Associate Certification?

Answer: Obtaining an Audit Associate Certification can help you stand out from other job applicants, advance your career opportunities, and demonstrate your commitment to upholding ethical standards in accounting and auditing practices. It can also give you access to exclusive resources and networking opportunities within the profession.

4. What is the cost of obtaining an Audit Associate Certification?

Answer: The cost of obtaining an Audit Associate Certification varies depending on the program you choose and any additional certifications required by your employer. Generally speaking, certifications range from several hundred dollars up to several thousand dollars for more comprehensive programs.

5. Is there continuing education required for maintaining my Audit Associate Certification?

Answer: Yes, most certification programs require continuing education credits in order to maintain your certification status. Continuing education credits typically involve taking courses related to accounting or auditing topics, attending conferences or workshops related to audit practice, or participating in professional development activities such as reading industry publications or taking online courses related to audit topics.