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Michael Easterday, CIA, CRMACertification Spotlight

Michael Easterday, CIA, CRMA 
Lead Internal Auditor, NiSource
Member, IIA‒Central Ohio

1) What prompted you to become certified?

I would like to consider myself to be a driven person and have tried to cultivate a successful professional career. Becoming certified by The IIA was something I hoped would open opportunities for me as well as give me the expertise to be confident in my work. This has proven true.

2) What IIA certification(s) do you hold and why did you choose to pursue it (them? Do you plan to pursue other IIA certifications and if so, which ones and why?

I am a Certified Internal Auditor and hold the Certification in Risk Management Assurance. I became a CPA early in my career when I worked in public accounting. It wasn’t until a few years after I left public accounting and had been working in internal audit that I realized my career industry likely would not change. It became very apparent to me that my self-confidence/expertise and the odds of my long-term professional success would be greatly improved by having a better foundation in the principles and techniques of the industry. Attaining these certifications was an important piece of my growth and development as an internal audit professional.

3) How has your IIA certification(s) helped your career?

Attaining my professional certifications has provided me with opportunities to network and the ability to stand out.

4) Has earning the IIA certification(s) enhanced your skill level?

Without question having expended the effort to review study material, pass the examinations, and earn these certifications has greatly improved my understanding and ability to apply the guiding principles in my every day work.

5) What advice do you have for others who are considering obtaining an IIA certification?

Just like buying a house, getting married, or some other enormous commitment, there’s never a “good” or “best” time for them. Just take the jump and set a date. You will be amazed at what you can accomplish when you give yourself a hard deadline.

6) How does career planning and development play a part in your growth?

No one cares more about you than you. If you are not willing to take control of your own professional career, no one else is going to do it for you. Be honest with yourself and set attainable goals for both the short and long-term. Time will pass by faster than you anticipate and you will either be satisfied with the progress you set out to make, or disappointed at not having used the time to effectively advance toward your aspirations.

7) What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?

Be your own agent. Oftentimes, momentous career decisions and pursuits are clouded by the significant nature and emotional reactions that come with asking for a promotion, accepting a job opportunity, or countering an offer. But if you hired an agent, to advocate on your behalf, what would he/she say or do? Likely the decisions or negotiation that ensue would sound much different than how you might handle it. An agent would unapologetically make clear your strengths, qualifications, and the value you bring to the table. Be your own agent and fight for your client!

Michael Easterday, CIA, CRMA, CPA is a lead internal auditor for NiSource, a regional energy utility. He also serves as an accounting instructor for the Ohio University online and professional MBA programs. His professional experience includes audit work for Deloitte & Touche, LLP; the Office of Budget and Management at the State of Ohio; and as an instructor of accounting and audit courses for Columbus State Community College. Easterday’s research interests include studying the impact of increasing data availability on audit techniques and the advancement of accounting education strategies. He is the recipient of The IIA’s 2014 Dr. Glenn Sumners Student Medal Award and was recognized by the Ohio University School of Accountancy, having been selected for the 2014 Young Alumnus Award.