Internal auditor certificate programs are designed to enhance the knowledge of current auditors and require incoming students to have some professional experience in the business world. Most auditors have at least a bachelor's degree in accounting or a related subject, but some professionals enroll in certificate programs, offered through continuing education and extension departments, to stay up-to-date on new skills or regulations relevant to the field. Auditing certificates typically last less than a year and contain fewer than six core courses, many of which are offered at night, on weekends or online.
Some auditing certificate programs allow students to focus on a particular specialization, such as auditing management, fraud auditing or IT auditing. Individuals who complete an internal auditing certificate program are generally prepared to sit for the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) examination.
Certificate in Auditing
The modules included within an auditing certificate program should provide students with an advanced understanding of auditing techniques as well as up-to-date information on industry regulations. Examples of some courses might include:
- Advanced auditing
- Risk-based auditing
- Individual audit programs
- Audit report writing
- Fraud auditing
- Financial analysis
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported accounting and auditing positions numbered 1,226,910 in 2015 (www.bls.gov). A great number of those individuals worked for accounting services, management companies or government agencies. Although the BLS does not offer specific wage statistics for auditors alone, it did report that the 2015 median annual salary for auditors and accountants was $67,190.
Certification and Continuing Education Information
Internal auditors can earn optional certification from the Institute of Internal Auditors. To earn the CIA designation, professionals must first pass a 4-part examination. A bachelor's degree and two years' experience are required to sit for the test. The institute also offers on-site and online training courses, as well as credentials for government auditing, internal control assessment and financial services auditing.
Auditing certificates are short, specialized education programs, while auditor certification is a professional credential that requires passing an exam. A certificate may provide continuing education, but a bachelor's degree is required to sit for the certification exam.