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How do I Become an Internal Auditor?

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  • Written By: K.A. Francis
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 04 December 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Internal auditors review a business or governmental agency's in-house financial and accounting methods. Internal auditors look for differences between what was reported and what the financial documents state. To become an internal auditor, you must receive an adequate education and certifications. This typically is an entry-level position.

To become an internal auditor, you first must obtain at least a bachelor's degree. Such a degree in Business Administration or Accounting will give you the education that will best prepare you to become an internal auditor. Many companies prefer candidates who also have earned a master's degree, such as a Master's in Business Administration (MBA).

Auditors, much like accountants, have certifications that they can receive to help them further their careers. One such certification, the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), is offered through the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA). It is a four-part exam that you can take if you want to become an internal auditor. The exam covers accounting, taxation, finance, technology, internal controls and other business-related areas.

To receive complete certification, you must pass all four sections, though many employers will grant employment to candidates who still are in the process of taking each of the exams. To become an internal auditor for a government agency, you might also be required to take a civil service exam. This exam will cover internal auditing policies and procedures.

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The process of locating employment opportunities to become an internal auditor is similar to searching for an accounting job but can be a bit easier. If a company is publicly owned, it likely is required to have an internal auditor on staff to ensure that all stock transactions are completed legally. Companies that are not publicly owned also employ internal auditors to ensure that their accounting and financial affairs are in order. Governments also employ internal auditors in their agencies to make sure that all laws are being followed.

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