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 the audit profession.  Some of the common certifications held by University of Alaska auditors are:

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

The University of Alaska Office of Audit and Compliance Services (A&CS) follows Government Audit Standards 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 above, plus a variety of other training opportunities.

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

  1. The cost of review materials.
  2. Travel costs associated with taking the exam, although most of the exams are conducted online now.
  3. Time spent sitting for exams.
  4. Maintenance fees for licenses once achieved, usually including cost of fulfilling CPE requirements.
  5. Membership fees for the Institute of Internal Auditors, plus others upon approval.

In recognition of the benefit derived by the employee for attaining these certifications, the staff member will provide the cost of exam registration and fees.

About the Professional Certifications


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 individual to provide character references, have significant work experience, and pass a certification exam.


Sponsored by ISACA (

The Certified Information Systems Auditor is attained by auditors who specialize in the auditing of information systems, security, and privacy.  The certification requires the applicant to be an experienced professional, pass a certification exam, and submit an ethics certification. 


Sponsored by the ACFE (

Certified Fraud Examiners are professionals with significant experience in the field of fraud prevention who have passed the CFE examination.  


Exam administered by the AICPA (

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. 

The Certified Public Accountant designation is earned by accounting graduates who pass a multi-part exam and obtain sufficient qualifying experience. The specific requirements are set by individual states. CPAs are often recognized for working in the public sector, but it’s not uncommon to have CPAs working in the government sector as accounting or audit department management, controllers or chief finance officers. The University of Alaska employs several CPAs.