Professional Certifications

Professional Certifications of Audit Staff

An auditor or accountant may hold multiple professional certifications.   Many certifications are job specific while others are general designations related to auditing.   The two most common certifications held by University of Alaska auditors are the CIA, Certified Internal Auditor, and the CISA, Certified Information Systems Auditor.   In addition to these certifications, an individual may hold a CPA, Certified Public Accountant, designation as well as other more general private industry certifications.

Audit and Consulting Services follows GAGAS requirements for continuing professional education (CPE) credits.   Eighty CPE credits must be acquired every two years in order to maintain certifications in good standing.   These CPE credits may be earned by periodic training sessions offered by the various credentialing organizations in the list below.

Audit and Consulting Services supports and encourages professional certification for its auditors as it relates to the position.   Certifications typically supported are:

  • Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)
  • Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
  • Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE).  

To provide support, the department will assist staff by providing:

  1. The cost of review materials.
  2. Travel costs associated with taking the exam
  3. Time for sitting for examinations will be considered authorized and will not require the use of annual leave.
  4. Maintenance fees for licenses once achieved, usually including cost of fulfilling CPE requirements.

In recognition of the benefit derived by the employee for attaining these certifications, the staff member will provide:

  1. The cost of registration and fees for the exam.
  2. Membership fees for professional organizations.

About the Professional Certifications


Sponsored by the ACFE (

Certified Fraud Examiners are professionals with significant experience in their own field of fraud prevention who have passed the CFE examination.   Certificate holders are required to continue their education and maintain high professional standards to maintain certification.


Sponsored by the IIA (

The Certified Internal Auditor credential is one of the hallmark credentials of the internal auditing profession.   Achieving this certification requires an individual to have graduated with an accounting degree from an accredited college, requires the individuals to have character references, have significant work experience and pass an examination.   Holding the certificate requires the individual to obtain continual professional education each year.


Sponsored by ISACA (

The Certified Information Systems Auditor is meant for those auditors who specialize in the auditing of information systems.   The certification requires the applicant to be an experienced professional, pass an exam and submit an ethics certification.   Like other certifications, it requires the individual to complete continual professional education on a yearly basis.


Exam administered by the AICPA (

Note: The CPA designation is granted by individual state boards, not the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Membership in the AICPA is not obligatory for CPAs, although some CPAs do join.  

Certified public accountant is the most often seen certification in the public arena. These individuals have graduated with an accounting degree, usually with at least 150 credit hours, passed a multi-part examination, become members of the AICPA, and obtained sufficient professional experience in order to be awarded the designation of CPA.   CPA’s typically work in the public sector, but can be seen anywhere in the industry.   Experienced CPA’s outside of CPA firms, in many cases, may be seen as department heads of accounting/audit departments, controllers or CFO’s.   The certification requires continual professional education courses to be taken on a yearly basis to maintain the designation.