Certification spotlight.

Author:Homolka, Herbert Otto
  1. What prompted you to become certified?

    In 1994, full of enthusiasm to start a career as an internal auditor at Caixa Economica Federal (Brazilian Government Bank), I contacted The IIA for additional information on obtaining CIA certification. As a result of my inquiry, I received a heavy envelope with instructions on certification exams; however, because the exams had to be taken in the United States, I did not take further action.

    Ten years after my initial inquiry, my involvement with IIA-Brazil had reawakened my desire to master the CIA. I studied exam review books and practiced more than 2,000 simulated exercises on CD. During 30 vacation days, I focused on my studies for up to 12 hours daily.

    Exams were set to be taken in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in November 2005, which is a three hour flight from my home town of Recife. Against the advice of my friends and colleagues, I decided to take the four exams* at once, of which Part 3 was the hardest.

    In February 2006, I received a phone call from the president of the IIA-Brazil congratulating me for passing the CIA. With the CIA exam know-how, I decided to pursue the remaining certifications.

    The combination of my experience as an internal auditor for a major federal government bank in Brazil gave me the necessary experience to pursue all five IIA certifications. However, my desire to learn international auditing expertise (that I did not have on a daily basis) was my major motivation behind my efforts to pursue certifications.

    Additionally, The IIA's five certifications improved my resume and qualifications as an internal auditor.

  2. If you hold multiple IIA designations, what order did you earn them in and why?

    CIA, Nov. 2005; CCSA, June 2006; CFSA, May 2007; CGAP, July 2007; and CRM A, Jan. 2013. As to the order, the CCSA was the easiest after passing the CIA exam. For the others, it was just a personal choice with no "decision process."

  3. Did your organization fund your exam fees or preparation materials? If yes, was it the corporate culture or did you have to sell the value of certification?

    I paid for all the fees and preparation materials. The CAE authorized my travel expenses related to taking the CIA exams.

  4. How many of your colleagues are certified?

    In my previous company, I was the first to obtain IIA certifications and was the only one for years. When I retired in December 2012, there were maybe four or five colleagues who had obtained CIA certification.

  5. How does having an IIA...

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