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Should You Bother Getting Certified?

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Photo by Windows via Unsplash

In the finance field, there are several different certifications you can pursue. 34, to be exact. CPA, CMA, CGMA—it can be overwhelming to look through a list of these and try to decide what certification to work for.

Sabine Charles, CPA, CIA, CISA, CFE, CISM, CEO at TAPA Institute, and a Lady Ambassador here at The Lady CPA, has a question for you before you go any further: what certifications do you need to advance your career?

Just because there are so many options out there doesn’t mean you have to take any of them. Instead, this decision needs to be the product of some serious self-reflection.

How can you make more money doing the job you already have?

How can you maximize your cash flow?

Once you’ve been honest with yourself about the answers to these questions—and your path is leading you toward professional development (and success!)—Sabine has a recommendation for you: certifications.

While there are a lot of choices out there for women in accounting, Sabine has 3 tried-and-true certifications that we’re going to share with you: CISA, CIA, and CFE.

Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)

This certification is available from the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) and is widely respected in the IT space. As the name suggests, this certification focuses on IT and information security. If you have a career in, or are looking to focus on, auditing, controlling, monitoring, and assessing an organization’s information technology and business systems, this certification is for you.

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Working in tech doesn't have to mean that you know how to plug in your computer—but it helps. Photo by Christina @WOCinTechChat via Unsplash

Education requirement

The CISA certification requires a minimum of 5 years of professional work experience in information systems auditing, control, or security. Any substitutes to work experience may be applied for a max of the 3 to 5 required years.


The cost of this certification is pretty reasonable, at approximately $470 for members and $645 for nonmembers.


The exam is tested globally and is structured as one exam with five domains.

  • Domain 1: The Process of Auditing Information Systems (14%)

  • Domain 2: Governance and Management of IT (14%)

  • Domain 3: IS Acquisition, Development, Implementation (19%)

  • Domain 4: IS Operations, Maintenance, and Support (23%)