Daniel B. Ramsier, CIA
Director – Internal Audit, Kinder Morgan
1. What prompted you to become certified?
Pursuit of the CIA certification is generally a requirement for department personnel. Being a CPA license holder, I was exempt from this. However, given that I was expecting my direct reports to obtain this certification, I felt it appropriate to hold myself to the same standard.
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 hold my CIA certification, again, to hold myself to the same standard as my direct reports. I am considering the CRMA, because risk management is an important concept and covers all aspects of the business, from operations to accounting, from individuals in the field to the chief executives. It is critical for audit committees and executive management to have quality, trusted advisers.
3. How does having an IIA certification(s) set you apart from your non-certified peers?
It is a physical representation of an individual’s willingness to invest in themselves, their career, and their professions. You do not need this certification to perform audit work. However, the CIA represents the globally recognized designation in the field and the certificate holder is held to a high standard of practice and education on an annual basis. The certification provides additional credibility, not only in the field and community, but also in being a trusted adviser to your clients.
4. Has earning the IIA certification(s) enhanced your skill level?
It has given me additional knowledge and resources to be able to perform my job. My previous certifications have focused on technical areas of the accounting and finance world. The CIA certification has provided an opportunity to explore areas that are specific to and enhance my skills in the world of internal auditing, which uses a certain amount of the same knowledge and skills while requiring the expansion of these into a broader business scope.
5. What advice do you have for others who are considering obtaining an IIA certification?
Do it. Anytime you get the opportunity to learn, you should take it. The ultimate goal in achieving any certification is learning. However, we all would be kidding ourselves if we didn’t acknowledge the other benefits such as increase opportunity for advancement, increased pay, respect in the field, and more.
6. How does career planning and development play a part in your growth?
Career planning and development is very important in anyone’s growth. When I take a look at what I want to do with my career, I think of 4 things:
- How will this affect my personal life and does it correlate with my life goals? My family?
- What will this do for my career? Will it enhance my resume? Where will I be in 5 years? 10?
- Will I be surrounding myself with people I respect and that I can learn from?
- Will I be surrounding myself with people I can give back to; meaning, what will I be contributing to the department/division/company?
Everyone has to take an active role in thinking about where they want their careers to go and doing their best to put themselves into situations that will add value.
7. What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?
Be the Duck
I was working in public accounting for a partner who always seemed to be on top of everything. Always caught up on his engagements and administrative projects. In addition, he participated in business and team development. I asked him how he makes it look so easy. He said “Be the duck.” He explained that when I look at him, I see the duck. Watch a duck swimming. It looks calm and graceful as it glides through the water — like it has no concerns in the world. However, look under the water and that duck’s little legs are going as fast as they can, swimming madly.
I took this to mean that you have to APPEAR in control to BE in control of anything. You may be working extremely hard behind the scenes and may be moments from a disaster, but you have to appear to be in control. You have to show your team and those around you that everything will be all right, you have a handle on things and are in control of whatever it is. If your above-the-water display is arms flapping, water splashing, and you look like you are about to drown, then it just may be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Dan Ramsier is an accounting and auditing professional with broad experience including Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, US GAAP, and IFRS reporting for several large national and international clients. He has experience in public accounting with oil and gas, construction, oilfield services, and manufacturing clients. In addition, Ramsier has corporate internal auditing experience, responsible for Sarbanes-Oxley testing and compliance along with performing operational, compliance, and vendor audits. He is a licensed CPA in Ohio and Texas and holds a Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation.