Together, Reducing Fraud Worldwide
Internal auditors provide an independent and objective assessment of the effectiveness and efficiency of a company’s operations, specifically its internal control structure. The internal audit function helps an organization accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control, and governance processes. The scope of internal auditing is broad and may involve the efficiency of operations, IT controls, the reliability of financial reporting, deterring and detecting fraud, and compliance with laws and regulations. Internal Auditors may also conduct compliance and operational audits, offering solutions for weaknesses in internal controls and verifying that all laws and regulations are upheld.
Benefits of the CFE Credential
According to the International Professional Practices Framework (IPPF), the internal audit activity must evaluate the potential for the occurrence of fraud and how the organization manages fraud risk. The CFE credential provides Internal Auditors with the knowledge and skills needed to perform this function when evaluating accounting systems, determining the degree of organizational fraud risk and following up on fraud indicators. Internal Auditors who are also CFEs are uniquely equipped to ensure that the proper controls are in place to successfully mitigate fraud. Although management and the Board are ultimately responsible for fraud deterrence, Internal Auditors can assist management by determining whether the organization has adequate internal controls and fosters an adequate control environment. The CFE credential is preferred by many employers, and Internal Auditors who have earned it are looked to as leading experts in the field. The ACFE’s global salary study found that CFEs earn a 19.5 percent income premium over their peers without the credential, which demonstrates the value employers place on the credential. The study also provides valuable information and comparisons helpful to all anti-fraud professionals in benchmarking their compensation levels and career growth. The training, fraud resources and continuing education provided by the ACFE will help in any stage of your career path. Refer to the Compensation section below for more information about the compensation ranges for Internal Auditors.
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A bachelor’s or master’s degree is required for any level of Internal Auditor. Many companies encourage obtaining the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), and/or Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Other valuable designations include the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) or Certified Government Auditing Professional (CGAP).
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
It is important to plan and conduct an honest self-assessment of your knowledge, skills and abilities. In particular, employers are looking for:
Business and industry standards
Governance, risk and compliance
Components of financial statements
International Professional Practices Framework (IPPF)
Computer applications and their functions
Ability to problem solve
Attention to detail
Drawing conclusions from raw data
Below are compensation ranges for Internal Auditors taken from the 2010/2011 Compensation Guide for Anti-Fraud Professionals:
The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA)
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)
The Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO)
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO)
Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors (UK)
National Audit Office
Governance, Risk Management and Compliance
Risk Management Professional
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