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The Certified Internal Auditor Exam: What You Need to Know

certified internal auditor exam

Certified Internal Auditors are knowledgeable professionals. Beyond knowing how to audit an organization, CIAs understand the results of an audit and are able to provide crucial, timely data to management. They can help make decisions about risks, controls, and effective governance of their organization. When you pass the Certified Internal Auditor exam and become a CIA, you are not just an accountant–you have the knowledge, skills, and experience to greatly influence the direction of the organization you work for.

Why is the Certified Internal Auditor Exam Non-Disclosed?

As a CIA, these are some questions that might be asked of you:

  • “How effective are the risk management procedures that are currently in place?”
  • “What can we do to better protect against fraud and theft of the organization’s assets?”
  • “Is our organization complying with relevant laws and statutes?”

These are all questions that CIAs are equipped to answer, which is why CIAs often work closely with management. This level of responsibility and trust is also why the CIA exam is non-disclosed.

“Non-disclosed” means that no one has any privileged information about the exam’s content.

CIAs are trusted to perform these services precisely because the CIA certification is so competitive. To become a CIA, you have to earn it. There are no shortcuts. If you can pass the exam (and meet the requirements), you’re trusted to perform the job of a certified internal auditor (and you will likely receive a higher salary and better benefits as a result).

The Institute of Internal Auditors (The IIA)

The IIA is an international professional association that focuses on education, research, certification, and professional events for internal auditors. It maintains The International Professional Practices Framework (IPPF) and offers several professional certifications, of which the CIA is the most-pursued. The CIA is the only globally recognized certification for internal auditors.

Becoming a member of The IIA and attaining CIA certification have multiple benefits: increased earning potential, developed knowledge of the field, and the opportunity for career advancement chief among them.

The IIA acts as the voice of the internal audit profession. For CIAs, it

  • Holds conferences;
  • Provides continuing professional education courses;
  • Publishes newsletters, books, and magazines; and
  • Develops and administers the CIA Exam.

More specifically, the exam is created by The IIA’s Global Exam Development team and Exam Development Committee, with oversight provided by the Professional Certifications Board, to reflect current knowledge and practices in the internal auditing profession. Together, these entities write the syllabus and questions, grade the exams, and ensure the integrity of the exam process by maintaining its nondisclosed status. Actual Certified Internal Auditor exam questions and other exam content remains non-disclosed and is not available to The IIA at large, or anyone for that matter.

The IIA announced significant updates to the CIA exam in October, which include improvements to topic coverage, changes to topic weights, and even the introduction of some new topics.

IIA CIA Study Materials

The IIA does offer its own CIA study materials, but it does so on equal footing with every other review course provider as far as knowledge of exam content is concerned. It is only as good as the 3rd party provider who produces it can make it and, since the exam is non-disclosed, it does not have any more details than any other review course. Actual test questions and solutions are never made available to the public or any review course provider to protect the integrity of the Certified Internal Auditor exam.

Review providers rely on the publicly available exam syllabus, the IPPF, previously released CIA exam questions that are no longer tested, and their knowledge of the trends currently developing in the field to equip candidates to pass the exam. At Gleim, we rely on our staff of professional accountants and editors (which includes CIAs, as well as CPAs and CMAs) and contributions from professors at prestigious universities to ensure our review materials are of the highest quality.

No one offering CIA study materials has any privileged information. To become a CIA, you have to earn it, and that’s in the profession’s best interest. It makes the certification valuable and allows CIAs to claim a higher salary and demand more respect.

IIA Released Questions

Test questions are released to review course providers and the general public when they are retired and no longer used on the exam. Our accounting experts closely examine released questions to determine which are relevant to topics currently being tested. We use these retired questions, in conjunction with the syllabus and IPPF, to track developing trends and release comprehensive and timely content updates to our courses and create content on par with what current test-takers are seeing.

We incorporate all applicable retired Certified Internal Auditor exam questions into our CIA study materials as soon as they become available because they provide us with a benchmark for the style, depth, and breadth of the questions currently being tested. All of the questions in our database, the most refined bank of test questions on the market, emulate their depth and style, and we think it’s difficult, if not impossible, to tell them apart!

A CIA Certification Adds Value

A CIA certification will help your career in many ways, and making the choice to sit for the test is only the first step. Because it’s a level playing field, you want to choose the CIA review course that will meet your needs. We encourage you to evaluate each course on its offerings and merits.

Our study materials include media for many different learning styles: printed and digital books, Gleim Instruct video lectures, audio lectures, an interactive online course, and the most refined bank of test questions available in exam-emulating practice sessions.

With Gleim Premium CIA Review, you also have our Access Until You Pass® guarantee. We’ll update all of your electronic study materials automatically, and if you want, we’ll send you a new edition of the printed book for only the cost of shipping. Additionally, you will have access to our team of Personal Counselors, trained mentors who can help you develop a study plan and guide your way.

Gleim has trained more CIAs than any other review course. To see just one of the reasons why, try our free exam questions. They include both our and IIA-released exam questions, so see if you can spot the difference!

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