Mustafa Sonmez, CIA, CRMA
Internal Audit Manager
UNLU & Co
1. What prompted you to become certified?
While I was looking for the highest standards in the profession, I came across The IIA’s certifications. IIA certification has been the key to a world of opportunities in the internal audit profession. Being certified shows that I adhere to the highest standards and I am committed to my profession. Preparing for the certification exams also helps to improve your internal audit skills and knowledge.
2. If you hold multiple IIA designations, what order did you earn them in and why?
The CIA designation is the highest standard in the profession covering all areas of internal audit and for that reason, I chose to earn my CIA designation first and then the CRMA designation.
3. Did your organization fund your exam fees or preparation materials? If yes, was it the corporate culture or did you have to sell the value of certification?
By showing my company that my certifications would ultimately benefit our internal audit function, I was able to convince them to fund my exam fees.
4. How many of your colleagues are certified?
None of them are certified by The IIA.
5. How does having an IIA certification set you apart from your non-certified peers?
Having the globally recognized CIA certification validated my qualifications and experience in the internal audit profession. The CIA designation is the key that unlocks all the doors in the profession.
6. How did you prepare for the exam?
I prepared for the exam with Gleim study materials and IIA Turkey’s “Red Book” which is the Turkish translation of the International Professional Practices Framework (IPPF).
7. How has your certification helped your career?
I had the pleasure of serving on the IIA Turkey’s Committees, which helped me meet so many internal auditors from different sectors and allowed me to contribute to the internal audit profession as well.
8. What advice do you have for others who are seeking certification?
Register for the exams, prepare yourself, and take the exams! It’s not that easy to pass the certification exams. They are really difficult and require serious preparation, but it is all worth it in the end. Never forget that becoming certified unlocks doors in the internal audit profession and The IIA’s certifications are the most important assets for an internal auditor.
Mustafa Sonmez, CIA, CRMA, received his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Marmara University located in Istanbul. Sonmez serves as an internal audit manager at UNLU & Co, the leading financial institution in Turkey with a broad investment banking and asset management platform. He previously held the position of senior internal auditor at Alkhair Capital Turkey, a subsidiary of Bahrain based investment bank Bank Al-Khair.
Mustafa serves on The IIA Turkey’s Certification Committee and Standards & Quality Assurance Review Committee, and is active with the Adim Adim Initiative — the first Turkish civil society organization aiming to enable its members, who are business professionals but also amateur athletes, raise donations for NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) through sports activities.