The Value of Certifications
Companies value audit professionals who proactively seek opportunities to develop their skills and expertise. One of the best ways for individuals to demonstrate their commitment to career growth is by pursuing industry-recognized certifications.
Earning professional designations can provide numerous benefits, including improved career prospects and enhanced earning power. According to the Robert Half 2008 Salary Guide, possessing an industry-recognized credential can raise a job candidate’s starting salary by as much as 10 percent.
As the business world becomes more complex and specialized, the demand for individuals with industry recognized credentials will continue to intensify. Corporate governance reforms, an increasingly global business environment and rapidly changing technologies have fueled the need for professionals with advanced skills and up-to-date knowledge.
Certain credentials have become particularly desirable since the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and similar reforms. These designations include the certified internal auditor (CIA), Certification in Control Self-Assessment (CCSA), Certified Government Auditing Professional (CGAP) and the Certified Financial Services Auditor (CFSA), all offered by The Institute of Internal Auditors (The IIA). A master’s in business administration (MBA) also can be valuable for those aspiring to leadership positions.
Certification requirements are continually changing. Credential seekers should verify these with the sponsoring organization before making a decision to pursue an accreditation. Candidates also should know that most designations require application and examination costs. Continuing education is almost always necessary to maintain credentials, and fees may sometimes be charged to renew certifications.
In the years ahead, organizations are likely to place even more value on certifications as a means of differentiating top job applicants. Accounting and finance managers look to professionals who can demonstrate their knowledge in specialized areas through a combination of work experience and the formal training and education gained -- and confirmed -- during the certification process.
This article is provided courtesy of Robert Half Management Resources, North America’s largest consulting services firm providing senior-level accounting and finance professionals on a project and interim basis. For further information, visit Robert Half Management Resources’ website at www.roberthalfmr.com.