Certifications/designations

 

Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
With approximately 450,000 active CPAs in the United States, the CPA certification is the most popular professional designation for accountants. Earning the CPA designation is no easy feat, as the CPA exam is known for its extreme difficulty.

 

Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)
In today's era of specialization, Certified Fraud Examiners are widely recognized as experts in the anti-fraud field. Career opportunities abound for CFEs, and more are growing. The unfortunate reason is simple... fraud has always been with us, and it has never been more prevalent. (Enron, WorldCom, Tyco, etc.)
 
Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)
Evaluating emerging technologies, analyzing opportunities, examining global issues. Assessing quality, economy, and efficiency. Providing accurate and timely communication. Such diversity gives internal auditors a broad perspective on the organization. And that makes internal auditors a valuable resource to executive management and boards of directors in accomplishing overall goals and objectives, as well as strengthening internal control and governance.

 

Certification in Control Self-Assessment (CCSA)
The Certification in Control Self-Assessment is a specialty certification program designed for practitioners of control self-assessment (CSA). Individuals at any CSA experience level will benefit from this comprehensive program. Gaining the required knowledge of areas such as risk and control models — often considered the realm of auditors only — exposes CSA practitioners from all backgrounds to concepts that are vital in effectively using CSA to help clients achieve their objectives.

 

Certified Financial Services Auditor (CFSA)
The Certified Financial Services Auditor (CFSA) is one of The IIA's specialty certifications that measures an individual's knowledge of, and proficiency in, audit principles and practices within the banking, insurance, and securities financial services industries. The exam format offers candidates a choice of three financial services disciplines — banking, insurance and securities.

 

Certified Government Auditing Professional (CGAP)
The Certified Government Auditing Professional (CGAP) is a specialty certification designed for and by public-sector internal auditing practitioners. The exam tests a candidate's knowledge of the unique features of public-sector internal auditing — fund accounting, grants, legislative oversight, confidentiality rights, and more. The program’s broad scope emphasizes the internal auditor’s role in strengthening accountability to the public and improving government services.

 

Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
Professional financial planners assist their clients in managing, sheltering and expanding their assets through the development of a comprehensive plan geared toward a client's financial objectives and resources. Virtually anyone with income and expenses can use a Financial Planner and concerns about inflation, changing tax laws and the need to plan early for retirement are more prevalent than ever before.

 

Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
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.

Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
The Certified Information Security Manager designation is designed specifically for individuals who manage, design or oversee aspects related to information security in an organization. To attain the certification the candidate must be an experienced professional in their field, pass an exam and submit an ethics certification. The certification requires the individual to complete continuing professional education requirements on a yearly basis.

Certified Management Accountant (CMA)
The CMA and CFM designations are sponsored by the Institute of Management Accountants. Accountants with the CMA certification earn competitive salaries to those with the CPA certification, but according to recent Institute of Management Accountants Salary Guides, compensation is greater for those who are dual holders of the CMA and CPA. Prepare for the CMA exam by getting review / study guides.  


Certified Financial Manager (CFM)
The CFM designation will be of interest to a broad range of professionals including current CMAs who wish to broaden their certification, personnel within the corporate finance organization (treasury, planning, analysis), finance educators, and students. Three parts of the CMA exam form the basis of the CFM exam, with one part on the latter covering advanced topics in Corporate Financial Management, including financial markets and instruments, risk management, corporate restructuring, financial statement analysis, and investor relations.
 

Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM)
Over 13,000 individuals have received the CGFM designation, the first certification broad enough to cover the whole field of government financial management - federal, state and local. It deals not with testing a person in a specific area, but with measuring a wide range of knowledge and skills that a professional needs to succeed in the federal government financial environment, or to meet the unique challenges faced by state and local government financial managers.

 

Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV)
Accredited in Business Valuation is a certification that one can hold in addition to a CPA license. It accredits the holder in helping sell and buy businesses or obtaining loans for a business. To be certified, a current CPA certificate holder must have experience in the field and pass a written examination.

Certified Bank Auditors (CBA)
Certified Bank Auditors are specialists in the field of auditing banking institutions. It requires a bachelor’s degree in business or accounting, experience in the bank auditing field and passing a written examination.

 

Certified Environmental Auditors (CEA)
Certified Environmental Auditors are auditors typically employed by large governmental agencies such as the EPA to assess environmental damage or potential for environmental damage. This certification requires the candidate have experience in the field and pass a written exam.

Chartered Financial Analysts (CFA)
Chartered Financial Analysts are investment professionals with significant experience in the field who pass the three sections of the CFA examination. The designation is often used by professionals in the investment banking and private investment arenas.

Certified Financial Planners (CFP)
Certified Financial Planners are individuals typically authorized to handle financial planning for individuals for retirement, life events, or other personal decisions. To achieve the designation, individuals must complete an approved course of education, complete a bachelor’s degree, pass an examination, sign an ethics statement and have significant experience in the area.

Certified Management Accountants (CMA)
Certified Management Accountants are members of the IMA (Institute of Management Accountants). They have obtained a bachelor’s in accounting or business, have passed an examination, and have obtained sufficient experience to qualify for the certification. The certification is used by managers in the industry to help increase productivity and business excellence internationally. To maintain the certificate, continual professional education is required on a yearly basis.

Certified Quality Auditor (CQA)
Certified Quality Auditors are individuals who evaluate and report on a quality assurance system’s controls and deficiencies. The individual is required to have significant professional experience related to the job as well as management experience in the field. Individuals must also pass an examination in order to obtain this certification. The certification names its CPE’s as RU’s, recertification units, with a number of them required every year for the certificate to be renewed.

Master of Business Administration (MBA)
The Master of Business Administration is a designation that is very popular in the business field and shows a candidates willingness and desire to change and adapt to the change around them. MBA’s vary on educational and professional experience. Some programs will enroll students straight from a bachelor’s degree program, whereas others will only allow students after they have gained a considerable amount of professional experience. This is one of the few certifications available that does not require continual professional education.

 

Personal Financial Specialists (PFS)
Personal Financial Specialists are individuals who are CPA’s and AICPA members who specialize in personal financial planning. The designation has significant experience requirements and requires the candidate to pass an additional exam in addition to the CPA exam. To maintain the certification continual professional education is required on a yearly basis.

 

Enrolled Agent (EA)

Often called the best kept secret in accounting, Enrolled Agents provide an important - and marketable - service to the public, government and accounting community. An EA is an individual designation provided by the IRS. It is one of the few designations that signify a concentration of competency in the field of taxation. Unlike CPAs, who may or may not provide tax services, Enrolled Agents specialize in taxation.