CSA certification for an internal auditor means that you have certification in control self-assessment. This certification is very beneficial when you are hired by a company to ensure that all the financial records, transactions and statements are accurate. With this certificate, you have knowledge of different methods you can use to improve the internal controls and processes of a business. You can be a lower level internal auditor and take on more challenging issues in the company by being able to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the company's financial statements.
With the CSA certification, an internal auditor is part of a team that meets quite often, sometimes on a daily basis. During these meetings, the team members evaluate the controls of the company operation. Questionnaires are used to gather data about the controls, risks and processes and differ from traditional questionnaires in that the members of the team self-evaluate the controls.
In order to be eligible for the CSA certification, an internal auditor needs to have the basic qualifications to work as an accountant. This consists of a four-year degree program from an accredited university leading to a degree in accounting, finance, business or a related field. You can also be eligible if you have two years of post-secondary training and at least three years working in the auditing field. You must also submit character references that will attest to your high moral and professional character. The work experience required of all candidates that apply for this certification must include work in risk management and auditing of a business or environmental auditing. A certified internal auditor or your supervisor must verify this experience.
In addition to the educational and work requirements, to be eligible for CSA certification as an internal auditor, you must have at least fourteen hours of training as a facilitator for the meetings required in this job. The exam consists of 125 multiple-choice questions on five different topics. These topics are:
- The fundamentals of control self-assessment
- Integration of control self-assessment with internal auditing
- The elements of the control self-assessment process
- Evaluating business objectives and overall performance
- Identification and assessment of risks
- Theory of control and its application
You do need to have excellent oral and written communication skills as well as excellent interpersonal skills to work as a CSA certified internal auditor. It is also essential to be a team player and to be able to establish a good working relationship with the members of your tem.